This blog is called Fear The Triangle. The triangle is in reference to the odd looking jerseys that the Massachusetts hockey program wore in the 1990s when the program was restored. The blog name is also supposed to be a way to call out how far the program has come since those triangle years when the team was regularly the doormat of Hockey East and rarely won. It’s also a way to remember the unheralded players during that era that helped build the program to the point that it was competing for a Hockey East championship and NCAA tournament bids in the mid-2000s. Ironically some of those triangle-era players were in town yesterday for UMass hockey alumni weekend and were on hand to witness the 11-1 shellacking the Minutemen took last night.
Those triangle teams suffered similar losses, though none quite as bad as last night. Yes, those triangle teams were bad, but that was really due to talent disparity created when coach Joe Mallen was handed the task of taking a program from zero to Hockey East in less than a year and a half. Despite the challenge of going up against the best programs in the country those teams tried and worked hard every night. I experienced more lopsided losses from that time than I care to remember, but I don’t remember a lot of times, if at all, when those teams just flat out quit.
That’s what I saw last night though. I team that gave up somewhere during the second period. They quit and decided the game wasn’t worth their effort anymore. I always try to avoid saying a team quit, because that’s something that’s not easily determined. Lopsided losses happen for a variety of reasons. I avoided saying it to describe the third period meltdown against BU to start the season because though they played horrible it still looked like they were trying. Last night they stopped trying. I’ve never seen players just stand in their own zone and let opponents skate by them without getting a body or stick on them and allow them to freely shoot upon their goalie. That’s what happened for the final 30 minutes of last night’s game. No effort. No fight. No pride.
The good news is the team won’t have long to sit and stew about last night’s embarrassment. Not only do they play two days from now, but they have a chance of redemption against this same Catamount team. If there is a lack of effort and fight in that game, then we have a serious problem with his hockey program. If they fight hard and execute their game plan against the Catamounts then last night could be see as a turning point. Everyone involved with this program (coaches, players, and administrators) should’ve woken up this morning and asked themselves “What can I do to assure that what happened last night never, ever happens again?” What transpired last night was simply unacceptable.
Fear The Triangle Player of the Game
Player of the game goes to any fan who attended last night’s debacle and still decides to attend another hockey game this season.
Burlington Free Press notes that this tied a 1979 Catamount record for most goals scored.