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Friday Recap

Well after UMass’ successful special teams so far this season was the focus of my own and the media’s game previews going into last night, it was easy to see what led to the 1-0 home loss to the Northeastern Huskies.  UMass’ special teams totally failed them.  The Minutemen had four power play opportunities in last night’s game, including five straight minutes in the waning moments of the third period thanks to a major penalty by the Huskies.  UMass had a grand total of 9:46 with the extra man advantage.  Despite all this they managed just six shots on the power play and could not manage any goals.  Even worse, the lone goal of the game was scored shorthanded by the Huskies on a fluky play where a confused Husky got on the ice late on a line change, setting up an easy breakaway.

Northeastern goaltender Chris Rawlings deserves a lot of credit for last night, keeping the Minutemen off the board completely.  Especially impressive was his glove work in the game.  Still, you would hope the Minutemen have the weapons to at least convert once on their 31 total shots and ample power play opportunities.  Rawlings made some top notch saves but it seemed like a good portion of shots also ended up right in his chest protector, which he absorbed them, giving up minimal rebounds.  It’s also easy to keep UMass from scoring when two of its biggest scoring threats, Mike Pereira and Branden Gracel, both end the game with zero shots on goal.

The game cost the team more than just points in the Hockey East standings as both Troy Power and Darren Rowe were hurt and had to be helped to the locker room.  Their status is uncertain, but the injuries looked serious enough where you’d expect they could miss some time in the lineup.  Add their injuries to those of Shane Walsh, Evan Stack, and Emerson Auvenshine and UMass has a serious depth problem, despite their large roster.  Expect to see Zack LaRue and/or Andrew Tegeler in the lineup tonight if Walsh and Stack are not yet ready to return.  Rowe’s slot is a little easier to fill since Mike Busillo is available and in my opinion has played well enough to start every night anyway.  Coach Micheletto did say after the game that he was unhappy with the type of hits that sent them out.  I didn’t get the best look at them but fans both in the Mullins Center and watching at home said they were pretty dirty.

Whether the Huskies took liberties with their hits or not, it’s very important that UMass play with their heads tonight and not let emotion control their play.  It’s easy to want to retaliate for cheap hits in kind or want to seek revenge for your injured teammates, but this game is too important for that.  A sweep at the hands of a team they’re now tied with cannot happen.  Not only would it allow the Huskies to jump ahead in the standings but they’d also take the all important tie-breaker.

Fear The Triangle – Kevin Boyle
Boyle had yet another great game and gave his teammates every opportunity to come back and win.  While not tested a ton, as the Huskies only generated 18 shots against him, he still made some key saves on the night.  Boyle’s 1.53 goals against average is now tops in Hockey East and 4th best in the country.

UMass was the better hockey team for most of the game says the Boston Herald game story but Rawlings was the best player.

In the Gazette recap Micheletto says he was happy with how the team played despite the loss.

In the Republican story the coach says the team is capable of scoring, but just didn’t last night.

The takeaways from College Hockey News accurately notes that the defense playing well in front of Rawlings also deserves credit.

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Weekend Preview

Massachusetts Minutemen 3-4-0 (2-4-0) T-7th Hockey East

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Maine Black Bears 2-9-0 (1-5-0) 10th Hockey East

This coming weekend looked pretty challenging when first looking at the schedule during the offseason.  At trip up to Orono to face Maine is never easy.  And an oddly timed Sunday night matchup against a Lowell team that made it to the NCAA tournament last year didn’t seem like  a walk in the park either.  However given the results through the first month of the season, the chance that UMass could take a bunch of points from the Hockey East opponents seems better than initially thought.  That still doesn’t mean it’ll be easy though.

Despite the season still considered relatively early, Maine has already had their fair share of hardship, including a seven game losing streak over the course of four weekends.  Fans are not happy in the state of Maine given the poor performance of the Black Bears who only have a couple wins on the season in 11 total games, one coming against Army.  But Maine does coming into the weekend on a high note, beating Lowell in Lowell this past Saturday to gain their first conference win.

There were some repercussions from that game however.  One of Maine’s better defensemen, Brice O’Connor, decided to cross-check Lowell’s Scott Wilson to the face in the waning seconds of the third period and ended up getting a disqualification.  That means he cannot dress for Friday against the Minutemen.  That’s not a good thing for a team that is dead last among Hockey East teams in goals allowed at 3.18.  Blueliners like Nick Pryor will have to pick up the slack in O’Connor’s absence.  It’ll also be interesting to get a first look at freshman defenseman Ben Hutton who is highly regarded.  In net it’ll likely be Martin Ouellette who has started four of the last six games and has a 2.79 goals against average.

