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News ▲ Marcou Returns To Amherst As Assistant Coach

The UMass hockey team announced today that former Minuteman James Marcou has been added to Greg Carvel’s staff as a volunteer assistant coach.  Marcou was a star player for UMass from 2007-2010.   During his time in Amherst he was a 2nd Team All-American, All-Hockey East selection, and a Hobey Baker nominee.  Despite only playing three years Marcou is fourth all-time in scoring in the program’s history with 130 points in 111 games.  His 96 career assists is more than any other player who suited up for the program.

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Up To The Minute ▲ Assistant News; Recruit Update; State Of The Triangle

This will be a mixed bag of a post since there’s a few things to catch up on.  It makes sense to start off with this story that ran in the Collegian by Ross Gienieczko where he covers a lot of ground with Greg Carvel who has jumped into the everyday work of being the UMass hockey coach.  In the article Carvel talks about filling in his staff, Toot Cahoon, and the fate of committed recruits.

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Preview ▲ UMass Begins Homestand With Games Against #4 Boston College, Vermont

Boston College Eagles 15-4-3 (8-1-3) Hockey East 2nd

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Massachusetts Minutemen 7-12-4 (2-7-4) Hockey East T-8th

If the Massachusetts hockey team is going to make a run in the second half of the season it has to start now.  The Minutemen will not have to play a game outside of Western Mass until February 13th against Northeastern.  Friday’s game against 4th ranked Boston College kicks off a five game homestand, followed by a game against AIC at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, and then capped off with a return to the Mullins Center to face Northeastern.  We heard a lot earlier on in the season that the team was in need of a good homestretch to reverse their fortunes.  That hasn’t really happened as the team is just 2-5-1 at the Mullins Center.  But considering that the team plays three of its final four regular season games on the road, they desperately need to do well now if they’re to stay out of the bottom portion of the league standings.

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Weekend Wrap-around ▲ Northeastern Surging

We had  nothing but conference play for the Hockey East teams this past weekend.  Yes, the stretch run has come to the league.  Of the six weekend series, four ended up being sweeps.  The weekend helped cement the gap between the four or five teams with a chance at the league title and everyone else.

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Recap ▲ #11 Lowell Dominates UMass In Weekend Sweep, Wins Alumni Cup

The Massachusetts played 120 minutes this weekend against sister school Lowell and was barely in the games for more than a matter of a few minutes.  The River Hawks grabbed an early lead both nights, controlled possession throughout the weekend series, and utterly embarrassed the Minutemen.  Lack of focus and at times what looked to be a lack of effort made for a tough weekend for the UMass hockey team.  A season that started with such promise after a 4-0-1 start in October now is shaping up to be another huge disappointment as the team has gone 3-13-3 since that hot beginning to the season and is in danger of falling to the bottom of the Hockey East standings.

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Weekend Preview ▲ Minutemen Head West To Open Season Against Colorado College

Colorado College Tigers 0-0-0 (0-0-0) T-1st NCHC

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Massachusetts Minutemen 0-0-0 (0-0-0) T-1st Hockey East

The Massachusetts hockey program travels to the foot of the Rockies to open the 2015-16 season.  The Minutemen taking on the Colorado College Tigers to kick off the season won’t be seen as one of the marquee opening weekend matchups, but it is a very interesting one.  And while I don’t know if I’d go as far as saying whatever happens this weekend will be a precursor to the entire season, it should at least give UMass fans a glimpse of what the team may be capable of in the early going.

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Recap ▲ UMass Goaltenders Combine For 4-0 Shutout In Exhibition

The Massachusetts hockey team got much of what it wanted from its warm-up to the 2015-16 season with a 4-0 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers from the CIS.  The shutout was a combined effort as each of the team’s goaltenders turned away all the Tigers shots while playing a period each.  The team’s freshman class made solid contributions in net, on defense, and in the game’s scoring.

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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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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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Up To The Minute 7/22

I’ve been busy the last few weeks with work (bad) and vacation (very good) so time to catch up on the news around the Massachusetts hockey program since my last post.

Of course the biggest news, at least in this area, was former Minuteman defenseman Matt Irwin signing with a one year deal with the Boston Bruins.  Irwin will become the first UMass hockey player to suit up the Bruins, assuming Frank Vatrano doesn’t somehow beat him onto the Garden ice first.

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