Weekend Games Postponed

For those who may have missed it, both of this weekend’s Massachusetts hockey games have been rescheduled due to the impending snowstorm.  Tomorrow night’s game against Northeastern has been postponed until Tuesday, February 19th at 7pm.  This gives those of us who travel from out of town the excuse to take the entire day off and enjoy a four day weekend. Saturday afternoon’s game at Merrimack has been pushed back to Sunday at 4pm.  The game was originally scheduled to be broadcast on NESN but that will no longer be the case, thereby robbing UMass of their one chance to be shown on regional/national TV this year.  Maybe next year Hockey East will be nice enough to give UMass a rare televised home game.

I hope everyone stays safe and has plenty of beer in stock in preparation of the incoming blizzard.

In some alumni news, Kevin Moore who dressed for an ECHL game in an emergency situation last month has been signed for the league’s Evansville Icemen.  There he’ll be in the familiar position of playing alongside Paul Dainton, who was assigned there recently from the Springfield Falcons.

Mike Marcou has been promoted to San Antonio of the AHL after a strong season at the ECHL that saw him make the All-Star squad.


Saturday Recap

Faced with an opportunity to put together a little win streak and take the weekend series from a struggling Vermont team, the UMass hockey team showed that the only thing consistent is their inconsistency.  Looking very much like the team that was swept by Providence just a couple weeks ago the Minutemen managed to generate 38 total shots but were pretty much shutdown by a freshman goaltender and a the defense in front of him.  Vermont came into the game with the worst penalty kill in the conference, stopping less than 80% of opponents chances but last night they were able to shutdown all six UMass power plays, limiting them to just six shots in over 10 minutes of power play time.

The 3-2 final score actually wasn’t really that close as the Catamounts opened up an early 2-0 lead that they were able to maintain until the final seconds when UMass scored with an extra attacker.  Goals were scored by Branden Gracel and Mike Pereira who continue to play well but last night they were the only players who were able finish.

That’s basically it as there’s not much more to delve into last night’s game.  The team had an excellent opportunity to distance themselves from the prospect of missing the playoffs and didn’t.  They also had a chance to gain ground on the Lowell River Hawks sitting in 6th place ahead of them and didn’t.  In fact with a tie and come from behind win by Lowell is now tied with Merrimack in 5th place, five points ahead of them.  Vermont meanwhile continues to be just behind the Minutemen while Northeastern and a suddenly hot Maine team are not far behind.  UMass had the chance to go up and play a bad Vermont team and gain four points.  That didn’t happen and now UMass will enter February, a month rarely kind of the program, with their chance of finishing any higher than 7th fading fast.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Branden Gracel
Gracel has not gone more than two games without registering a point all year. He’s currently 6th among Hockey East players in goals scored.

Republican game story.

Here’s the recap from the Burlington Free Press.

Better news on the alumni front.

Matt Irwin scored his first NHL goal.

Kevin Moore got to suit up for an ECHL game

UConn Recap

Last night was an enjoyable way to kick off the season and the new era of Massachusetts hockey as the Minutemen defeated future Hockey East foe UConn 4-1 in front of the largest opening night crowd in school history.  It wasn’t the prettiest of games at times as both teams looked sloppy at times and general chippiness led to a total of 26 penalties, which really hindered the flow of the game.  But a win is a win and last night should provide some confidence for the team as well as some tape for Coach Micheletto to identify the areas that need to be worked on prior to next weekend’s big tilt against Boston College.

The Minutemen came out absolutely flying from the drop of the puck and dominated play early on.  UMass held an 8-1 shot advantage six minutes in when Colin Shea put home the first goal on a slap shot from the point.  UMass would continue to control play until there was 9:28 left in the first and the team picked up its first of many penalties of the night.  Tyler Helton would score for the Huskies on the resulting power play and it would take the Minutemen a while to regain the momentum and crisp play they had started the game with.  UMass would get the lead back toward the end of the period when Branden Gracel redirected a Steven Guzzo shot, but from then on the Huskies, and especially their goaltender Garrett Bratus, did their best to stymie any attempt to widen the lead.

The score stayed 2-1 UMass until the third period when two excellent individual efforts would seal the game for the Minutemen.  The first came at the start of the period when Guzzo was able to take the puck from the corner, skate to the front of the net with a Husky defender on him, and get the puck past Bratus while getting pushed down to the ice.  A few minutes later Darren Rowe, making the most of his opportunity to dress as the sixth defensemen, took the puck at center ice on a UMass power play and skated through and around the four Husky players untouched to put home the final goal of the evening.

