Recruit Update

The last recruit update of the season as all of the prospective UMass players are done in their respective leagues.

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2012
35 GP / 5 G / 8 A / 13 Pts / 47 PIM / +1
Gillespie’s Lancers are out of the USHL playoffs after losing to Waterloo in four games.  Gillespie didn’t have any points in the playoffs, but did have 4 PIM.  In recent weeks I’ve speculated whether Gillespie will be asked to come to campus in 2013 rather than this year.  Given the reflective nature of his Tweets following his season, I’m guessing he’s Amherst bound this fall.

Mark Hamilton – D – Salisbury School Crimson Knights (NE Prep) – 2013
29 GP / 2 G / 7 A / 9 Pts
Hamilton was part of a solid defense for Salisbury. USHR ranked him as the 7th best junior during the year. Salisbury’s season ended in the first round of the prep championships.

Mike Iovanna – RW/C – Malden Catholic Lancers (MA High School) – 2013
25 GP / 15 G / 27 A / 42 Pts
Iovanna was named an All-Star for his efforts this season. He capped of the year by scoring the game winning goal in the Super 8 title game to give the Lancers back to back championships.

Casey Miller – C – Kimball Union (NE Prep) – 2014
31 GP / 18 G / 24 A / 42 Pts
Miller finished second on his team in goals, assists, and points as a junior. USHR ranked him as the 26th best among his class. His Wildcats won the New England prep championship for their level where Miller had a key takeaway and assist that led to the game winning goal. He’s due to return to KUA next fall.

Willy Smith – LW – Springfield Pics (EJHL/EmpJHL) – 2014
EJHL: 21 GP / 1 G / 1 A / 2 Pts / 28 PIM
Empire: 22 GP / 7 G / 18 A / 25 Pts / 24 PIM
Smith’s season is over as the Pics were eliminated in the Empire League playoffs. You can’t blame Smith though as he was the leading scorer for the Pics with a goal and three assists in the two playoff games.

K.J Tiefenwerth – C/W – Junior Bruins (EJHL) – 2012
43 GP / 30 G / 47 A / 77 Pts / 14 PIM
Tiefenwerth had the third most points and sixth most goals in the EJHL this year as captain of the Junior Bruins. He had a couple goals, including a game winner in four playoff games.

Shane Walsh – LW – South Shore Kings (EJHL) – 2012
Dubuque (USHL): 23 GP / 5 G / 7 A / 12 Pts / 0 PIM / –8
South Shore (EJHL): 9 GP / 7 G / 6 A / 13 Pts / 4 PIM
Walsh’s Kings were eliminated by the New Hampshire Monarchs in the EJHL semifinals. Walsh had 2 goals in six playoff games. Next stop for him: Amherst.

Thanks to Mike McMahon at the Mack Report we have a few more dates of the UMass schedule next season.  The Minutemen will visit Merrimack on 2/9 and 3/8 before closing out the season on senior night against the Warriors on 3/9.  This actually puts the end of the regular season a week later than this past year.  Just a reminder that next year’s non-conference foes have already been made public.  If you shift the schedule a week, these dates mirror the schedule so far from this past season.  I also just realized that UMass hockey will be dictating where I’ll be spending my New Years Eve again.  Hanover, NH?  Yikes.

The United States of Hockey profiles Team USA, featuring former Minuteman Justin Braun, which will compete in the IIHF World Championships starting Friday.

McMahon also has some interesting news about the NCAA potentially going from full cages to 3/4 face shields.  As someone who never played hockey, I can’t really comment on my personal preference.  However the overwhelming opinion has always been that going away from the full shields/cages may actually reduce serious injury as it would make players more cautious and respectful.  You always hear that the full cages can make them feel a little invincible when going in for a hit.

With Paul Kelley’s recent firing, College Hockey Inc is looking to shake up its structure and governance.