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Season Preview ▲ Micheletto, UMass Hockey In Need Of A Turnaround in 2015-16

When John Micheletto was hired to lead the Massachusetts hockey program in 2012 he told prospective players to “find Amherst on a map and put a circle around it”.  In the years since Micheletto and his staff have done a decent job of getting skilled players to do just that, from Frank Vatrano to Brandon Montour to this year’s talented freshman class, they’ve all found their way to Western Mass.  What that map has not led Micheletto and his players to, however, are wins.  Micheletto enters his fourth season with an overall record of 31-64-9.  Even worse is his record in Hockey East where he’s won barely over 30% of his games at 18-45-6.  The Minutemen have finished in last or second to last in the league in each season under Micheletto.  It is hard to imagine that he survives with similar results this season.  Micheletto desperately needs to turnaround this program starting Friday against Colorado College.  Is this team constructed for such a rebound in what’s a make or break season for Micheletto?  It’s tough to tell.

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Season Preview ▲ Hockey East Team-By-Team

A couple weeks ago I shared my ballot for the media preseason Hockey East poll where I picked Boston College to win it all and our beloved Minutemen to, unfortunately, finish last yet again.  But with the season nearly upon us it’s time to take a closer look at each team, see what each squad has going for it, and what challenges they may need to overcome between now and March (and for some, April).  This is Hockey East!

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News ▲ UMass Hockey Players Arrested, Fined Over Weekend

Over the weekend UMass hockey’s Shane Walsh, Ben Gallacher and goaltender Henry Dill were arrested by Amherst police in connection with a loud party off-campus.  Also arrested was former player Evan Stack who retired from the sport last year due to concussion issues.  The Collegian’s Jason Kates reports that the four were arraigned today in Hampshire County Court and Walsh, Gallacher, and Stack paid fines for violating Amherst’s noise bylaw.  Dill paid a fine for disorderly conduct after “punching a police car”.

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Countdown ▲ 7 Days ‘Til Dalhousie

We are just a week away from the Massachusetts hockey team kicking off its season with the exhibition game against Dalhousie of the CIS.  Since I didn’t have a chance to post yesterday, we have a couple Minutemen to spotlight today.

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View From Section U ▲ UMass Freshmen By The Numbers

The Massachusetts hockey team has a very large, hopefully talented freshman class this year that could be the key to turning around the team’s fortunes on the ice.  Regular FTT readers have become acquainted with them through the regular Recruit Update posts and the recent player features as we count down to the Dalhousie game.  But each year I like to run down each freshman and compare their numbers against other recent Minutemen who have come out of the same junior leagues to see how they stack up.

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Hockey East Coaches Pick UMass To Finish 12th

Today was Hockey East Media Day and, like the media members over the weekend, the league coaches also picked the Massachusetts hockey team to finish 12th in the 12 school league.  Again, not a big surprise given that the Minutemen are losing their top two players off a squad that finished 12th last year as well.  Will the dueling polls with UMass in last serve as motivation for the players and staff?  We’ll have to see.  Here’s the whole poll:

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Countdown ▲ 14 Days ‘Til Dalhousie

I’m about to head off to the UMass football home opener and that’s always a good sign that hockey is right around the corner!  Two weeks from tonight UMass will kick off the season with an exhibition game against the Dalhousie Tigers.  Since I didn’t have a chance to post yesterday, we have two players to look at this morning as part of our countdown.

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Countdown ▲ 16 Days ‘Til Dalhousie

As of today there are just 16 days until fans get their first look at this year’s Massachusetts hockey team in their exhibition game against Dalhousie of the CIS.  Besides the #16, junior Steven Iacobellis will have something else on his jersey this coming season.  A captain’s “C”.

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View From Section U ▲ FTT 2015-16 Hockey East Preseason Poll

Usually I reveal my preseason Hockey East poll much closer to the beginning of the season when the previews are really ramping up.  However, since the polls are due to the Hockey East Broadcasters & Writers Association in the next few days I sat down and thought it through a littler earlier than usual.  So here we go.

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Countdown: 21 Days ‘Til Dalhousie

21 days until fans get to see UMass in their exhibition game against the Dalhousie Tigers.  Today’s countdown features a newcomer wearing #21 for the Minutemen, forward Ryan Badger.  Badger committed to UMass this past spring after playing the previous two season for the Philadephia Jr Flyers of the USPHL.

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