Again, not the prettiest of games, but UMass showed tremendous effort and got the win.  I thought there were a number of players who did very well beyond the goalscorers.  Conor Allen played tremendous last night and it makes me confident that he has a huge role to play for this team this season.  He moved the puck extremely well and generated four shots.  On defense I counted at least two or three blocked shots by him all the while playing physical and smart.  There were a lot of UMass penalties but Allen didn’t draw a single one.  Oleg Yevenko also stood out to me as playing well on defense, looking a lot more confident out there as a sophomore and still skating pretty well given his size.

Overall I thought the Conor Sheary/Mike Pereira/Troy Power line looked pretty good.  Power seemed to have a tough time making the transition to the top line at first, but by the second and third periods was putting in really good shifts with his new linemates.  The fourth line of Peter DeAngelo/Kevin Czepiel/Eddie Olczyk played a good share of minutes and did a great job of disrupting the Huskies’ offense.

Kevin Boyle did well, giving up just the one goal and made some key saves, especially on the penalty kill.  He did look shaky at times but there were so many long stretches where he might as well been another of the 7,123 spectators that I’m guessing he had a tough time getting into a groove due to lack of action.  The one obvious area where UMass must improve next week is penalties.  A lot of the team’s 12 infractions came out of the after-the-whistle melees, but they simply cannot go around giving teams eight power play chances.  They got away with it last night but give BC eight power play chances and you’re probably looking at least a three goal hole to climb out of.  Adam Phillips, who played well otherwise, especially has to try to stay out of the box as five of the trips were his.

Overall, it was a great night at the Mullins Center.  The team gave the excellent crowd and their new coach a win and have a lot to build off of as they begin their conference schedule.  It was great to see so many students there, 4,200 was the number given on the radio and it seemed like a lot were making their first trip.  I can’t see how they wouldn’t have enjoyed themselves enough to come back next week which has a very good chance of being a sellout when defending national champion Boston College comes to town.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Steven Guzzo
Guzzo’s production last year as a freshmen was a nice surprise, but for UMass to be successful he’ll have to continue to put the puck in the net this season.  He did exactly that as it was his heads up play to drive to the net that put the game away for the Minutemen.  It was also his shot that Gracel was able to tip past Bartus on the game-winning goal.

Among the over 7,000 in attendance last night was none other than former coach Toot Cahoon, who I ran into after the game.  I think anyone who has been following UMass hockey knows what a classy guy Toot is and he showed that yet again by coming out to support the program and the players he brought to Amherst in the season opener.  Not surprisingly, I can safely say it was the most relaxed I’ve ever seen Toot after a UMass hockey game.

Based on what I saw last night in terms of demeanor and overall leadership displayed I would pick Rocco Carzo, Joel Hanley, and Conor Allen as this year’s captains/assistant captains.  We’ll see who coach Mick chooses soon.

Last night’s highlights via UMass Athletics

In the Gazette’s recap, Coach Mick says “unflappable” is a word the team must learn after last night.

Here’s the recap from the Republican as well as a piece on Mick’s first game as a collegiate head coach.

The Collegian has their game story as well as this interesting column as part of their season preview coverage, stating the time for UMass hockey to start winning is now.

One small benefit of the NHL lockout is that the Bruins writers are available to cover college hockey, as is the case with the Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa covering the team and last night’s game.

Former UMass captain Mike Kostka, who won a Calder Cup last year with Norfolk, is the feature of this piece from TSN.  Kostka is now with the Leafs organization.

Hockey’s Future has an excellent profile of Kevin Moore, including the story of the #freemoore campaign started before the final regular season game last March.

Up To The Minute 10/3

Tonight was spent at the UMass Club in downtown Boston surrounded by diehard UMass supporters gathered to meet new Massachusetts hockey coach John Micheletto as well as hear from hoops coach Derek Kellogg who is going into a season with some high expectations, deservedly so.  Overall I thought it was an excellent event put on by the UMass Club and Alumni Association (and not only because it featured by far the best beer selection of the many of events I’ve attended there previously).  There were easily over a hundred people there to listen to the two coaches and the hockey-type crowd featured Pond Club leadership, current Section Uers, original Section Uers, parents of current players, and overall a lot of familiar faces.