The Bears may not exactly be at full strength on offense on Friday either.  Joey Diamond was hurt in this past Friday’s game and missed Saturday.  Matt Soucy of the Maine Hockey Journal yesterday tweeted that Diamond is doubtful against UMass.  With or with out him they’ve struggled mightily to score this season.  Only one player has more than one goal on the season, sophomore Connor Leen with three.  Maine is averaging an anemic 1.36 goals scored per game.  Not only is that last among Hockey East teams, it’s second last in the nation next to Alabama-Huntsville.  If that’s not bad enough, their power play is converting at a rate of 3.9%.  That’s not a typo, they’ve converted 2 out of 51 chances.  Yikes.

UMass has two distinct advantages going for them against Maine.  First, the team has improved their offense at even strength in recent games.  That’s key as Maine has been pretty bad overall at giving up goals, but their penalty kill has not been horrible.  Secondly, assuming he gets the start, Kevin Boyle not only has experience playing up at Alfond, but he actually has a 4-1 win to his name there.  Alfond is a tough place to play, even if the Maineiacs may be subdued by their team’s performance.  Familiarity with the arena and the atmosphere should help Boyle in net.

UML River Hawks 2-4-1 (1-3-1) 9th Hockey East

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Massachusetts Minutemen 3-4-0 (2-4-0) T-7th Hockey East

On display in the form of the Lowell River Hawks this season is a very interesting dynamic that you’ll see once in a while in sports.  When you’ve hit rock bottom, as Lowell did two seasons ago, and there are zero expectations from either your opponents or your own fans, sometimes it’s possible to sneak up on people, gain some momentum, and ride that wave of surprise all the way to the NCAA regional finals.  But once the season starts anew and the pressure and spotlight is put upon virtually same personnel, suddenly it’s very tough to get wins.  That appears to be what’s happening to Lowell this year.

Like Maine, Lowell has only managed two wins on the season, one against the equally struggling Black Bears, one a surprising win at Colorado College out in the Centennial State.  Still, two wins is pretty pathetic for a team that was the preseason #6 team in the country and one which many people thought would challenge Boston College for the Hockey East crown.

The River Hawks have had problems on both sides of the ice.  Offensively they’ve been unable to average even two goals scored a game, coming into the weekend at just 1.86.  The team has gotten some scoring from the guys they need it from; Josh Holmstrom has three goals on the season while Riley Wetmore and Derek Arnold have two apiece.  What’s really surprising though is the performance of reigning Rookie of the Year Scott Wilson.  Wilson so far has one goal on just 16 shots on the season along with a –6 rating.

Offense is the most blatant problem for the River Hawks.  Defensively they’ve been better at times.  While goaltender Doug Carr has had a couple tough games, such as giving up six goals to BC or four to Maine this past weekend, in all other games he’s only allowed one or less.  By the looks of it, they’ll need one of Carr’s better games on Sunday afternoon.

Massachusetts had some of their worst games against UML last year, with the River Hawks coasting to what was an easy season sweep.  I would hope that’s something that has been stewing during the offseason and Sunday will allow for the first opportunity to atone for past failures.  A little emotion on the part of the Minutemen in this game wouldn’t be a bad thing.  While the UMass and players tend to look forward to visits from BC or BU, the game against Massachusetts is one that UML will always circle on the schedule.  Their players get up for it and the River Hawks love to see the satellite campus stick it to UMass.  Sunday is a huge opportunity in the on again off again rivalry between the schools.  Hopefully the Minutemen take advantage of a Lowell team that is currently reeling.  The prospect of gaining points at home is also an opportunity that shouldn’t be overlooked.  The home schedule is weighted in UMass’ favor in the first half of the season so every point they can maximize from that advantage is huge.

Beer The Triangle
I will not be at Maine on Friday as I’ve only made the trip north on the years where I can see two games up at Alfond (thus being able to purchase two Alfond baked potatoes).  But for those that are making the trip, I really enjoyed my first trip to Nocturnem in downtown Bangor.  Closer to campus is Bear Brew Pub where you can find the locally brewed Black Bear Microbrew.  But don’t eat there, save your appetite for Pat’s Pizza next door.

Sunday will be spent at the Hangar watching the Patriots game during the afternoon before it’s time to head over to the Mullins.  Currently on draft there is a Meantime Naval College Old Porter.  It’s rare to stumble across a beer I haven’t heard of, but this was one.  It was good too, a very good traditional English porter.  I’ve literally never seen this on draft anywhere else.

