Saturday Recap

The worry that a challenging schedule would result in a slow start in Hockey East play for UMass is now a reality.  Through three games the team has three losses and finds itself tied with Maine for last place, already five points out of home ice.  More than the losses themselves though is how the team has lost.  In two of the games, last week against Boston College and last night against Boston University, UMass gave up a multiple goal lead at home and allowed their opponent to claim victory with a late score.  This team is falling apart in the third period of games.  Is it conditioning?  Is it conservative game planning?  Is it a lack of mental toughness?  It’s amazing to see that out of the 14 goals UMass have given up this season only one has come in the first period.  Nine however have come after the second period.

With the weekend sweep at the hands of the Terriers and last week’s defeat against BC UMass falls to 0-3-0 versus two teams that they went 3-2-1 against in the regular season last year.  Carrying over a theme from yesterday’s post, UMass’ experience was supposed to give them an advantage in games like this.  Instead they were defeated for the second straight night by a freshman goaltender, allowed freshman Danny O’Regan to have another multi-point game, and it was the Minutemen who looked inexperienced as they gave up another lead late.

There were some positives last night.  Shane Walsh moved up to a line with Mike Pereira and Brendan Gracel and picked up his first career goal by taking a Conor Sheary feed and getting it between Matt O’Connor and the post.  Walsh was probably the best all around player for the Minutemen this weekend in my opinion.  Overall I thought the new top lines which also included Rocco Carzo, Steven Guzzo, and Conor Sheary, played well together.  UMass generated 36 shots with last night’s lines.  Rocco Carzo had a very good game, more on that later.  Kevin Boyle played well, making his first start since the season opener.  He ended up with 32 saves and on the last two goals the guys in front of him allowed BU to skate in untouched.

UMass must spend this week finding whatever it is that will allow them to hold late leads.  Again, things do not get any easier for the Minutemen.  On Friday a New Hampshire team that has yet to lose this season visits the Mullins Center.  Despite a scoreless tie last night the Wildcats are still scoring 3.40 goals a game.  UMass will then have to visit Boston College on Sunday afternoon.  Who knows what will happen against two such formidable opponents next week but we do know that another pointless weekend will sink UMass further in the Hockey East standings.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Rocco Carzo
Carzo showed both aspects of his two way game early in the second period when he took the puck away from a Terrier at the blueline and streaked into the BU zone.  Coming in all alone on O’Connor Carzo would get tripped from behind by Garrett Noonan setting up a penalty shot.  He’d then make it look easy coming in and scoring on the Terrier goaltender.  That was the highlight of the night for Carzo but he played very well throughout, even leading the team with three blocked shots and four total shots.

Last night’s highlights from

Dick Baker has the game story for the Republican, noting that Carzo’s penalty shot goal was the first for UMass since Jeff Turner scored one in 2000.  Here are Baker’s game notes.  Baker mentions that the UMass Marching Band was there to do the national anthem, which sounded great.  But of course then they left immediately afterward.  The fact that this program is not supported with a hockey band is mind-boggling to me.  Want to clean up the students’ chants?  A band is the first step to do so and will do a lot more than hanging posters on every door asking them to “Keep It Classy”.

The Collegian has their coverage of the sweep by BU.

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  1. The band is a joke. UMass is a joke by not forcing the band to have some sort of band at the hockey games. We draw over 7,000 for 3 straight games and they flee after the national anthem? The Power and Class of New England is no more. UMass is a joke for having such a lousy broadcast for us watching on the computer at home. Im really paying $100+ a year for a mediocre broadcast? UMass wants to be a real sports program and then fall flat on their face when it comes time to execute. Our students need to step up and own this team. Jerseys, chants (without the F word), dedication, road trips,. But enough of my bitching. Nothing’s changed since I walked onto the campus in August 1993 and it will probably never get better until we get an administration and AD who care about making UMass THE UNIVERSITY of Massachusetts and New England.

    As for the team… more of the same. Better talented players outplayed us again and came away with a win. Our guys just arent smart enough, talented enough as BU and BC. What I am encouraged about is that we did do some nice things so far this season. I prefer to see the building blocks for the season and can see us competing well against
    the lesser teams of hockey east and us finishing just out of home ice. Hopefully next weekend we can come away with some points and start moving forward.


    • Lil Bit…wow that’s a lot of frustration. Let’s see where we match and don’t
      The band is not a joke,
      Not having the band is a joke.
      What happened on your end for the broadcast? Did the video and sound cut in and out? I recorded the game on my DVR and it came out fine. Not sure if the CBS3 channel is different from the All Access you pay for?
      Our students do step up. They make the Mullins Center one of the tough places to play. I’m not sure what planet you’re on. Yes the language is tough and I wished they would step up more when things get tough in a game, but….
      Agree, need an administration that cares, but the money sports are hoops and foots. This has been well documented here and at UMass hoops. You have to move on.
      And agree we are not as talented at the Boston area schools. I’m willing to give the new coach some time. Are you?


  2. The students need to step up? How do you think the Mullins Center reached 7,000 fans that you mentioned for three straight games? I am pretty sure it was a nearly sold out student section in every single game. If you mean the students need to speak out against the team’s performance:

    1. Most students aren’t aware of the issues you speak of, especially the freshmen that have been showing up in great numbers.
    2. Students are the ones that are paying $20,000+ per year already, so don’t demand that we buy jerseys and travel to other games to support the team.
    3. Student displeasure is expressed through not showing up to see games. If UMass continues to disappoint, you can be sure the Mullins Center will go quiet.


  3. Mark – I know the drumline left their drums under in the lower level and took seats in the sands. I know its not the same as a hockey band, but at least they band is supporting the team


  4. It was probably just a little bells-and-whistles thing for homecoming, but the optimist in me wants to believe it was a trial basis to see how the students would respond before committing to anything. The reaction seemed positive.

    The fact that women’s basketball gets a band (which literally accounts for maybe 40% of the attendance at those games, and I’m not even exaggerating) but hockey does not is mind-numbing. I hear that the band’s main excu–I mean, argument for not playing hockey games is that their schedule is already hectic with the three sports they already play at and everything else. Subbing hockey for women’s basketball seems too logical to overlook, but then again, so does putting out a product for Web video subscribers that doesn’t look like it’s being filmed by the town drunk.


    • The too many sports argument doesn’t hold water. Maine, UNH, BC all support hockey, football, men’s basketball and at different times women’s hockey and women’s basketball. And their band pales in comparison to UMass’, in terms of numbers and reputation.


  5. From a student’s standpoint, the band can actually get irritating at basketball games. I don’t know if it’s because they tend to be repetitive or if it’s due to the fact that they’re 10 feet away from us playing so loudly. If they were to ever play at hockey games hopefully they wouldn’t be right in our faces.


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