I was impressed with Coach Mick in the time I had a chance to talk to him.  Juxtaposed with the always boisterous Kellogg, he brought a more moderated approach to his remarks to the crowd.  But overall I thought he had a composed, almost professor-like demeanor that helped showcase his knowledge of the game itself.  What stood out most in my conversation with him was his comments on practices.  In most of the stories about his plans for UMass hockey and approach to the game we’ve read a lot about an “up tempo” style.  Previously I thought that was describing his offensive philosophy, but Coach Mick relayed that it goes beyond that.  It sounds like his whole practices to date have been entirely up tempo.  Not only are the players practicing what could be a more aggressive style, but they’re constantly going during the entire allotted time of practice.  Coach Mick said he’s not going to use practice time to have 15 minute whiteboard sessions.  The players will be on the ice practicing, skating, going through drills, etc..  I found that very interesting.  He said that, after initial surprise, the players have really embraced that approach to practice, something I’ve heard from other sources as well.

Other than that there wasn’t too much to glean from tonight’s remarks.  He did say he is familiar with the reputation of UMass’ student section, with his own memories of such going back to way back when the visitor section was actually where UMass’ home bench now.  I did take the chance to ask him what so many of you readers have asked me.  And no, so far no captains have been named.  I’m guessing he wants to wait until after this weekend’s scrimmage and truly get a read for who are the leaders of the team both in the locker room and on the ice.

Other than it was enjoyable to be able to talk about the upcoming UMass hockey season with others who are as interested as I am.  October has kind of snuck up on me as other aspect of life (read: work) have kept me extremely busy.  But tonight was a good chance to restart the hockey engine before this Saturday’s scrimmage.

The other major news to relay is that I have been able to confirm that former Boston College recruit Frank Vatrano is in fact interested in playing at UMass, something previously posted on USCHO fan forums and I believe also reported on USHR.  It’s probably not a huge surprise that the Longmeadow native would want to play his college hockey close to home.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that given the NCAA clearinghouse issues that prevented him from playing at BC and just the odd circumstances in general, there are a number of major hurdles to clear before he could ever suit up for the Minutemen.  I think it would also be important to vet out exactly what happened that prevented him from playing for BC in the first place.

Make sure to read this excellent story on UMass fan favorite Kevin Moore out of his hometown paper in New Jersey.  Moore has a tryout this month for Danbury of the Federal Hockey League and I’m sure I’m just one of many UMass fans who wish him luck in this next stage of his hockey career.

So the word on the street is that former UMass coach Toot Cahoon will be employed in some way, shape, or form this current season as a color analyst for Merrimack hockey games, though I don’t know exactly in what capacity.  Either way that’s a broadcast I’d love to tune in for.

I’ll leave you tonight with the following picture.  The ice is in.  The lines are down.  Let’s play hockey!  Note the new secondary logo at center ice, the Massachusetts state outlines in the red line, the maroon Hockey East logo, and 20th Anniversary logo for the Mullins Center (damn I feel old).  I also like that this picture, taken by Associate AD Rocko DeLuca, is exactly opposite of my usual seat. Feels like home.  Is it next Friday yet?

Red Leaving For Ivy Green?

Back from vacation means back to writing about UMass hockey.  I had a great trip down to the  mid-Atlantic area.  I got to visit three breweries (Dogfish Head, Ram’s Head/Fordham, Victory), see countless national treasures like the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and hung out with a few of the original Section U inhabitants dating back to the triangle days.

So did anything happen hockey-wise in this area while I was gone?  Oh yeah, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup!!  What a run.  I’m definitely a college hockey fan first, as that’s how I first got into the game, but seeing the black and gold as the owners of Lord Stanley’s chalice is beyond thrilling.  New England is now the center of the hockey world, let’s hope that continues next fall when UMass and the rest of Hockey East return to the ice.

Of course there was some UMass news during last week as well.  USHR reported that Red Gendron will be leaving Amherst to take an assistant coaching position at Yale under Keith Allain.  Gendron does have a relationship already with Allain from when they previously coached for the US program.  From everything I’ve heard, this report appears to be true even though it’s not official yet.  I’ll be sorry to see Red go.  He’s done a lot for the program from recruiting many of the talented players on the ice to all the hard work he does for things like the annual golf outing.  He’s also been very friendly to fans and supporters of the program.  Whatever the future holds for him, I’ll be rooting for him (except of course when Yale comes to town this fall).

