Coach Greg Carvel and his staff haven’t wasted much time in putting their fingerprints on the incoming recruiting class as they picked up a commitment from goaltender Ryan Wischow just a day after FTT reported that Jake McLaughlin and Jack Suter had committed to UMass.
Like McLaughlin, Wischow was originally heading to Saint Lawrence but was released from his commitment when Carvel took the UMass job. Wischow played this past season for the Fargo Force, with McLaughlin in front of him on defense, where he was considered one of the better goaltenders in the USHL. He went 24-22-1 during the regular season. His five shutouts was tied for tops in the league while his .917 save percentage was 8th best. At one point in the season he had a 151 minute shutout streak. His 2.29 goals against average was the fourth lowest in the USHL and he proved to be durable as his 2,827 minutes played was third most. Wischow, who catches with his right hand, goes 6’1” and 200lbs.
Like a lot of goaltenders, the ‘96 birth year was a bit of a late bloomer. Despite putting up solid numbers in high school in his native Green Bay, Wisconsin, he went undrafted in both the NAHL and USHL. But he got a tryout with a Green Bay Gamblers that eventually turned into a roster spot with the Michigan Warriors of the NAHL. It was in the NAHL that he first committed to play for coach Carvel. With Michigan he had a .918 save percentage and 2.74 GAA before landing a spot with the Force last year.
Wischow sounds like a very good addition to next year’s class as it never hurts to add one of the better goaltenders coming out of the USHL. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be expected to start from the get go or battle with Nic Renyard for the starting spot. Wischow is now the third Fargo player joining UMass next season with Niko Hildenbrand and McLaughlin committing previously. Here’s the official release from the Force on the most recent two commitments from Fargo.
One piece of news that came out shortly after Wischow’s commitment is that goaltender Henry Dill is no longer with the program. There are likely a number of reasons for his departure. His performance on the ice is part of it. After playing in 25 games as a freshman and leading the team with 7 wins, he only played in 7 games total last year. Some of the reason he played less was that he never really improved upon the numbers he put up during his first year. But a lot of it had to do with off ice issues.
After a run-in with the Amherst police before the season where he punched a cop car, Dill ended up being suspended mid-season for a different violation of team rules. This suspension combined with an injured Renyard created an opportunity for junior Alex Wakaluk and he made the most of it, playing the best hockey of his UMass career. That ended up making it that much easier to part ways with Dill.
The plan in net currently appears to be Wischow, Renyard, and Wakaluk as the goaltenders for 2016-17. When Wakaluk graduates next year AJHL netminder Matt Murray will take his spot on the roster. Today Murray was named a Western All-Star by the CJHL, the umbrella organization that oversees all of the Canadian Junior A leagues.
I was able to confirm today that Murray and most of the rest of the recruits from the previous coaching staff are still committed to UMass. Specifically D Shane Bear, F Kyler Nachtigall, F Brian Williams, F Niko Hildenbrand, F Justin Dixson, D Colin Felix, F John Leonard, D Cale Makar, and D Brian Scoville are, at this time, still UMass recruits. Here’s my last Recruit Update with their statistics if you want to get reacquainted with them.
This was a pretty busy day for UMass hockey news considering it’s May 25th. The last piece of news that came out today is that Division I’s newest hockey program, Arizona State, will be visiting the Mullins Center for two games this coming season.
Word is UMass will return the games with a trip to the desert in the 2017-18 season. Next year’s schedule is pretty much finalized so I’d expect to see it continue to trickle out in the coming days and weeks.