The Collegian previews the upcoming weekend.

The Republican features Kevin Boyle in their preview.

CHN has UMass all the way up to #4 in their power rankings.

Atlantic Hockey is talking to Alabama-Huntsville, Navy, Rhode Island, and St Anselm about joining their league.  I love the idea of more college hockey teams.

Recruit Update

Ben Gallacher – D – Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) – 2013 (transfer)
4 GP / 1 G / 0 A / 1 Pts / 15 PIM / –2
It didn’t take Gallacher long to make an impact after returning from suspension.  Sunday he scored his first goal of the season and it ended up being the game-winner for the Gamblers.

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2013
14 GP / 5 G / 2 A / 7 Pts / 25 PIM / +1
Gillespie scored a goal in this past Friday’s game for the Lancers, which is pretty good considering he was only in the game a little over eight minutes before getting a game misconduct for hitting from behind.  He ended up being +3 for the weekend.

Mark Hamilton – D – Salisbury School Crimson Knights (NE Prep) – 2013
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Salisbury is scheduled to play their first game on 11/28

Mike Iovanna – RW/C – Malden Catholic Lancers (MA High School) – 2013
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
Malden Catholic’s first game is on 12/15

Dennis Kravchenko – LW – Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) – 2013 or 2014
14 GP / 8 G / 9 A / 17 Pts / 26 PIM / +6
Kravechenko had two power play goals for the Stampede this past Friday night.  Kravchenko is 4th in the USHL in points and 7th in goals.

Patrick Lee – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2013
18 GP / 9 G / 10 A / 19 Pts / 6 PIM / 0
No points for Lee this past week.

Casey Miller – C – Kimball Union (NE Prep) – 2014
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
KUA plays its first game on 11/28

Willy Smith – LW – Springfield Pics (EJHL) – 2014
6 GP / 0 G / 1 A / 1 Pts / 4 PIM
No points for Smith in his one game this past week.

Frank Vatrano– LW/C – Junior Bruins (EJHL) – 2013
8 GP / 5 G / 2 A / 7 Pts / 12 PIM
The Junior Bruins did not play this past weekend and are scheduled to play tomorrow night.

Kevin Boyle and Rocco Carzo are mentioned in CHN’s Joe Meloni’s “Three Things I Think”

Also from CHN, Mike McMahon catches up with former Minuteman coach Toot Cahoon and his transition to retired coach/media member.

It looks as if Martin Ouellette has earned the starting job in Maine and is likely to face the Minutemen on Friday.

Northeastern freshman Cam Darcy has left school.

Polls & Awards

Weekend wins against rivals Notre Dame and Boston University means that Boston College maintains their spot atop the USCHO rankings this week.  UNH jumped four spots to #5 this week while BU stays put at #11.  Lowell’s split against Maine drops them out of the rankings.  UMass’ success allows them to gain ground in the also receiving votes group, ahead of Northeastern and Merrimack and just behind Providence.  The team has yet to gain any votes on the USA Hockey/USA Today poll however.

BC’s successful weekend nearly gives them a sweep of the Hockey East weekly awards.  Kevin Boyle and Mike Pereira are named Top Performers for their play against Providence.  The release also notes that UMass’ seven straight games with a power play goal is the longest since 2003-04.

The Collegian has their recap of Friday’s win.

Interesting to note that Maine will be without one of their best defensemen this coming Friday against UMass as Brian O’Connor received a game disqualification for cross-checking Scott Wilson in the face late in the game against Lowell.  The Black Bears may be without forward Joey Diamond as well as he sat out the second game against the River Hawks with an injury.

Mike McMahon has this interesting table that shows where Hockey East’s recruits are coming from.

Polls & Awards

Boston College maintains the top spot in the USCHO poll after beating Massachusetts yesterday afternoon and winning up in Orono on Friday.  Despite their overtime loss to the Minutemen, New Hampshire stays at #9 in the rankings.  Boston University is at #11 while Lowell is able to stay in the rankings at #17 despite a 1-3-1 record.  UMass is back in the also receiving votes section, joining Providence, Northeastern, and Merrimack.

Much the same in the USA Hockey/USA Today rankings.

Merrimack gets honors for Team of the Week and Player of the Week in Hockey East after their weekend sweep of Northeastern.  Shane Walsh was named a Top Performer for his assist on Darren Rowe’s game winner on Friday.  Seems a little odd that Rowe, Troy Power, or Kevin Boyle were not honored for their performances this past weekend, but hey this is Hockey East we’re talking about here.