Also in the USHR report was the statement that they’re “hearing” that Red will be replaced by former Lowell coach Blaise MacDonald.  Besides being colleagues in the Hockey East coaching ranks, MacDonald and Toot Cahoon were also assistants together at BU.  First off, I have not been able to confirm that the report that MacDonald is about to be hired is true, but makes sense that he’d be in the mix.  Secondly, I’m not sure I like this news.  I have a lot of respect for the job that Blaise did at Lowell.  Against all of the challenges that surrounded that program, even when it was on the verge of getting mothballed by the Board of Trustees, he was able to consistently recruit some top talent in the league.  However, he was just fired from that job because he was never able to get that talent to its full potential.  At Lowell he had a history of his very best teams underperforming regularly and sometimes dramatically.  Problem is, in recent years UMass has also suffered from that same charge of underperforming compared to its potential.  If Toot is going to bring in someone new to the staff, I would rather the person have a record of addressing some of the team’s recent deficiencies.

My ideal replacement for Red?  Hire alum and current ECHL coach Dean Stork and groom him to replace Toot in a couple years when he likely retires.

In other Hockey East coaching news, remember how friend of FTT Ryan S. Clark reported a couple months ago that Greg Cronin was leaving Northeastern for the NHL and Cronin vehemently denied the report?  Well Cronin was hired today as an assistant coach for Toronto.  Maple Leafs or Northeastern?  Hmm…lateral move at best.  It should be interesting to see if any recruits or current Husky players look to leave with their coach on the move.

UMass has lost out to Providence for the services of South Kent defenseman Anthony Florentino.  Florentino is a talented defenseman who has participated in past US national development camps previously.  This one hurts a little because he has some close ties to the Minuteman program and from what I’ve read is highly regarded.

Congratulations to Conor Allen, Mike Lecomte, Kevin Moore, Colin Shea, and Jeff Teglia who were named to the Hockey East All-Academic Team for this past season.  Lecomte was named to the team for all four of his years at UMass.

Stuff the ballot box!  Vote for Paul Dainton for UMass Play of the Year!

Speaking of voting, don’t forget to take the survey for which UMass license plate you like best.

With the Cup awarded, that means the NHL Draft is just around the corner.  Hockey’s Future has Mike Pereira as one of the top 10 draft eligible players in the NCAA.  Pereira will also be featured in a pre-draft article in the New England Hockey Journal that I’ll be sure to pass along when it’s published.

Dick Baker of the Republican caught up with Greg Mauldin and Justin Braun at last week’s Golf Outing.

UMass Hockey Award Banquet News

I wasn’t able to make it to the team banquet yesterday, but luckily I got a first hand account from Brock Hines and Dick Baker has a nice writeup about the event, which included an emotional speech by Paul Dainton who received the team MVP award.

Here are the awards given out yesterday:

Team MVP – Paul Dainton
Rookie of the Year – Mike Pereira
Jack Canniff “Unsung Hero” – Doug Kublin & Chase Langeraap
Minuteman Spirit Award – Kevin Moore
Most Improved – Anthony Raiola

I can’t argue with any of those. Though personally I think Most Improved could have been shared between Raiola, who did a great job showing that he should be considered for an everyday spot on the blueline next season, and Danny Hobbs, whose production exploded this year.

Also announced at the banquet was that T.J. Syner and Hobbs will be co-captains for next year’s squad while Mike Marcou will keep his role as assistant captain.

Yesterday I mentioned that there’s a good chance UMass will be heading up to Canada to play regular exhibition opponent University of New Brunswick in a future year. Thanks to FTT reader Graham for bringing to my attention that the V-Reds, a powerhouse in the CIS, won the championship yet again. Graham also endeared himself to me by passing along beer suggestions, specifically Propeller Brewery in Halifax.

The Boston Herald has an article on ex-BU assistant coach David Quinn who is now coaching the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters where he names Greg Mauldin as one of the key leaders on the team.

Recruit Update

Kevin Boyle – G – Westside Warriors (BCHL)
39 GP / 20-16-1 / 3.02 GAA / .902 sv%
Boyle has continued to play well in the second round of the BCHL playoffs, including a 39 save effort in Game 3, though his Warriors find themselves down 2-3.  In each of the two Westside wins Boyle has only allowed 2 goals, while he has allowed 3, 3, and 5 goals in the losses.  He has a 3.00 GAA for the playoffs.  He was injured in the last game unfortunately and his status is unknown.

Mike Busillo – D – Hartford Jr Wolfpack (AtlJHL)
41 GP / 8 G / 19 A /  27 Pts / 97 PIM
Busillo’s season is over as his Wolfpack were eliminated by Walpole in the first round of the AtlJHL playoffs.  He had a goal in three playoff games.

