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Friday Recap

In what’s becoming a trend the UMass hockey team had a critical game to play in Orono last night and came out of the gate completely flat. The unfortunate part is it wasn’t just the first ten minutes or first period where the team looked unprepared and overwhelmed but the entire first 40 minutes. UMass was scrambling for that entire time and very rarely were able to control play except in very brief bursts. As a result at the end of the second period UMass was down 6-0, were being outshot 20-10, and were already on their second goaltender of the night. The Black Bears would go on to roll to a 7-3 win and in all honesty, it wasn’t even that close.

In my preview for the weekend I noted that in the prior two games between these teams UMass had spotted Maine an early 2-0 lead and had yet to score a power play goal. Sure enough Maine took a 1-0 lead four and a half minutes in without UMass even registering a shot to that point. Maine would take their accustomed 2-0 lead around the 15 minute mark and then would push it to 3-0 in the waning seconds of the first. Still, to start the second UMass had a chance to try to claw back into the game as, thanks to the antics of Joey Diamond, the Minutemen would start the period on the power play. But, there was only one shot registered during that power play time. And it was by Maine. In the end that second period may be the worst period of play we’ve seen from this team all season. They had three different power play opportunities, including 1:20 of five on three. In all that extra man time they mustered just one shot. For the game UMass had four power play opportunities for 6:37 minutes, including that five on three, and had just one shot total. Maine would take advantage of UMass’ ineffectiveness and would score three more goals in the second and the rout was on. Despite the multiple power plays and the desperate need to get back into the game, UMass had four shots on goal in that second period.

The Minutemen did score three goals in the third to Maine’s one, but the damage was already done. Honestly, I thought UMass’ improved showing in the final period was more a product of Maine, thankfully, taking the foot off the gas pedal than the Minutemen somehow solving the Black Bears defense or goaltender Dan Sullivan. There’s no patting themselves on the back saying they made it a game at the end because they didn’t. It was over long before then. The only positive from their late performance is if they can somehow carry over that momentum to the opening minutes tonight. We’ll see if that happens.

In complete honesty, no one played well last night. There were a couple bright spots. Kevin Czepiel scored his first goal of the season. Kevin Boyle, who will likely play tonight, made some very good saves in relief of starter Steven Mastalerz. Mastalerz did not play horribly, you cannot pin this loss on him. There were no soft goals, the guys in front of him just allowed Maine too many good looks. Given how things broke in UMass’ favor around the rest of Hockey East this loss looks like a huge lost opportunity. Providence was able to hold Northeastern to a tie at Matthews Arena while Vermont stunned UNH in overtime at Durham. If UMass had found a way to win last night they would’ve leapfrogged Northeastern into 8th place and pulled even in the second tiebreaker with the Huskies, conference wins. The WIldcats and 7th place would’ve been just two points ahead with the two teams facing off for two at the Mullins Center next weekend and UMass still with a game in hand. Instead UMass wakes up this morning in 9th, one point out of the playoffs, and with the number of games left dwindling down. Heading back down I-95 without any points on the weekend absolutely cannot happen for this team. Not with showdowns with UNH and Merrimack looming. But with the last two games against Maine resulting in dominant wins by the Black Bears, it’s tough to see any other outcome at this point. One things’s for sure, the first five minutes of tonight’s game will likely tell us the ultimate outcome.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game
It’s tough to pick any player from last night’s debacle. However I’ll go with Mike Pereira who scored a goal and was not on the ice for Maine’s touchdown goals.

Coach Cahoon says the team was “outclassed” in the Republican recap.

Black Bear coach Tim Whitehead credits his team being ready from the start in the local recap.

Here’s how it looked for the Maine student paper.

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20 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  February 18, 2012

    WHAERE IUS TEGLIA??????!!? IZ HE OFF TEH TEEM?

    Like

  2. Anonymous

     /  February 18, 2012

    Here’s an idea, buyout Cahoon’s contract and get this guy out of this program. Anyone who has pride for this organization has to see not a team who has quit on the ice, but a head coach who has quit on his team.Attitude refrlects leadership. If Cahoon is behind the bench another year, Umass again will find themselves fighting for they’re playoff lives, and in the HEA cellar. Figure IT OUT, this isn’t rocket science

    Like

  3. Mike

     /  February 18, 2012

    Disagree, once againlets hope they can wake up tonight. this was a team that was not ready to play. Everyone shares the blame for this mess!

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    • Anonymous

       /  February 18, 2012

      How could you disagree its not time to let Toot go? We have too much talent on our team. Consistency is a measure of how a coach prepares his team for challenges and it hasn’t been there at all this season.

      Like

  4. Anonymous

     /  February 18, 2012

    Toot plays mind games with his players and everyone knows what a mental game hockey is. Players seem to be afraid to make a mistake or take chances for fear they will be benched.

