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News ▲ Kravchenko, Smiley, and Burchett Depart From UMass Hockey

Anyone who has followed the recent recruiting haul of UMass coach Greg Carvel and his staff for this fall has realized that the numbers didn’t add up.  UMass will be adding nine newcomers this coming season but has only subtracted two seniors to graduation plus Henry Dill, whose departure was reported last month.  It was clear there was further roster turnover coming and we learned which players would not be returning today.  After Dennis Kravchenko’s departure was first reported today on Twitter by @USHockeyWire, Matt Vautour of the Gazette confirmed that he plus Maddison Smiley and Keith Burchett were no longer with the program.

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Stanley Cup Final ▲ Conor Sheary Claims The Cup

We knew coming into this Stanley Cup Final that another Minuteman would join goaltender Jon Quick on the Stanley Cup as this year’s championship featured the Pittsburgh Penguins and Conor Sheary versus the San Jose Sharks and Justin Braun.  Minuteman vs Minuteman.  Captain vs Captain.  The only question was who it would be.  In the end the Penguins, behind both its superstar players and its emerging rookies, ended up being the victors and claimed the Stanley Cup in six games.

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Recruit Update ▲ McElhenie, Boeing Land At UMass

UMass has secured commitments today from a couple of left-shooting centers for this fall.  The first came from forward Brett Boeing, who left Michigan Tech after his first semester this past winter.  Boeing will be eligible to suit up for the Minutemen for the 2nd semester this coming season and could make his debut at the Mariucci Classic in Minnesota.  The second came a few hours later from Luke McElhenie.  Both players played most recently in the USHL.

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Stanley Cup Final ▲ Sheary, Braun Step Up With Late Heroics In Game 2

Many UMass fans, including myself, were ecstatic that the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks would be playing for the Stanley Cup because it guaranteed that a Minuteman would be immortalized on Lord Stanley’s chalice by the end of the series.  It wasn’t expected however that the two former UMass captains playing, San Jose defenseman Justin Braun and rookie Pittsburgh forward Conor Sheary, would be having such a significant impact on the outcome of the series.

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Up To The Minute ▲ Lazarus Commits To UMass; Former Captains Battle For The Cup

Last week was a busy one on the recruiting front as UMass received four commitments for this coming season over the course of three days.  I covered three of the four in my most recent posts.  But on May 26th Coach Carvel and his staff secured another , this time from Jonny Lazarus, a right shooting right wing who played this past season for the Wichita Falls Wildcats in the NAHL.

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Up To The Minute ▲ Carvel Officially Names His Staff; Recruit Update; Vatrano Gains Some Hardware

In last week’s post I mentioned that UMass coach Greg Carvel would likely name Ben Barr, Jared DeMichiel, and Brennen McHugh to his staff in the coming days.  That day was today as the hiring of Barr and Demichiel as assistant coaches and McHugh as Director of Hockey Operations became official.

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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. 

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View From Section U ▲ Thank You Seniors!

Since I started this blog many a year ago there are few things I look forward to more than writing my annual senior post.  It’s not because I’m looking forward to see them play their last games on the Mullins Center ice.  In fact it’s the exact opposite.  Not only have I watched these players from the stands or through choppy online streams for the past four years but these players’ names first pop-up on my radar when they’re 16 year olds playing in the old EJHL or some strange sounding town in British Columbia.  They play out their junior days, perhaps bouncing from league to league, and finally arrive in Amherst as freshmen.  Or perhaps they take more circuitous routes that have them wearing the jerseys of other college hockey teams before putting on the maroon and white.

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Weekend Wrap-around ▲ UMass Drops To 10th Place In Hockey East

Another weekend without gaining any points has put the Massachusetts hockey team in a precarious position with just a few weeks left in the season.  It also sets up an interesting matchup this weekend as the Maine Black Bears come to town currently inhabiting last place, but are just two points behind the Minutemen.

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View From Section U ▲ Time For A Coaching Change

Let me start by saying that I think John Micheletto is a sharp, innovative hockey mind in the college game as well as a talented recruiter.  I have no doubt that he has spent the last three and a half years working hard to make UMass hockey successful in the competitive Hockey East.  I think he’s a well-intentioned individual who is trying his best.  I also believe that despite all those qualities he is not the right person to be head coach and after this current season, Athletic Director Ryan Bamford should look to someone new to lead the Massachusetts hockey program.

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