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Shattuck St Mary’s (MN)
39 GP / 11 G / 37 A /  48 Pts / 50 PIM
Shattuck has been off these last few weeks.

Zack LaRue – C/F – Markham Waxers (OPJHL)
50 GP / 33 G / 36 A / 69 Pts / 26 PIM
LaRue’s season has come to a close as his Waxers lost in the first round of the playoffs.  He had a goal and four assists in five playoff games, including a game winner and a shorthanded goal.

Steve Mastalerz – G – Kimball Union Wildcats (NE Prep)
35 GP / 24-7-4 / 1.63 GAA / .923 sv%
Mastalerz’s season is over after KUA lost in the first playoff game 4-3 in overtime.  He will be playing next week in the Beantown Classic next week.

Shane Walsh -LW – Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
39 GP / 6 G / 6 A / 12 Pts / 14 PIM
Walsh didn’t have any points on the weekend.

Oleg Yevenko -D – Fargo Force(USHL)
49 GP / 4 G / 4 A / 8 Pts / 167 PIM
Yevenko was +1 with 2 PIM over the past weekend.  Yevenko is second in the league in penalty minutes.

Kevin Moore has another edition of One Moore Minute.  This one pits three American freshmen against three Canadian freshman in feats of skill and strength.  I’ve loving the old school Nintendo music.

The UMass Alumni Association will be awarding former assistant captain Peter Trovato the Distinguished Alumni Award for his charity work with the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund which he founded and oversees.  Congratulations Peter, well deserved.

Mastalerz Commits To UMass

Originally I had planned to write something about Greg Mauldin for my View From Section U feature but I think I’ll put that off for the time being and focus on relaying some information on UMass’ newest commitment.  Plus, I want to get a jump on my weekend preview tonight as well since I might not have time tomorrow due to potentially being busy with an important appointment (Blue Hills Brewery event at Union Brewhouse).

Chris Heisenberg brought news that UMass picked up a commitment from Stephen Mastalerz, a 6’1″ 200 lb goaltender currently playing for Kimball Union in the New England Prep League.  The North Andover native will be coming to Amherst this fall.  Kimball Union is 23-5-4 on the season with Mastalerz getting most of those wins behind a .928 save percentage.  Sorry for the lack of complete stats, but USHR continues to be outside my budget.  Last year Mastalerz backed up current Maine goaltender Martin Ouellette.

Other than that, I can’t find too much on Mastalerz.  He wasn’t even listed on Heisenberg’s site before this and he’ll usually have most of the college bound players before they’re committed.  That’s not saying Mastalerz isn’t a DI goaltender however.  He could just be a late bloomer plus playing behind an NHL draft pick doesn’t make it easy to get noticed early.

To me this looks like an insurance policy in case Jeff Teglia  and/or Kevin Boyle don’t develop into everyday players, either due to performance or injury.  In any case a little competition at the goaltender position never hurt anyone and will require all three players to play their hardest in order to see the ice.  What this means for current third string goaltender and fan favorite Kevin Moore, I can’t tell you.  Coach Cahoon did have four goaltenders on the roster last year with Paul Dainton, Dan Meyers, Moore, and Randy Wolcott.  Maybe he does that again.  At the same time while Moore is a junior in terms of eligibility, he may be further along academically and perhaps could be graduating early anyway.  Time will tell.

Heisenberg hasn’t updated his site to show Joseph Manno to UMass yet.  Not sure if the news hasn’t reach him yet or if I got fed some bad info.  Time will tell on that one as well.

Someone had asked me recently if the coaching staff had offered a scholarship to Malden Catholic’s Brendan Collier who recently committed to BU.  I can tell you that they did in fact.   But so did the rest of Hockey East.

Dick Baker profiles Peter DeAngelo and Kevin Moore in his most recent blog post.

Polls & Awards

Boston College remains the top team in the country following their 5-0 over UMass last Friday (though they’re losing to BU in the Beanpot as I type this).  Merrimack crept closer to the top 10 following their drubbing of the Minutemen last weekend.  UNH picked up a first place vote after sweeping Maine, which resulted in the Black Bears falling three spots to #18.  BU remained at #14.  Not much difference in the USA Today/USA Hockey poll.

INCH has Merrimack #9 in their power rankings.