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  5. Anonymous

     /  February 18, 2012

    The only person who needs to wake up is the AD at Umass Mike. Our leader said it best after the game last nite. “We were outclassed.” Yea, they sure were. They will be again tonight. I am a firm believer of giving credit where credit is due. Maine played exceptional last night. Yes, this team did not come out ready to play last night. Who takes the blame for that? This team hasn’t come out ready to play in the last 6 games with exception to BU. The entire staff should be fired. In Rocks recent article posted about the numbers, they don’t lie. Our PP is well below average for the talent on this team. Our PK is well below average for the talent on this team, and who knows what is this team is going to get in net. This team has fundemental breakdowns night in and night out infront of the net, and the centermen continue to get beat down low with our D. There is no toughness infront of the net. This team has proved they can beat elite teams in the country. This team has more talent then where they stand in the HEA rankings. Cahoon has FAILED to find chemistry and continuity with this team, and it speaks for itself with where we stand. They have played like a bunch of individuals instead of a team, and the selfishness was evident last night. Some of the blame clearly has to fall on the players, as a coach cannot make play for his team. The teams system has been poor, our passive 1-2-2 forecheck has been broken down game in and game out, there is no accountability held to standards that were set and when the players need the confidence instilled in them at the most critical time in the season, it hasn’t been provided. This team needs change, and clearly, at this point in the season it’s too late for that. I’m interested to see who is in the line up tonight.

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  6. Anonymous

     /  February 18, 2012

    Tegeler and LaRue for Gracel and Power? Wow… In a game that means this much to Umass’s season, let’s insert 2 players who have played in a combined 14 games this season and accounted for 2 points. Is this the recipe for success, or has Cahoon completely thrown in the towel. I hope success….

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  7. Anonymous

     /  February 18, 2012

    I agree let’s trade 25 points combined for 2. Makes great sense. The carousel of line changes need to stop!

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  8. Anonymous

     /  February 18, 2012

    So what do all you know it alls have to say now.

    Like

  9. Anonymous

     /  February 18, 2012

    WHAT I KNOW- is a different Umass team showed up tonight as did a different Maine team. Hats off to the Minutemen for a well deserved victory. This is the inconsistency I was referring to above. This team runs as the defensemen do. They played a competely different game than last night, and Boyle played solid in net. If he plays like that Umass can contend with any team in the nation. For the first time this year, Cahoon made an ajustment and changed the forecheck bringing two in the nuetral zone and it disrupted Maine’s ability to enter our zone with speed. This created turnovers as well as caused regroups. What is unfortunate is it took Cahoon and his staff 3 games against this opponent to employ a more aggressive style which suits the minutemen who are built for speed. Thats what I know. Guzzo was played well and his gift wrapped goal off a Maine mistake was the lift this team needed early on. This was not the Maine team we saw last night clearly. I still don’t agree with the benching of Gracel, Power and Auvenshine. I feel like LaRue did a nice job tonight alongside (earning his way back into the lineup), Carzo who was outstanding and Kiley who played steady, while making the play to help essentially ice the game on the Carzo goal. Tegeler and Olczyk were non factors, as Cahoon rolled 3 lines for the better part of the game. Good news is the minutemen were able to excute on the PP, and did a nice job on the PK as well, winning the special teams battle which often determines the outcome of the game, and has been a question mark as the numbers speak. If Umass plays well defensively, typically they are the team celebrating as the buzzer sounds. With their backs against the wall, they rose to the occasion, and earned this must win. WHAT DO YOU KNOW is “alls” I have to say now…

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  10. Anonymous

     /  February 18, 2012

    enjoyed watching Carzo at center again

    Like

  11. Bob

     /  February 18, 2012

    Rocks what do you think – if pereira scores 20 goals do you think any NHL teams will take a gamble on him and sign to have him devolope in the AHL instead of a 500 or below umass team? He was ranked high before coming to umass and although he needs a little work I think if he adds strength he can play in the ahl. Would possibly being captain or helping the team make the NCAA or even contending for a hobey bring him back? Before the yr he said in a interview with Nesn he wants to play at the garden. I hope his brother tells him to stay in school……

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    • I can’t really say. NHL teams passed on him due to his lack of strength. He has improved in that area but he probably has a ways to go. If he wants to leave he’ll find someplace in the minors to play without much trouble. I haven’t heard anything to indicate he’s looking though.

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  12. Carson

     /  February 19, 2012

    My goodness this team is entertaining/baffling/nerve-wracking. all in all, a 2 point weekend up in maine – i gotta say i’ll take that. especially with northeastern helping us out and essentially splitting their series with providence at home. looking at the remaining schedules…UMass: 2 vs. UNH at Mullins, home & home w/Merrimack – Northeastern: 2 vs. Maine at home, home & home w/BU…gotta think/hope we have the advantage there.

    Like

    • Yeah, lost opportunity for Northeastern in not doing more against Providence with both games at home.

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      • Carson

         /  February 19, 2012

        agreed, especially with tim schaller out the second night due to injury.

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        • Yeah, geez, We think UMass is inconsistent – and they have been – but the Huskies have won at Notre Dame (twice), Michigan, and Minnesota, and yet in conference play, here they are in a virtual deadlock with the Minutemen.

          I still think UMass is in good shape given 3 out of 4 at home left, a shot head-to-head with UNH, and Merrimack looking more human in the second half. The Wildcats only have one game left after next weekend (and it’ll be Maine’s senior night), and the Huskies have Maine for two and BU for two with those teams fighting to lock down home ice. I think there’ll be a lot at stake on the final day of the regular season for every team except Vermont.

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  13. Anonymous

     /  February 19, 2012

    go umass- sweep unh….

    agree w/ cahoon finally changing to a more agressive forecheck….that caught maine off guard…this must now be a staple toot!!

    but benching gracel over someone like czepiel is absolutely nuts…
    no problem seeing larue out there…we need some size to bang along the boards

    go umass!!!!

    Like

  14. Anonymous

     /  February 20, 2012

    For the know it all’s – gee – have to wonder what the BC’s/BU’s/Maine’s of the world talk about/disgust their losing/inconsistencies…

    Can’t imagine what that would be like….

    Like

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