The regular season is starting to wrap up for the UMass committed players just as it is for the college teams. And with the final regular season games comes recognition. A couple future Minutemen were honored by the AJHL this past week. Brooks defenseman Cale Markar was named AJHL Rookie of the Year while UMass’ newest commitment, goalie Matt Murray, was named AJHL Top Goaltender. Last season Nic Renyard won Top Goaltender as well as league MVP, beating out current teammate Austin Plevy who was the AJHL’s top scorer. Shane Bear was a finalist for Defenseman of the Year but lost out to Brinson Pasichnuk, an Arizona State recruit.
Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
42 GP / 10 G / 32 A / 42 Pts / 56 PIM
Bear had a couple assists in his past two games.
Troy Conzo – RW – Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) – 2016 or 2017
55 GP/ 13 G/ 21 A / 34 Pts / 18 PIM
Conzo had a goal and two assists in three games this week.
Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
57 GP / 15 G / 23 A / 38 Pts / 66 PIM
Nachtigall went scoreless this past week.
Jake Massie – D – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
35 GP / 3 G / 5 A / 8 Pts / 16 PIM / -14
Massie had a goal and an assist this past week.
Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2016
26 GP / 0 G / 3 A / 3 Pts / 33 PIM
The playoffs have started for the Kings. McCarthy was scoreless in his one playoff game so far after finishing the regular season with 3 assists in 26 games.
Ty Pelton-Byce – C – Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
46 GP / 12 G / 19 A / 31 pts / 10 PIM / +3
Pelton-Byce had two goals and two assists in four games. He’s now second on the Bucs in scoring and 43rd in the league. He has 7 points in his last 8 games.
Brian Williams – C – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2016
45 GP / 11 G / 11 A / 22 pts / 16 PIM / +4
Williams had an assist in his most recent games.
Niko Hildenbrand – RW – Fargo Force (USHL) – 2016
31GP / 6 G / 8 A / 14 pts / 30 PIM / +5
Hildenbrand had an assist this past week.
Justin Dixson – LW – Tri-City Storm (USHL) – 2017 (NLI Signed)
35 GP / 0 G / 6 A / 6 Pts / 10 PIM / -7
Dixson was scoreless in his one game this past week.
Colin Felix – D – St George’s (NE-Prep) – 2017
25 GP / 11 G / 20 A / 31 Pts
Felix ended the regular season with 31 points in 25 games. St George’s will kick off the playoffs on Wednesday against St Mark’s.
Nick Jenny – D – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2017
44 GP / 2 G / 9 A / 11 Pts / 34 PIM / -1
Jenny was scoreless this past week.
John Leonard – LW – Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) – 2017
38 GP / 3 G / 3 A / 6 Pts / 6 PIM / -4
Leonard was scoreless in his most recent games.
Matt Murray – G – Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) – 2017
22-4-0 / .909 save pct / 2.67 GAA / 3 shutouts
Murray got a win, giving up 3 goals in 43 minutes of work in his one game this past week.
Cale Makar– D – Brooks Bandits (BCHL) – 2018 (NLI Signed)
52 GP / 8 G / 43 A / 51 Pts / 26 PIM
Makar had a goal this past week. Here’s the Bandits’ release on him winning the AJHL Rookie of the Year with some quotes from his coach. Makar is third among lead defensemen in scoring.
Brian Scoville – D – Winchendon (NE Prep) – 2018
28 GP / 3 G / 6 A / 9 Pts
Scoville is scoreless in his most recent games.
John Connolly of the Boston Herald wrote on Monday that UMass should “tread slowly regarding any abrupt decision on the future of Micheletto”. I respect Connolly, a longtime college hockey writer in New England. But he either hasn’t done his homework on the state of the UMass hockey program or is letting loyalties cloud his vision. I could go on and on about why there needs to be a coaching change at this end of the season. But I’ll sum it up with just three sets of numbers. 2-21-3, 39-86-13, 2,868.
2-21-3 is the team’s record over its last 26 games. This squad was supposed to be Micheletto’s best. Though inexperienced, if Micheletto was doing a competent job as a coach the team should improve as they get more games under their belt. Instead you could argue they’re playing their worst hockey to close out the season. The two wins in there have come against bad Atlantic Hockey teams. In Overtime.
39-86-13 is Micheletto’s coaching record over four seasons. Four seasons is more than enough time to judge if a coach is doing a good enough job. A .330 win percentage isn’t cutting it. His best season was his first, when he still only won 12 games. The team has finished in last place two years in a row.
2,868 was this year’s average attendance at the Mullins Center. And that’s with a few games where the announced number appeared very generous. The casual fans have given up on the program and now the hardcore fans are losing interest. The Pond Club has been mothballed and booster attendance is sparse. UMass simply cannot afford to bring Micheletto back for another season.
Connolly is an experienced enough writer that he should look at the above and come to the logical conclusion. Why he doesn’t is a mystery.