Chris Barton can send a thank you note to Amherst for helping him gain Hockey East Player of the Week honors.  Nine point weekend.  You don’t see those very often.  No UMass players were award winners or Top Performers but it was nice to see Kevin Moore’s debut highlighted in the weekly release.

For those wondering, here are all the times UMass has given up double digits in goals in the modern era:

93-94  Alaska-Fairbanks 12  UMass 4
95-96  Boston University 14  UMass 1
96-97  New Hampshire 10  UMass 0
96-97  Maine 10  UMass 3
97-98  Maine 12  UMass 2

That BU result was actually a playoff game believe it or not and probably has to be the most embarassing loss in UMass history.  I’m happy to say that’s one of the games from that era that I did not see in person.  The UAF result looks pretty bad given what type of program they have, but that was UMass’ first year with the hockey program when they were playing a mix of DIII and low level DI teams.

The BC student paper has a recap of Friday’s game with this line, “The name Minutemen seemed fitting, since BC limited their good play to a total of about a minute.”  Ouch.  The truth hurts.

Dick Baker has a good analysis of the weekend and the shortcomings of the team as a whole.

The Globe had a must read article on Scott Crowder and his Pond Hockey tournament which wrapped up successfully yesterday, complete with video.  Next up will be similar tournaments in Manchester, NH and on Lake Champlain.

Merrimack Recap

When I started this blog and named it Fear The Triangle I did so to pay homage to some truly ugly sweaters, the teams that wore them, and the fans who watched from the stands rarely seeing their team succeed and witnessing some of the most lopsided games in Hockey East history.  I thought it was a good name for a blog because that era was over and the UMass program had moved on to bigger and better things and we’d never have to suffer through those types of losses again.  Right?  Apparently not.

I apologize for those coming on here for some type of post game analysis of how the team played and why they lost.  It’s impossible to write such a thing.  They lost because they sucked.  Offensively, defensively, goaltending, special teams, coaching.  There were no positives, only negatives, and unlike the night before there was nothing shown as something to build off of.  The headline on the UMass Athletics site says “Merrimack skates by hockey 11-2”.  At first I found it laughable because usually “skates by” indicates some kind of narrow win.  But then I realized what they meant.  All night Merrimack was literally skating by UMass.  In the neutral zone.  On the way to the goaltender.  On the break.  Skate by the forwards, skate by the defensemen, shoot, back of the net, repeat.

I have no idea where the team goes from here.  Upperclassmen, freshmen, starters, healthy scratches, assistants, and head coach Toot Cahoon all need to take a step back and figure out what the hell went wrong this weekend.  Boston College and Merrimack are both very good teams, but not so good that UMass should be losing by a combined score of 16-2.  I don’t care how young we are or if guys are banged up.  That is flat out unacceptable.  That’s not getting beaten by better teams.  That’s either not caring, not executing, playing dumb undisciplined hockey or some combination of all three.  And everyone, coaches and players, shares the blame in that and needs to find a way out of it.  There’s still a lot of hockey left in the season, against some pretty tough teams, but to coming into February in 7th place and end the season out of the playoffs will be devastating.  At least to this fan.  Good teams, no matter what they’re up against find a way to win.  Playoffs or bust.

Lastly, I’ve already had a half dozen people ask me if Cahoon should be let go at the end of the season.  First off, it’s not happening as he just signed a contract extension through the end of 2013 and the administration is happy with his performance here.  Secondly, I don’t think it’s warranted at this point.  I have been disappointed with the lack of success and late season flops but there’s a multitude of reasons why I think Cahoon should be the coach beyond this season, from his recruitment of this year’s current freshman class to how he runs the program.  Rather than totally repeat myself you can get a better understanding of my thoughts by reading what I wrote when his contract was extended last summer.  That’s not to say he gets a free pass.  I felt the team underperformed in the month of January and this weekend has been utterly disastrous.  As head coach, the buck stops with him.  I would hope he feels a little more motivation this morning and again when they play Merrimack in a few weeks as his team just got embarrassed by a former assistant coach of his.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Kevin Moore
Easiest POTG pick of the season.  Moore is the only one who can walk away from last night’s debacle and say he played as well as he could have.  It’s unfortunate his career debut had to come in such a horrendous situation but it was great to see the group of UMass fans at Lawler cheering loudly when he was on the ice.

The Republican correctly identifies Danny Hobbs’ slashing penalty at the very end of the first period as the play where the wheels came off for the Minutemen.

“It was a total disaster,” says Toot in the USCHO recap.  Yeah, I’d say so.