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UMass Picked To Finish 9th By Hockey East Coaches; Recruit Update

Today was Hockey East Media Day at the TD Garden and while it gives writers a chance to get all the coaches and top players in a room at once to get material for their previews, it also means the release of the coaches’ pre-season Hockey East picks.  This year the collective thought was that UMass will finish 9th in the league and out of the playoffs, something they haven’t done since 2002.  Here’s the predicted order of finish:

1)  Boston College (9)
2)  Lowell
3)  Boston University
4)  New Hampshire (1)
5)  Maine
T6)  Northeastern
T6)  Providence
8)  Merrimack
9)  Massachusetts
10)  Vermont

UMass finishing without a post-season matches with the Hockey East Media poll that I shared yesterday.  I’m not going to comment on the pre-season poll too much, as I’m in the middle of writing up my own previews anyway.  Plus, as I revealed in last night’s preview of Merrimack, I’m picking the Minutemen to finish 7th in the league.  So obviously I’m not on the same page with the coaches.

Here’s an interview with Coach Micheletto from today starting at the 7 minute mark:

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The Republican’s Harry Plumer has a number of stories out of Media Day.  The first is this one with Coach Mick sharing his early thoughts on the team now that he’s had the chance to work with them on the ice.  Captains have yet to be named.  Mick will stress puck possession and turnover avoidance as part of his philosophy.

His second story has Mick and the other coaches commenting on this year’s rule changes.

Lastly, here are the other coaches’ views on the newest coach of the UMass hockey program.

In other news UMass will be on TV quite a bit this year, mostly on the local CBS3 channel.  A couple away games will be picked up by WBIN while the team will make a single appearance on NESN, coming away against Merrimack.

I suspect we’ll be seeing more coverage from the Hockey East media event in the days to come.

Time to check in on the recruits including the newest one, Dennis Kravchenko:

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2013
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts / 0 PIM / 0
The regular season will start for real this Friday for Gillespie, but he’s already off to a good start getting a goal and an assist in five preseason games, the goal coming shorthanded.

Mark Hamilton – D – Salisbury School Crimson Knights (NE Prep) – 2013
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Hamilton is due to return to Salisbury again this season. Prep hockey will start up at the end of November.

Mike Iovanna – RW/C – Malden Catholic Lancers (MA High School) – 2013
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
According to this post from ESPN Boston, it does sound like Iovanna will return to Malden Catholic this year.

Dennis Kravchenko – LW – Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) – 2013
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Kravchenko had a goal in four pre-season games for the Stampede.

Casey Miller – C – Kimball Union (NE Prep) – 2014
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
It’s expected that Miller will return to KUA again after helping the Wildcats to a New England Prep championship last year.

Willy Smith – LW – Springfield Pics (EJHL) – 2014
3 GP / 0 G / 1 A / 1 Pts / 4 PIM
Smith picked up his first point of the season over the weekend.

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