Joe Meloni of College Hockey News has his thoughts on yesterday’s game at BC, hitting on the play of Conor Sheary, the emergence of Kevin Boyle, and the inability to finish.  He has more on Boyle earning the starting job in his weekly Three Things piece.

Nick Canelas of the Collegian has a column as Boyle establishing himself as the go to guy in net as well.

The Herald has their recap of yesterday’s game, as does the Globe.

Hey students and Western Mass-type people, if you’re free tomorrow afternoon make sure to head over to Garber Field to cheer on the UMass Field Hockey team in the NCAA Play-in game against Rider.  Go UMass!

Polls & Awards

First off I hope all the Massachusetts hockey fans out there are faring okay in this wicked weather.  I know FTT has loyal readers along the eastern seaboard from Annapolis to Maine so certainly I wish everyone the best in making it through the hurricane.  Triangle HQ held up pretty well considering I’m only a half mile off of the Atlantic, so no complaints here.  The beer is still cold, that’s really all I can ask for.

With today’s release of the USCHO poll UMass will be facing two top ten teams this coming weekend.  Boston College, who the Minutemen face Sunday afternoon, remain the top team in the country while undefeated New Hampshire moves into the top ten to #9.  With their sweep of the Minutemen Boston University moved up a spot to #12 while Lowell continues to fall in the poll and are currently at #14.  Northeastern remains at #15.  The Huskies do not make the top 15 cut in the USA Hockey/USA Today poll however.

Only a partial Hockey East Award release due to power issues at the office.  BC took top team honors for their sweep of Lowell.

Richard Murray has been writing a series of interesting profiles on UMass players for Hockey Future.  Kevin Boyle is the latest.

Hockey East Preview: #2 Lowell River Hawks

Hockey East Preview: #2 Lowell River Hawks

2011-12 Storyline: Under the leadership of first year coach Norm Bazin the River Hawks complete one of the most improbable turnarounds in college hockey history

2012-13 Storyline: The pressure will be on Lowell to repeat the magic as they return most of last year’s squad

Player To Watch: Scott Wilson F (16-22-38)

Player Missed Most: Matt Ferreira F (14-18-32)

Newcomer To Keep An Eye On: Michael Fallon  F

Random Fact: Lowell will look to make the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history

Beer The Triangle Favorite Local Brew: Just over the state line in Nashua, New Hampshire is Martha’s Exchange Restaurant and Brewery.  I’ve only had their stuff at beer fests, but they’re definitely recommended.  I might have to mix up the usual pregame routine at Lowell Beer Works someday and make a visit to the source

Team Outlook

Lowell took everyone by surprise going from just four Hockey East victories in 2010-11 to 2nd place in the league and the NCAA tournament last season.  That won’t happen this year as the coaches and fans expect the River Hawks to be among the top two teams in the conference this year.  Yet, they’ll still have to prove themselves to some of the doubters out there who call what Lowell did last year a fluke.

One of the reasons many think Lowell can push Boston College for the league title is the fact that they basically didn’t lose much from last year.  Sure, they’ll miss the likes of David Vallorani and Matt Ferreira, but if stars like sophomore Scott Wilson and junior Derek Arnold continue to develop and they get contributions from guys like Terrence Wallin and Josh Holmstrom, they won’t have problems replacing the scoring they lost.  Personally I’m interested to see what Joe Pendenza does this coming year, as he’s one of the hardest working forwards in the conference.

Seniors Malcolm Lyles and  F/D Colin Wright and junior Chad Ruhwedel are the upperclassmen at defense this year.  Yet they also return a couple of sophomores who all played well in their first year in the form of Jake Suter and Zack Kamrass.  Keep an eye on highly regarded redshirt freshman Dmitri Sinitsyn who started classes at Lowell mid-season last year but didn’t play.

At the start of last year Doug Carr was coming off a sub-par freshman year and was supposed to battle fellow sophomore Marc Boulanger for playing time all season.  Instead he ended up having one of the best statistical seasons among all the country’s goaltenders.  He’ll look to be as good if not better as he enters his junior year.  If he stumbles though look for freshman Connor Hellebuyck, a Winnipeg draft pick, to get a chance instead.

