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Sunday Recap

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the recap of tonight’s game because, quite honestly, it’s not worth my effort.  It’s also not really needed.  UMass lost by an 8-2 score because they looked like they would’ve rather spent their Sunday watching NFL football than than playing a Hockey East conference game.  This team flat out did not show up and the result was total and complete embarrassment at the hands of the River Hawks.

Usually I try to look for positives to build off of, even in losses.  This isn’t one of those times.  There is absolutely nothing positive to take from this game.  Even the two goals scored by the Minutemen were 5 on 3 gifts that should’ve been scored anyway.  The negatives were plenty.  UMass allowed a team that had scored just 13 goals in eight games, or 1.62 goals per game, to put eight total goals on the board.  Ridiculous.  Lowell came into the game absolutely reeling, losing four of their last five with the only win coming against last place Maine.  UMass made them look like the best team in the country.

I’m sure the first question fans will ask is why Jeff Teglia made the start tonight, his first since the end of January last year.  Originally I figured Coach Micheletto did not want Boyle to have to play three games in five days.  But in his post game press conference the coach says Teglia got the start because the staff thought he gave the team the best chance to win.  Honestly, I’m not going to make too much into the goaltending decision.  Teglia was not the problem tonight as the guys in front of him did absolutely nothing to help him out.  I was a little surprised to see Anthony Raiola out there instead of Mike Busillo, but again it wouldn’t have made a difference.  It wasn’t talent or inexperience that hurt the Minutemen tonight.  They just played like they didn’t care.

Thus ends an extremely disappointing weekend.  The Minutemen had a chance to gain some real points in the standings playing the 9th and 10th place teams in the league.  Instead they come away with just one point.  And even that lone point came only because of some last second heroics on Friday.  A lot of fans have tried to make the point that this team is much better than their record and they’d be fine once they started playing some of the teams further down the standings.  I wasn’t completely sold on that, especially since last year’s team found ways to beat Boston College and Boston University, but was optimistic that the wins would come once the schedule became easier.  Instead this team looks exactly as good as their 2-5-1 Hockey East record.

If UMass loses on Tuesday to a Vermont team now ahead of them in the standings, I think it’ll be time to rethink the expectations of this team.  The hope was Micheletto would be able to take over this veteran UMass squad and find success quickly by making minor adjustments.   After suffering one of the worst losses in the program’s recent history, one has to wonder if perhaps that was a bit too presumptuous.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Mike Pereira
Pereira was one of the few, maybe the only, player who appear to be ready to play tonight, scoring a goal on six shots.

Luckily for all of us there are no game stories available from this game currently.

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5 Comments

  1. Not to be redundant, ..BUT. This was the worst game I have seen this team play in ten years. What a disgusting spectacle. This team should be ashamed of it self for the display they put on this evening. I know these guys are not pros, but come on. Have some respect for your selves. We’ve had season tickets for 10 years. We drive 30 miles one way to every game in all types of weather to support this team, gas is not cheap, and the least you can do is at least make an attempt to play the game that you supposedly love, and whom many of you are getting a sweeter deal on your education than most other students are because of it.
    The four of us who go to these game every week are really disappointed in the play of your two defense men who are affectionately called the Twin Towers. We were hoping that things would get quite a bit better with some size on this team. “Toots” philosophy of playing “turn the other cheek” was really annoying when you’d see a UMASS player get crunched or pounded and they were like a timex… ( they take a lick-in and keep on ticking).
    These two guys are 6’6″ and 6’7″, come on…. an opposing foreword should be very worried about cruising down the wing into the UMASS end when these two guys are on the ice….It sure isn’t that way though. The smaller players on this team are doing the hitting, not them. Their size out there is really useless, they don’t use it. So why not go with the slightly smaller but speedier and more agile players.
    So far, especially this season, these two have been almost no help. Heck, when their on the ice there shouldn’t be any enemy foreword hanging out in front of our goalie, but again, that’s sure not the case. Both these players are (-2) on the ice, both have almost double or more the penalties of any other player on the ice, and between the two of them in nine game they have a total of (1) offensive point. There is definitely a problem here.

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  2. The 3 goals Teglia let in early should have been saves. The team did not start off the game well and after going down by 3 that early, Im sure they just wanted to get the game over with. Its hard to get motivated when you know you have to dig yourselves out of a hole that big. Im very disappointed by the lack of turnout by students. Only 2400 in attendance? I’ve driven out for games during winter break with more fans there. Didn’t agree with alot of the calls the refs made(or didn’t make) in the half of the game i was there for, but i don’t think that even ended up being a factor. The only thing remotely positive about this game was the penalty kill.

    Basically, a few more saves by Teglia in the 1st, a few calls in our favor early, and alot more fans could’ve made this a completely different game. But the team started out flat and im sure what few spirits they had were crushed by those early 3 goals. Lets hope this team is angry and takes it out on UVM tomorrow

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    • As I read your post, I agree that #1 was not the only soft goal. Playing down 2 or 3 against Lowell knowing your best goalie probably won’t see action all night is discouraging, yet no excuse to downshift to neutral as a team.

      2400 is a good crowd. The NFL, work or school the next day, the students in post weekend/Thanksgiving mode=2400. Several Sunday games this year. Who wants to go out on a Sunday night, except diehards? And they were there. For a while I’m guessing anyway.

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      • Sunday games are dumb and should be avoided at all costs. Yet they’re increasing across Hockey East. No idea why.

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  3. I don’t disagree. It’s curious how Adam Phillips goes from having a decent freshman year to basically being a total bust. Oleg Yevenko, the “other half” leads the team in PIM and has little if any impact.
    Back to Phillips. How is he viewed by John Micheletto? Not very highly, either, is my guess based on playing him at forward. That has to be a pure desperation move because of the injuries. But then what message is that sending to the forwards that are sitting and aren’t injured. They can’t be worse, can they?

    I’ve really liked the way coach Mick has handled things, Phillips aside, until last night.

    1) Paging Mike Busillo. I don’t doubt Anthony Raiola has worked hard, but Busillo has made a decent account of himself and I hate when players who have been steady are taken out (see 2 below). Toss out Oleg and put Raiola in for HIM. It wouldn’t have made a difference in last night’s game, but from a pure on paper move, it was the wrong one.

    2) Number 1 above was a smaller one compared to the goalie choice. Again from the “it wouldn’t have made any difference category”, Kevin Boyle should’ve started. The way the team played out, maybe he keeps it at 5-1, but more importantly, getting the benefit on the CBS 3 replay, I haven’t seen a softer goal in my life than the first let in by Teglia. That set a brutal tone to the game. Mick uncharacteristically went to the Toot manual that goaltenders don’t have energy to play 3 games in 5 days. First let’s establish that there is a distinguishable difference between Boyle and either of the other two guys. John Muse, Casey DeSmith and Parker Milner are all goaltenders that have proven the workhorse theory isn’t all bad. From all accounts, Boyle played well during his streak. Listening on the computer, he was shaky in period one in Maine, but so was the defense and he made an awesome stop at the end of the first period to keep the game from becoming 3-0. I don’t get that same “big stop feeling” from the other two, who I know won at Fenway (his only career win) or who shut out BC at home. Play your best in net while he’s playing his best. That choice is Kevin Boyle.

    First real obvious blunders from otherwise seems to be a solid job from our new skipper.

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