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Up To The Minute ▲ Jeszka Commits; Frozen Fenway & Other Scheduling News

I last posted exactly a month ago.  I did not expect to go so long between posts but first I went to Florida to drink a lot of Cigar City Brewing attend a wedding and when I got back I just couldn’t find the time and/or motivation to write.  But after some time to recover from the feverish rate of positing as the season ended and the subsequent coaching moves were made, I think I’m finally ready to start spending some time on UMass hockey again.

It’s the offseason so there isn’t a ton to catch up on, especially since the focus of Coach Carvel and his staff has likely been more on getting settled in Amherst than actual hockey stuff.  But there were a few major developments since the last post.

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New Era Begins ▲ Carvel Introduced As UMass Head Coach

Greg Carvel was officially introduced as the 14th head coach of the Massachusetts hockey program this morning in Amherst.  Carvel opened up his remarks by recalling a conversation with legendary Amherst College coach Jack Arena who told his former assistant coach that UMass “is a home run, they just need the right guy.  You’re the guy.”

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View From Section U ▲ Crunching Carvel’s Numbers

Ahead of coach Greg Carvel’s formal introduction as head coach of Massachusetts hockey I’ve been taking a look at some numbers, as I tend to do.  The story of UMass’ struggles in recent years was easily told through their statistics.  So let’s take a look at the Saint Lawrence Saints’ team statistics from Carvel’s four years in Canton and see what’s to learn from them.

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Carvel Era Begins ▲ Bamford Chooses Saint Lawrence Head Coach To Lead Minutemen

The state of the Massachusetts hockey program has fallen on such hard times in recent years that some have said it will take an act of God to turn the program around.  Well athletic director Ryan Bamford has chosen a Saint to elevate UMass hockey to the promised land that has mostly eluded the program in its history.  Today Bamford announced that Saint Lawrence head coach Greg Carvel is the new coach of Minuteman hockey, signing a five-year deal to oversee the program.

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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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Up To The Minute ▲ Bamford Comments On Micheletto Decision, Coaching Search

We are one day into the Massachusetts hockey coaching search and I’ve done my best to consolidate all the information that is out there regarding the firing of former coach John Micheletto and the ongoing search.  Athletic Director Ryan Bamford had a conference call with the media today and I think UMass hockey fans should be very happy to hear what he has to say about a wide range of topics.  One piece of news that I reported yesterday is that assistant coach Ryan Miller was named interim head coach during the search process and will continue to handle a lot of the administrative tasks and continue to work with the players in the meantime.

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IT’S OVER: Micheletto Era Ends At Massachusetts

Minutes after I wrote in my weekend recap that there should be a coaching change in the coming days news broke that UMass coach John Micheletto has been fired by the university.  Matt Vautour was the first to break the news:

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Countdown: 24 Days ‘Til Dalhousie

In 24 days UMass will kick off their season with an exhibition game against the CIS’ Dalhousie Tigers.  So it’s time to take a look at #24 on the roster, Dennis Kravchenko.  Kravchenko is coming off a stellar freshman season for UMass and it was a given that he’d be a key to success for the team as a sophomore.  But when Frank Vatrano and Brandon Montour decided to leave school early for the pros Kravchenko’s status changed from being an important part of the team to probably the most important component.

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15-16 Preview: Massachusetts Hockey Points Lost/Returning

As we continue to shift focus to the coming season one of the main ways to analyze the prospects of the Massachusetts hockey team is to take stock of what they’ve lost during the season and what they have coming back.  As we know there were a number of key seniors who graduated, such as captain Troy Power and Zack LaRue.  But the biggest departures of course were underclassmen Frank Vatrano and Brandon Montour who following the season signed contracts with the Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks respectively.  However, there are still some key contributors coming back, like Dennis Kravchenko who will be looking to build off of a tremendous freshman season.  Let’s take a closer look at what the departures and returners mean on a number basis.

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View From Section U: Hockey Q&A With UMass Athletic Director Ryan Bamford

Hockey season is getting close!  There are just 58 days until the Minutemen take the ice against the Colorado College Tigers in Colorado Springs.  So with recruiting, NHL free agency, and the draft in the rearview it’s time to shift focus to the upcoming season.  The biggest offseason story for UMass hockey was the early departure of Frank Vatrano and Brandon Montour.  But probably the second biggest story affecting hockey was the appointment of Ryan Bamford to the role of Athletic Director in March.  It seems fitting then to kick off 2015-16 preview coverage on FTT with some first hand thoughts on the program from the new AD himself.

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