They’ll Finish Lower Because: The pressure and expectations to win proves to be too much

They’ll Finish Higher Because: All their star players from forwards to defensemen to goaltender are a year older and a year better

Fear The Triangle Fearless Hockey East Predictions
1. ??
2. Lowell River Hawks
3. Boston University Terriers
4. New Hampshire Wildcats
5. Providence Friars
6. Maine Black Bears
7. Massachusetts Minutemen (preview 10/10)
8. Merrimack Warriors
9. Northeastern Huskies
10. Vermont Catamounts

UMass Sports Weekly sits down with Kevin Boyle to talk about pre-season polls, pizza, and opposing crowds:

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I’m looking forward to seeing the team on the ice tomorrow during the 4pm scrimmage at the practice rink.  I’ll be looking to see if there is any noticeable difference in play style under Micheletto at this early point, who of the three goaltenders look good in net, and getting a first glance at most of the freshman after reading and writing about them for so long.  Of course I’m equally as interested to see what Stoney has on tap at the Hangar.  I’ll have a recap of what I see on Sunday.

Recruit Update

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Omaha Lancers (USHL)
2 GP / 0 G / 1 A / 1 Pts / 2 PIM / +1
Gillespie registered his first USHL point over the weekend, an assist on the only goal in the 1-0 win for the Lancers.

Shane Walsh – LW – Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
5 GP / 0 G / 1 A / 1 Pts / 0 PIM / -4
Walsh got his first point of the season the same night in a 4-2 for the Saints.

The Westside Warriors have an interview with Kevin Boyle up on their blog from last week.  It’s an intersting look into Boyle as a person and player as well as the current goaltending competition.  Worth a listen to. “Playing college hockey is my dream ever since I was a kid.”

Danny Hobbs was named the Ranger Prospect of the Week by The Prospect Park, a blog covering the Rangers and Islanders.  I can’t imagine that’s a fun get together with those writers congregate given how those teams have fared in recent years.  Still, it’s a very comprehensive blog and worth a look.

Not too much else going on so let’s take a look at how the UMass alumni are doing.

Jon Quick is picking up right were he left off last season, he’s 2-0-1 with a 1.57 GAA and .948 save percentage through three games for the Kings.

Casey Wellman has four goals in four games with the Houston Aeros of the AHL and is setting himself up for a return to the Wild.

Matt Anderson is one of the leaders in points for the Albany Devils with a goal and two assists in 5 games.

Greg Mauldin leads the Lake Erie Monsters in goals with 2 in five games.

Marvin Degon played a couple games for the P-Bruins but was sent down to Charlotte of the ECHL.

Mike Kostka has a goal in three games for San Antonio.

Matt Irwin has three points for the Worcester Sharks while Justin Braun has an assist in three games.  James Marcou has not played yet for them.

Paul Dainton has struggled for the Springfield Falcons so far, with a 1-2 record and 4.20 goals against.

Lastly, WordPress, which hosts this site, gives me the ability to see what people who end up on Fear The Triangle search for on Google or other search engines to find this place.  Most are what you expect; “UMass hockey”, “Fear The Triangle”, former or current players’ names, and a surprising number of “Fear The Triangel”s as well.  But a few are pretty strange.  Here are some examples:

“Fear The Trosngle”  Did the person sneeze while typing?

“Vermont hockey kicked out of Hockey East”  I hope not, those guys accounted for 1/3rd of last year’s wins.

“UMass Marching Band sucks”  SUD-ler.  SUD-ler. SUD-ler.

“Is the UMass Marching Band good”  See above.

“Doud Kublin”  Dude.

“Fear of triangles”  Apparently this a real phobia.  Must make it really tough to eat pizza that isn’t Sicilian.

“www.firekevinmorris.com”  I’ll let that one speak for itself.

“championship banner”  We need a banner.  A big one.

“משולש הפחד”  No idea.

“triangle beer blog”  You’ve come to the right place!  This is a blog by a beer guy with a hockey problem.

“UMass hockey boats on head”   This would seem like a really weird thing to search for, if not for this picture.

“maine vs. umass hockey east championship triple overtime”  Why do you want to see a grown man cry?

“players feel coach dean stork”  Hmmmm….

“zack larue vs joseph manno”  Fight! Fight! Fight!

“to root for something”  Root root root for the home team.

“3 things toot cahoon looks for in his recruits”  Having a name like Warner, or a close variation like Winer or Werner, helps.  Either being shorter than 5’7” or taller than 6’6”.  And the ability to skate through Mullinsish slush.

“when did the umass providence game end”  Honestly, not soon enough.

