Merrimack Preview

Merrimack College Warriors 19-5-4 (13-5-3) 3rd Hockey East


Massachusetts Minutemen 6-16-5 (5-11-5) 7th Hockey East


2/5/11 Merrimack 11, UMass 2. 

Play with heart.  Play for pride.  Fight for redemption.



Beer The Triangle
I’m always pretty happy when I get some nice insider info on the state of the team or perhaps some recruiting news.  But I really love when I get some beer insider info.  So the breaking FTT beer news is that the Hangar is eyeing a couple of blue chip beers to bring into the fold soon.  First is Rogue Double Mocha Porter..  This one was already on site but not yet tapped as of last weekend.  Rogue is one of my favorite brewers and perhaps the highlight of 2010 for me was visiting their brewery on the Oregon coast.  But the real scoop is that Stoney has worked his craft beer magic and is hoping to soon to be in possession of a keg of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout.  Founders KBS is currently rated as the 4th best beer in existence by Beer Advocate.  Quite a brew coup by the Hangar.

Looking forward to a return trip to The Tap/Haverhill Brewery on Saturday.  I had a good time there a few weeks ago.  Then I mistakenly left to attend the UMass-Merrimack game.  Enough said.

For those wanting to know more about Merrimack than the spartan (which is how I hope the team plays this weekend) preview above, here’s the one I wrote a few weeks ago.  Changed since then is the fact that Merrimack embarrassed UMass, Stephane Da Costa got hurt and his status for this weekend is unknown (I’m still guessing he’s out), and Merrimack proved they can beat good teams without him.

I’m sad to share the news that that Mike Lecomte will not be rejoining the team this season, per Dick Baker.  This is awful to hear.  Not only could the team use him right now, but you never want to see a player end their UMass career from the stands.  Especially because last season he emerged as a key player on offense before going down to injury and even provided a spark when he was in uniform this season scoring two goals and picking up an assists in 6 games.  The team really could use him right now.  Thanks for all you did in the maroon and white, Mike.

Success requires intensity says the Collegian.

Recruit Update

Kevin Boyle – G – Westside Warriors (BCHL)
37 GP / 19-16-1 / 3.06 GAA / .902 sv%
Boyle had a couple wins this past week.  He stopped 25 of 27 shots in the first game and then picked up an overtime win stopping 28 of 32 shots.

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Shattuck St Mary’s (MN)
39 GP / 11 G / 37 A /  48 Pts / 50 PIM
Gillespie had a goal and an assist in his last couple games.

Zack LaRue – C/F – Markham Waxers (OPJHL)
50 GP / 33 G / 36 A / 69 Pts / 26 PIM
The regular season is over for LaRue.  He ended up 21st in the OPJHL in points, 11th in goals, and 2nd in shorthanded goals with 6.  The Waxers will be facing Stouffville in the first round of the playoffs.

 Shane Walsh -LW – Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
29 GP / 4 G / 6 A / 10 Pts / 8 PIM
Walsh had an assist this past weekend.

South Kent’s Joseph Manno did in fact have his official visit this past Friday.   No word on how it went but I did hear his decision will likely come down to UMass, Northeastern, and Providence.  Of course the prospect of the QMJHL looms as well.

Mike McMahon reports that there is no definitive timetable for the return of Merrimack star Stephane Da Costa, but that the injury is not of the season ending variety.  I have a feeling UMass will not be seeing him this weekend but be sure to keep an eye on Mike’s site for all of this week’s Merrimack news.

A couple good reads to prepare for this weekend.  First is a great piece on how former UMass assistant Mark Dennehy has turned around the Merrimack program from UMass alum Steve Buckley.

And Dick Baker has a good piece on the new and improved Lawler Arena.   I agree, the improvements are great and long overdue.  The $20 ticket prices are a bit much however.

It’s been a while since a UMass player was honored with a weekly award, but I’m happy to say that Fear The Triangle was named INCH’s Tweet of the Week!  For the record, I think very highly of Jerry York as both a person and a coach.  In fact I would make the case that he’s the best coach in the country.  I just found his response to the question after the Beanpot win to be hilariously simplistic.

I was disgusted to learn that David Branch, the commissioner of the CHL which actively poaches hockey players like John Carlson or Zack Phillips from colleges and touts a sham of an education option, played hockey for UMass.  He badmouths college hockey as a legitimate avenue to professional hockey even though that’s the route he took.  Can UMass retroactively bill him for the tuition he didn’t have to pay for while he played in Amherst, complete with inflation adjustments and late charges?