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Newcomer of the Year Selection; Recruit Update

So in an annual tradition going back to my days writing about hockey over on UMasshoops.com, I’m making by pick for Newcomer of the Year.  I’ve had some wins in the past, like seeing the potential in James Marcou and Mike Pereira, and some misses such as Ryan Leary.  This year I should have a a better chance than last season when I figured that one of the freshmen goaltenders would have the greatest impact on the squad but couldn’t figure out which one, so I went with Zack LaRue.

With that said, despite some strong showings by Evan Stack, Connor Doherty, and Shane Walsh at Saturday’s scrimmage, I’m going with K.J. Tiefenwerth.  Tiefenwerth, in my opinion, has the best chance to make an immediate impact on UMass’ fortunes this year.  Tiefenwerth was a bit of a surprise to come to Amherst since he was originally committed to Boston College.  But, for whatever reasons, Jerry York decided not to go forward with him at BC and the Eagles loss is UMass’ gain.

Tiefenwerth has spent the last two years as one of the top players in the EJHL for one of its elite teams, the Junior Bruins.  In the EJHL this past year he had 30 goals and 47 assists in 43 regular season games.  That put him at 3rd in the league in total points and 6th in goals.  In four playoff games he had two goals, including a game winner.  In his first year of Eastern Junior he had 26 goals and 31 assists in 44 games.  For that effort he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.  Prior to playing in the EJHL he was a linemate of current Minuteman Mike Pereira as they helped lead the Winged Beavers of Avon Old Farms to a New England Prep Championship.

The book on Tiefenwerth is that he has great vision on the ice.  He’s also known to have great hands that give him the ability to both pass and shoot the puck, and he does both well.  He’s said to be a good skater, something that was on display in Saturday’s scrimmage.  That skill package not only gained him the interest of multiple Hockey East teams but the New York Islanders who have brought the Long Island native to their prospect camp for the past two summers.

Tiefenwerth is a proven commodity from one of the better junior leagues in the country, a player thought highly of by the college and pro hockey communities, and has the type of game to fill a slot on one of UMass’ top lines.  For those reasons I’m picking him my Newcomer of the Year to make an immediate contribution to the team.

A pretty good week for the future Minutemen in this week’s Recruit Update:

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2013
4 GP / 1 G / 1 A / 2 Pts / 0 PIM / -2
Gillespie scored his first goal of the season, on the power play, to go with an assist in the Lancers game this past Friday.

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
All signs point toward Iovanna returning to Malden Catholic this year.

Dennis Kravchenko – LW – Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) – 2013 or 2014
4 GP / 2 G /2 A / 4 Pts / 2 PIM / 0
Kravechenko scored the game winning goal on Saturday for the Stampede while also adding a power play assist.

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
4 GP / 0 G / 1 A / 1 Pts / 4 PIM
Smith did not get on the scoresheet in his one game this past weekend.

Here’s a little something to get you psyched up for hockey on Friday.

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18 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  October 9, 2012

    Did anyone hear the radio show tonight ? now we know why they all left Vermont .

    Like

  2. Ganderson

     /  October 9, 2012

    15 Quatloos on the Newcomer!

    Like

  3. George

     /  October 9, 2012

    Yeah you lost me too Anon.

    Like

  4. Anonymous

     /  October 10, 2012

    I think this junior class will have a big impact and will lead us to home ice in the HE playoffs. I can see us making an appearance in the NCAA’S this year. Here’s a fact to chew on Quick was 4-10 as a freshman and Boyle was 8-7 last year. Just saying. I think Boyle has a big year. I think alot of people are over looking the minuteman. Big things this year! Go UMASS

    Like

  5. Anonymous

     /  October 10, 2012

    Have they named a starter for friday night? I keep hearing great things about Tegs.

    Like

    • Mick said on the radio show last night that lineups for Friday will be posted to the players Thursday night and that’s when he’ll decide. He did say he’s open to using more than one goaltender Friday if circumstances allow for it.

      Like

  6. Anonymous

     /  October 10, 2012

    Is that available anywhere online? Or did I have to catch it live?

    Like

  7. Anonymous

     /  October 10, 2012

    Rocks 22 here a couple of questions for you:

    – How many games will the minutemen win this year
    – How far do you see this years team going
    – Who do you see having the biggest impact on the team
    – What your prediction for the starting line up vs uconn?

    Like

  8. Anonymous

     /  October 10, 2012

    Everything is so up in the air , I don’t believe the team is ready for any game , mick seems to just worry about combing his hair and saying the right thing which i’m not sure what it is .. No line-up till Thurs. p.m. , no team captains till maybe next week .. As a friend of one parents of one of the players , “if I could get my son out of there I would , with both guys gone who wanted him, they sold us a bill of goods that they couldn’t delivered ” .. Good luck this year and watch out for Friday night , be ready ‘ cause uconn will be

    Like

    • George

       /  October 10, 2012

      Maybe he wants to see who steps in the first game or two before naming a captain. Why does he have to tell you his lineup or starting goalie? Let him do his things his way. When he is 1-6, then you can fire away, not that anyone will care. Great, the unnamed family member. Well Mr. Marcou is gone, so it can’t be him. Usually it’s a non impact player, like a certain goalie who was given a second shot after a stint in the USHL several years back. Blah blah.

      Like

  9. Anonymous

     /  October 10, 2012

    Love the negativity before the team plays one game.

    I dont have an opinion of coach Mich either way, I think its funny you do because of his hair. I’d love to know what parent that is, everyone seems pretty excited for the season to start.

    Like

    • From now on I’m going to insist that UMass hire only bald coaches so we can avoid such things.

      Like

  10. Anonymous

     /  October 10, 2012

    tell the kid and his parents to leave then…and umass will replace his roster spot w/ vatrano a.s.a.p. – go umass and destroy uconn friday

    Like

  11. Anonymous

     /  October 10, 2012

    1. Vatrano has to sit out a year.
    2. Vatrano has to enroll here, and get his situation sorted out with BC.
    3. Agreed, destroy Uconn.
    4. Totally agree with posters above about Michs lineup. He doesnt have to tell anyone except for who is in that locker room, and they obviously know.
    5. The fascination with the captains this year absolutely kills me. Have you read any of the stories with the players quoted in mass live? They dont care, and say it raised the level of accountablilty amongst the players.
    6. Mr Marcou, HAHAHAHA. What a character.

    Like

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