Polls & Awards

The good news is UMass will not be facing top ranked Boston College this Friday.  The bad news is they’ll be facing the #2 BC this Friday.  The Eagles’ loss to Denver dropped them to the runner-up spot in this week’s USCHO poll.  Michigan is now #1 in the country.  Not surprisingly, UMass is no longer receiving any votes.

BC remains atop the USA Hockey/USA Today poll.

Well I had hoped that with Mike Pereira (3G, 2A), Danny Hobbs (2G, 3A), and T.J. Syner (6A) all having stellar weekends that one of them may grab the Hockey East Player of the Week honors.  Instead it went to Myles Harvey who sealed Saturday’s victory for the Friars over the Minutemen with an empty netter.  It looks like Hockey East is going to reserve its POTW honors for players on teams that stood out on the weekend.  I can’t complain too much about that.

Hobbs, Pereira, and Syner were all named Top Performers however.

Certainly the two questions coming out of Saturday’s game was why did Coach Cahoon start Kevin Boyle and why did he leave him in there for so long.  Dick Baker has an interesting post where he gets to the bottom of the second question.

The Collegian has their look at the weekend that was.

BC Interruption recaps the weekend of UMass’ next opponent.  I’m really looking forward to seeing Eagle freshman Johnny Gaudreau in action after reading and hearing so much about him in recent years during his junior career.

Providence Recap

If you had told me that after three games UMass would have the third best offense of Hockey East teams at 4 goals a game and the second best power play I’d have been pretty happy.  However, UMass has not been able to make the most of their offensive production and through two games against teams they’ll likely be battling in the standings UMass has been able to capture just one point.  Despite another four goal game last night, two coming on the power play, UMass got the loss because defense and more specifically goaltending let them down against Providence.

If there are positives last night it is that the team kept battling to get back into the game throughout and that the top line of Danny Hobbs, Mike Pereira, and T.J. Syner continues to put up a ton of numbers, accounting for two goals and four assists last night.  With some average goaltending UMass likely gets the win and the two points last night.  I believe I wrote earlier in the week that with Jeff Teglia over the flu, it seemed like a logical decision to have Kevin Boyle make his home debut Friday and put Teglia in last night because he was at least familiar with the rink, one where UMass has struggled in recent years.  How that scenario would’ve turned out, we don’t know.  But what we do know is that Jeff Teglia looked solid and stopped all 8 shots in relief of Boyle and that Boyle let in a number of goals that he shouldn’t have.  At least three of them.  And let’s face it, his defense made some key mistakes that led to some of the other goals as well.  And speaking of defense, where is Anthony Raiola who played so well at the end of last season?

It wasn’t just the bad goals that hurt, the timing of them hurt immensely and killed any momentum UMass was generating.  After going down 2-0 in the first, Danny Hobbs put the Minutemen on the board just 1:15 into the second.  But 45 seconds later an inexcusable shorthanded goal gave the Friars the two goal lead back again.  Later in the period a power play goal by Hobbs cut the PC lead to 4 to 3, but again a soft goal was let in just a minute later that gave the Friars a two goal lead again.  That goal ended Boyle’s night.  Unfortunately UMass was unable to get their offense going until late in the 3rd when Conor Sheary scored with under 5 minutes left and never got that elusive tying goal.

Am I worried about Boyle’s performance?  Not really.  At least not any more than I am about Teglia’s or Steve Mastalerz.  He played very well at Northeastern and played well enough Friday against Bentley to get his first win.  But it does show that a quick resolution to the team’s goaltending issues is not going to happen.  That’s why I think it’s important over the next few months to give each goaltender a shot at games and not stick with one for more than a couple.  That means getting Teglia in in a game like last night and getting Mastalerz some time when he returns from injury in a few weeks.

As much as it would’ve pained me, I wish if UMass dropped a game this weekend it would’ve been Friday’s.  Losing to an Atlantic Hockey team is never good for the program, but UMass really could’ve used 2 to 3 points out of these early games against Northeastern and Providence.  Instead they only got one.  Now begins probably their toughest stretch of the season.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Danny Hobbs
Not only did Hobbs score a couple goals last night, both were at critical times in the game that, however briefly, gave UMass a shot a comeback.  Five points in two games.  Not a bad start to the senior season.

Here’s the recap from the Republican.

I guess the good news for UNH is that they actually scored a goal against Boston College, their first of the season.  The bad news is they lost 5-1 and are now 0-3 to start the season.  Elsewhere Merrimack got a bit of a scare from Army but won 3-2.  BU rebounded from Friday’s loss to Providence by beating #3 Denver.  Maine tied North Dakota while Lowell completed a sweep of Minnesota State out west.

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