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Up To The Minute ▲ 2016-17 UMass Hockey Schedule Released

Massachusetts hockey fans can begin to map out their fall and winter weekends as the 2016-17 schedule was released earlier this week.  With the UMass Athletics website temporarily in transition the schedule is only available in Tweet form:

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Recruit Update ▲ BC High’s Jayson Dobay Commits To UMass

 

One of the criticisms of the John Micheletto era at UMass was that he did not seem to make much of an effort to lure Bay State recruits to the state’s flagship university.  New coach Greg Carvel  talked about targeting local talented players when he was hired and just a few months into his regime he has landed his first in-state commitment.  Defenseman Jayson Dobay, who this past season played for BC High, announced his commitment on Twitter last night:

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Recap ▲ Lowell Sweeps Season Series Over UMass With 4-2 Win

For the fourth time in the last five years the Massachusetts hockey team was swept by its fellow UMass system foe with Lowell gaining their most recent victory 4-2 Friday night.  The loss brought UMass’ record against the River Hawks to a pitiful 1-13-1 over the last half a decade.  The Minutemen have not won the season series against Lowell since a three game sweep in 2010-2011.

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Recruit Update ▲ Hildenbrand Traded To Fargo

It’s been a busy time for UMass’ most recent commit.  Just a week after Niko Hildenbrand announced his intentions to play in Amherst he was traded from the Waterloo Blackhawks to the Fargo Force.  He was traded with a draft pick for North Dakota commit Zach Yon.

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Recap ▲ UMass Falls 5-2, Hands Maine Their First Road Win Of Season

This weekend’s series against last place Maine appeared to be an ideal opportunity for the Minutemen to gain valuable Hockey East points, grab their first Hockey East win since early November, and create some momentum heading into the final stretch of the season.  They may still achieve some of those goals with a win tonight.  But UMass kicked off the weekend with an incredibly disappointing 5-2 loss to the Black Bears that made official the fact that the season has become nothing short of a train-wreck.

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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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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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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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UMass Picked To Finish Last in Hockey East Media Poll

With Media Day taking place tomorrow the Hockey East Writers and Broadcasters Association released their preseason poll late last night.  UMass was picked to finish last in the conference.

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Up To The Minute: NHL Draft Coverage

Just wanted to pass along some news and links in the wake of yesterday’s NHL Draft and future Minutemen Jake Massie and Ivan Chukarov being taken by the Hurricanes and Sabres respectively.

Coach Micheletto was obviously happy to see two of his recruits taken in Sunrise.

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