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Recruit Update ▲ Bear, Makar Win Brooks Team Awards

In my last recruit update I passed along the news that recruits Cale Makar and Matt Murray were named award winners for the AJHL.  Well recently the Brooks Bandits held an on-ice ceremony to announce their team awards and a couple of Minutebandits were winners.  Cale Makar was named co-Rookie of the Year while Shane Bear won Defenseman of the year.  You can view the ceremony here. 

The AJHL recently began their playoffs.  Makar, Bear, Kyler Nachtigall and the rest of the Bandits got the #1 seed in the south division while fellow UMass recruit Matt Murray and Spruce Grove are the top seeds in the north division.  Both teams got a bye in the first round and will be starting playoff soon shortly.

Shane Bear – D – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
44 GP / 11 G / 31 A / 42 Pts / 56 PIM
Bear had a goal in his last couple regular season games.  Brooks starts their playoff series this weekend.

Troy Conzo – RW – Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) – 2016 or 2017
55 GP/ 13 G/ 21 A / 34 Pts /  18 PIM
Conzo’s regular season is over.  He has a goal and an assist in five playoff games so far.  The Wild beat the Langley Rivermen four games to one to take their first round series.  They’ll face the Chilliwack Chiefs next.

Kyler Nachtigall – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
58 GP / 15 G / 24 A / 39 Pts / 66 PIM
Nachtigall had an assist in the last regular season game.

Jake Massie – D – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
37 GP / 3 G / 5 A / 8 Pts / 25 PIM / -15
Massie went scoreless in his most recent games.

Jake McCarthy – D – South Shore Kings (USPHL) – 2016
26 GP / 0 G / 3 A / 3 Pts / 33 PIM
McCarthy went scoreless in his three playoff games for the Kings.

Ty Pelton-Byce – C – Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) – 2016 (NLI Signed)
51 GP / 14 G / 21 A / 35 pts / 10 PIM / +4
Pelton-Byce continues to do well as the USHL season goes along.  He had two goals and two assists in his last five games.  He’s second on Des Moines in total points and tied for 36th in the league.

Brian Williams – C – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2016
49 GP / 11 G / 11 A / 22 pts / 18 PIM / +2
Williams was scoreless in his most recent games.

Niko Hildenbrand – RW – Fargo Force (USHL) – 2016
36 GP / 6 G / 8 A / 14 pts / 34 PIM / +4
Hildenbrand was scoreless in his most recent games.

Justin Dixson – LW – Tri-City Storm (USHL) – 2017 (NLI Signed)
35 GP / 0 G / 6 A / 6 Pts / 10 PIM / -7
Dixson hasn’t played for the past couple weeks.

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, which was tops for defensemen in the Eberhardt division and 6th among all prep defensemen.  He was named ISL 1st team.  They ended up losing to St Mark’s in their first prep playoffs game

John Leonard – LW – Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) – 2017
40 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
23-4-0 / .910 save pct / 2.60 GAA / 3 shutouts
Murray got a win in his last regular season game.  He ended the season 5th in wins and goals against average and sixth in save percentage.

Cale Makar– D – Brooks Bandits (BCHL) – 2018 (NLI Signed)
54 GP / 10 G / 45 A / 55 Pts / 28 PIM
Makar had two goals and two assists in the last four games.  Here is one of them:

Brian Scoville – D – Winchendon (NE Prep) – 2018
28 GP / 3 G / 6 A / 9 Pts
Scoville finished the season with 9 points in 28 games.  It does not appear that Winchendon made the playoffs.

I haven’t posted any coaching search updates recently because, frankly, there hasn’t been much to share.  Things have been very quiet on the coaching front.  That’s not to say there hasn’t been activity, but any discussions that have taken place have pretty much stayed under the radar.  All the buzz is that Union’s Rick Bennett continues to be UMass’ top target.  It does sound like the school is exploring a number of other targets on the list of potential coaches I posted last month, including former UMass captain Dean Stork.  One name that keeps popping up that isn’t on that list is St Lawrence’s Greg Carvel.  Carvel does hold a graduate degree from UMass and was an assistant coach at Amherst College before becoming the coach at his undergrad alma mater in the North Country.

One article on the opening was this article from USCHO titled “Massachusetts wants to be a regular Hockey East contender.  Is that realistic?”  There’s nothing really new in the argument of the can UMass or can’t UMass finally live up to their potential.  But what I found interesting were the quotes from former UMass coach Toot Cahoon:

“The program is going to be managed by Ryan Bamford, the new athletic director, and everything I know about Ryan and everything I’ve learned about him tells me the program is in really good hands,” Cahoon said. “I would think the process will be better than ever before, and UMass will begin to take a long-term approach to making this program live up to its potential.”

That sentiment is great to hear from someone who was not happy with how previous AD John McCutcheon handled the hockey team.  I can’t help but wonder if Cahoon is one of the people who is helping Bamford behind the scenes.

Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald wrote an interesting overview of college hockey coaching in general and mentioned the UMass opening in the context that it may be just the first of a number of high profile jobs available this offseason.

Ross Gienieczko of the Daily Collegian has his take on how important this hire is for the UMass hockey program.

There are a number of updates from UMass alumni in pro hockey.

The biggest is that former Minuteman goaltender Jon Quick now has the most shutouts of any American-born goaltender in NHL history.  That is simply amazing to think about.

Conor Sheary was called back up to the Penguins recently and all he did was have his first multiple goal game as an NHLer in a 5-3 win over the Rangers.

Interestingly former UMass captain Mike Kostka is interviewed as part of this article about whether current Boston College star Colin White should go pro or not.

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