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View From Section U ▲ Season Recap

 

John Micheletto’s fourth season as head coach was extremely disappointing and frustrating, at least from a fan’s perspective, and it ultimately cost him his job.  It was thought the team’s fortunes could only go up after last season’s 11-23-2 record and last place finish in Hockey East.  Yes, the Minutemen lost some key players in the offseason, but we were led to believe that Micheletto was bringing in the best recruiting class in years, including revamping the defense with multiple NHL-worthy blueliners.  Instead the upgrade in skill couldn’t overcome what still a bad scheme put forth by the coach and for the second straight year the Minutemen had one of the worst goals against in the country.  When the offense faltered halfway through the season the wheels came off and the end result was a second straight year in the Hockey East cellar, a 8-24-4 record, and an end to the Micheletto era at UMass.

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Recap ▲ UMass’ Season Ends As BU Sweeps In Hockey East Playoffs

The Massachusetts hockey team played some of their best hockey of the season this weekend against the #9 Boston University Terriers in the opening round of the Hockey East playoffs.  Unfortunately it would not be enough to get them a win as BU swept the Minutemen out of the playoffs 2-1 and 5-4 to end UMass’ season.  In one of the more disappointing campaigns in recent memory the Minutemen end with a record of 8-24-4.

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Recap ▲ UMass Escapes Springfield With 4-3 OT Win, Ends 9-Game Losing Streak

It wasn’t pretty but the Massachusetts hockey team got the monkey off their back and picked up their first win in the last 10 games with a 4-3 victory over AIC at the MassMutual Center in Springfield on Tuesday.  It was a bit of a back and forth affair with the Yellow Jackets jumping out to a 1-0 lead and UMass scoring three quick goals to bring a two goal lead into the third period.  But AIC would mount a comeback and send the game to overtime tied at three apiece.  Ultimately it would be senior Ben Gallacher scoring his first goal since December of 2014 in the extra frame to get UMass its 8th win of the season.

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Recap ▲ #11 Lowell Dominates UMass In Weekend Sweep, Wins Alumni Cup

The Massachusetts played 120 minutes this weekend against sister school Lowell and was barely in the games for more than a matter of a few minutes.  The River Hawks grabbed an early lead both nights, controlled possession throughout the weekend series, and utterly embarrassed the Minutemen.  Lack of focus and at times what looked to be a lack of effort made for a tough weekend for the UMass hockey team.  A season that started with such promise after a 4-0-1 start in October now is shaping up to be another huge disappointment as the team has gone 3-13-3 since that hot beginning to the season and is in danger of falling to the bottom of the Hockey East standings.

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Recap ▲ Minutemen Start 2016 With A Victory Over Army, End Nine Game Winless Streak

After finishing 2015 with a nine game winless streak and five game losing streak the Massachusetts hockey team got the new year started on the right foot with an overtime win over Army West Point.  Captain Steven Iacobellis scored the game winner early into the extra frame to give the Minutemen the 2-1 win over the Black Knights.  UMass was able to overcome the absence of a number of key players and bring their record back to one game under .500 at 7-8-4.

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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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Countdown ▲ 16 Days ‘Til Dalhousie

As of today there are just 16 days until fans get their first look at this year’s Massachusetts hockey team in their exhibition game against Dalhousie of the CIS.  Besides the #16, junior Steven Iacobellis will have something else on his jersey this coming season.  A captain’s “C”.

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Iacobellis Named UMass Hockey Captain; Nick Jenny Commits For 2016

The Massachusetts hockey team held its banquet this past Saturday where sophomore forward Steven Iacobellis was named captain for the 2015-16 season.  I can’t speak for his leadership in the locker room, but there’s no double he has been impactful when he’s been on the ice.  This past season the team was undefeated in games where he scored a goal.  He missed a couple games due to injury and I felt his absence as a playmaker was very noticeable.  I personally named him as my Underrated Player of the Year and  I think Iacobellis has made a good case for this selection in his two years in the maroon and white.

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