Awards & Polls; Boyle Wins Rookie Of the Week

Goaltenders dominated today’s release of the Hockey East awards and UMass’ very own Kevin Boyle was the recipient of this week’s Rookie of the Week after allowing just a single goal against #17 Yale.  It’s just another piece of evidence showing that Boyle has made the most of his opportunities in this early three man rotation and should now be considered UMass’ #1 goaltender.  After struggling a bit in his first few collegiate games, he has held the opponents to two or less goals in four of his last five starts.

Boston University’s Kieran Millan was named Player of the Week while Northeastern’s Chris Rawlings was the Defensive Player of the Week.  Congrats are also in order for Peter DeAngelo and Branden Gracel who were named Top Performers by the league.

Hockey East has three teams in the USCHO top ten rankings this week with Boston College #3, Merrimack #5, and BU at #9.  Lowell moves up a spot to #17 while Yale holds onto a ranking at #20 despite losing to the Minutemen.  Defending champion Minnesota-Duluth is the top ranked team in both the USCHO poll as well as the USA Hockey/USA Today rankings.

So as I reported yesterday, Matt Irwin was called up by the San Jose Sharks.  He did not end up getting in the lineup against the Blackhawks last night, but if and when he does so he’ll be the 7th UMass player to suit up in the NHL.  The others are Brad Norton, Greg Mauldin, Thomas Pöck, Jon Quick, Casey Wellman, and Justin Braun.  Speaking of Braun, he scored his first goal of the season last night for for the Sharks.  Quick in the meantime will be in town tomorrow to play the Bruins.  The Kings will be without coach Terry Murray who was fired today.  If Santa reads FTT, a ticket to tomorrow night’s game would be an excellent Christmas gift.

Stick tap to the Holy Cross Crusaders who wore special camouflage jerseys for this past Saturday’s game against Army to raise money for the Massachusetts Soliders Legacy Fund, a charity founded by former UMass assistant captain Peter Trovato.  The fund helps pay the costs of education for the children of Massachusetts soldiers killed in action overseas.  The school auctioned off the special jerseys in addition to selling special camo t-shirts during the game and in all raised over $7,000 for the MSLF.  Of course the Trovato family has a connection to Holy Cross hockey as Peter’s younger brother Chris played for the Crusaders.