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Recruit Update

A little late on this with the odd Tuesday game this week.  So here’s this week’s recruit update sans Kenny Gillespie who recently decommitted.

Ben Gallacher – D – Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) – 2013 (transfer)
5 GP / 1 G / 0 A / 1 Pts / 30 PIM / –2
Gallacher is still serving his second 8 game suspension of the season.

Mark Hamilton – D – Salisbury School Crimson Knights (NE Prep) – 2013
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Sorry, the prep league just doesn’t seem to make it easy to find their players’ stats.

Mike Iovanna – RW/C – Malden Catholic Lancers (MA High School) – 2013
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Malden Catholic’s first game is this weekend.  Iovanna is mentioned in a couple of HS hockey previews from the Herald’s Jim Clark.  The first is this overall DI preview in addition to this piece with Clark’s HS hockey rankings (MC is #2) and top players.  The Globe may have written about Iovanna as well but you’ll never see a link to them on FTT again.  Ever.

Dennis Kravchenko – LW – Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) – 2013 or 2014
21 GP / 10 G / 11 A / 21 Pts / 45 PIM / +3
Kravchenko did not play this past weekend due to injury.

Patrick Lee – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2014
30GP / 13 G / 16 A / 30 Pts / 12 PIM / 0
Lee had a couple of assists in recent games.  The Calgary Herald recently ran this story on the Bandits and their amazing 28-1 record, with Lee quoted.

Casey Miller – C – Kimball Union (NE Prep) – 2014
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Like Hamilton, I simply cannot get aggregated prep stats.  Miller is mentioned in this preview of KUA’s hockey season.

Willy Smith – LW – Springfield Pics (EJHL) – 2014
14 GP / 0 G / 2 A / 2 Pts / 6 PIM
Smith had an assist in one of his recent games.

Frank Vatrano– LW/C – Junior Bruins (EJHL) – 2013
17 GP / 11 G / 9 A / 20 Pts / 18 PIM
Vatrano had a game with three goals and two assists this past week against Rochester.  The three goals were scored on three shots.  Wow.

While my Mid-Season Recap yesterday was definitely a glass half empty viewpoint, here’s a well thought out and more optimistic viewpoint from the Collegian’s Nick Canelas.

Lastly, since I haven’t had a chance to earlier, I just want to take a moment to talk about the meet and greet with Coach Micheletto and the rest of the coaching staff following Saturday’s game.  First off, it was better attended than I expected considering the team had just been on the wrong end of an uninspired sweep at the hands of Colgate.  It goes to show that win or lose there’s a segment of hardcore fans out there will support the program no matter what.  While there were many familiar faces there, I also enjoyed meeting and talking to a few fans I hadn’t met before whose loyalty to UMass hockey goes back to the beginning of the triangle era.

I did get to speak with Coach Mick for a little while and he certainly did not appear shaken by what had transpired in the two games last weekend.  I give him credit for going to speak with fans following the losses, which was probably the last thing in the world he wanted to do at that point and time.  It’s clear that he’s a methodical person and has a certain way he wants to approach the team and the game and I don’t think a bad stretch of a few weeks is going to change that.  He seems to have an long range plan and I’m interested to see how it plays out.

Also in attendance were the assistant coaches as well as de facto Athletic Director Rocko DeLuca.  I say de facto because I honestly don’t even know if John McCutcheon realizes we still have a hockey program.  He did not make it out to Amherst Brewing Company that night, invisible that night just as he is during games at the Mullins Center.  Yes, he was absent to support his first year hockey coach coming off two tough losses and surrounded by the program’s most diehard fans.  You’ll be happy to know that reports are that McCutcheon did make his way to University Drive tonight to “work the room” with the fans of the men’s and women’s basketball programs for another event at ABC.  Yep, now you know where you rank in the eyes of our Athletic Director, UMass hockey fans.

After coach Mick was hired I wrote this post, suggesting ways that, in the wake of allegations McCutcheon doesn’t support the hockey program to the extent he should, he could win back the confidence of the hockey faithful.  In it I suggested seven actions he and the department could take to publicly show their commitment to hockey.  To their credit, two of the suggestions, finding a radio home for the sport and hiring a full time Director of Hockey Operations, have happened.  But sadly some of the easiest, most basic suggestions, such as “be seen at games and/or events” and “get on the radio” haven’t happened.  The reports were that Toot Cahoon left/was fired because he was fed up with the lack of support the hockey team got at the university and he had the gall to be vocal about it.  Based on everything I’ve read and heard, I totally believe that.  And in fact, it doesn’t take much more than basic observations skills to see that’s the case.  In the time since Toot left I’ve done my best to detail evidence corroborating the fact that McCutcheon in fact does not support hockey to the extent he should.  Hell, just in terms of his presence, McCutcheon’s public support of hockey in the last six months has consisted of the press conference announcing the hiring of Micheletto and an event at the UMass Club featuring Mick and basketball coach Derek Kellogg.  He’s yet to be seen on the concourse during a hockey game or in the Massachusetts Room in between periods with the programs boosters.  Based on that and everything else we’ve heard in recent months, how much would you say John McCutcheon is personally dedicated to the success of UMass hockey?

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