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View From Section U ▲ Micheletto’s Boyle Blunder

Kevin Boyle committed to play hockey at the University of Massachusetts in February of 2009 at age 16.  After a couple more seasons of juniors, one year played in his native New Jersey and the other on the west coast of Canada, he came to Amherst in the fall of 2011.  He would make his debut in the opening game of the season, a 3-3 tie at Northeastern where he made 29 saves.  A week later he made his Mullins Center debut and got his first collegiate win in a 5-3 decision over Bentley.  If all had gone to plan Boyle would’ve played his last game as a senior last February.  But things did not go as planned.  Instead he’ll make his final appearance in Amherst this Friday.  He’ll be wearing a UMass sweater, but not one adorned with maroon and white.  Instead it’ll be the red and blue jersey of UMass-Lowell where Boyle is putting up excellent numbers in net for a top ten team with their sights set on the NCAA tournament.

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Recap ▲ Minutemen Trampled In 7-2 Loss To Terriers

You wouldn’t know it if you just saw the final score of  7-2, but the Massachusetts hockey team went toe-to-toe with #11 Boston University for over half of this game.  The Minutemen had the lead for most of the first period and with just under seven minutes left in the second period the teams were deadlocked at two goals apiece.  But the end of the game was reminiscent to last season when the wheels would regularly fall off for the Minutemen and they’d give up a rash of goals on the way to an embarrassing result.  That’s exactly what happened last night.

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Recruit Update ▲ Bear, Makar To Play In World Junior A Challenge

It was announced today that future Minutemen and current teammates with the Brooks Bandits Shane Bear and Cale Makar will represent Team Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge that takes place next week.  The WJAC brings together some of the top Junior A players from the globe to compete in Cobourg, Ontario.  Russia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the United States, and two teams from Canada participate in the tournament.  Current Minutemen Kurt Keats and Carmine Buono played for Canada West last year.  Callum Fryer played for Canada-East last year and was named to the all tournament team.  Another former Bandit, Maddison Smiley, played in the WJAC for Canada West as well before coming to Amherst.

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Preview ▲ Minutemen Look To Hand Quinnipiac First Losses In Home And Home Series

#3 Quinnipiac University Bobcats 11-0-2 (4-0-2) ECAC T-1st

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Massachusetts Minutemen 6-3-4 (2-2-4) Hockey East T-3rd

 The Massachusetts Minutemen will try to this weekend what 11 other teams have been unable to do; beat the #3 Quinnipiac Bobcats.  Quinnipiac has been near perfect so far this season, with only a couple ties picked up in last weekend’s action blemishing their record.  The Bobcats are one of the best all around teams so far, excelling on both offense and defense and will present one of the biggest challenges for this up-and-coming UMass team in a holiday home and home series that starts Friday in Amherst.

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Recap ▲ UMass Comes Back From 5 Goals Down To Tie UNH In League Opener

“Best tie ever”.  That’s what Friday night’s game had a lot of fans saying as they left the Mullins Center.  It’s rare for fanbases to get really excited for a tie, but that’s what happens when your team comes back from a five goal deficit and, behind four 3rd period goals, gains a league point with a 6-6 result against New Hampshire.  The previous three games had been marked by tremendous individual efforts, but Friday’s heroics were a complete team effort.  The six goals were scored by six different players and 16 different Minutemen registered a point on the night.

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Countdown: 23 Days ‘Til Dalhousie

Just over three weeks until we get our first taste of UMass hockey this season.  With 23 days left until the exhibition game it’s time to get reacquainted with #23, Maddison Smiley.  Smiley came to Amherst with the expectation of being an offensive threat from the blueline as a freshman, but for a number of reasons that didn’t quite happen.  Still, Smiley showed that his versatility could potential make a big impact on this coming season and the seasons to come.

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Projecting UMass Hockey’s Future Rosters

Those who follow Fear The Triangle on Twitter already got a sneak preview of today’s subject.  BurntBoats, a Boston University fan on Twitter, has been tracking projected future rosters for both BU and BC, showing what the lineup looks like, where the holes are, when recruits are eligible for the draft, and who are the potential flight risks to go pro.  I thought it was good way to visualize such info so I decided to do the same for UMass.  So here’s how the next four seasons of rosters currently look for the Minutemen:

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Montour Named To All-Rookie Team; Kravchenko Snubbed

Brandon Montour was named to the All-Rookie team by the the Hockey East coaches today.  This is a big honor for the former Minuteman and really is a testament to how dominant he was in his short time in Amherst.  As I mentioned earlier in the week I personally did not pick Montour for my ballot for the Hockey East Writers & Broadcasters Association All-Rookie team as I gave the nod to those who played the entirety of the league slate.  But I certainly can understand those would make their selections based on how they played in the league games, even if they didn’t get the chance to play in all of them.

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Season Recap Part II: The Coaching Situation

Throughout the season people have regularly asked me my opinion on John Micheletto, the job he’s done at UMass, and if I thought he should keep his job.  My answer to them was I didn’t want to get too much into “the coaching situation” while there was still hockey being played because I wanted to see how the season played out and I also didn’t want to get caught up in a trap of constantly talking about it.  My worry was if I opened the Pandora’s Box of my views on the coaching and state of the program that it would dominate my postings from then on and take away from the regular game previews, recaps, and writing about the players. Well the season is over.  I’ve written just about all I have to say about the 2014-15 season, so let’s talk coaching.

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Season Recap Part I

You can say one thing, this surely was a memorable season.  Not really for the right reasons though.  To say the season was a disappointing one would be an understatement.  It started poorly back in October, reached depths that I thought the program would never ever see again, showed some inconsistent promise later on, and then fell completely flat in the final two games.  Not much was expected of this team considering they lost two hundred-point scorers last season in Mike Pereira and Conor Sheary as well as other key contributors like Branden Gracel and Joel Hanley.  Plus the team had nine freshman to start the season and the jewel of the class, Brandon Montour, wouldn’t even join the team until second semester.  Still, it was hoped that, perhaps after some early growing pains, the team would be able to make a material improvement upon last year’s 8 wins and 10th place finish.  That did not happen.

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