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Stanley Cup Final ▲ Sheary, Braun Step Up With Late Heroics In Game 2

Many UMass fans, including myself, were ecstatic that the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks would be playing for the Stanley Cup because it guaranteed that a Minuteman would be immortalized on Lord Stanley’s chalice by the end of the series.  It wasn’t expected however that the two former UMass captains playing, San Jose defenseman Justin Braun and rookie Pittsburgh forward Conor Sheary, would be having such a significant impact on the outcome of the series.

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Recruit Update

Last week’s odd schedule of games on Sunday, Tuesday, and Saturday along with a major holiday in the middle prevented me from posting a recruit update last week.  So there’s a lot of catching up to do.  Be sure to scroll down to an interesting article on Patrick Lee.

Ben Gallacher – D – Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) – 2013 (transfer)
5 GP / 1 G / 0 A / 1 Pts / 30 PIM / –2
I now understand why Ohio State fans were worried about Gallacher’s penchant for taking a lot of penalties.  Gallacher, injured to start the season, played just two games before being hit with an eight game suspension by the USHL for an infraction.  He comes back and then three games later is now suspended another eight games for a cross-check.  Certainly this type of play is something that hopefully he learns from and gets away from before he ever gets to Amherst.

Kenny Gillespie – RW – Omaha Lancers (USHL) – 2013
19 GP / 5 G / 3 A / 8 Pts / 35 PIM / -1
Gillespie has been pretty quiet since we last checked in with him, only one assist in his last five games.

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 this week.

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
19 GP / 10 G / 11 A / 21 Pts / 28 PIM / +5
Kravchenko continues to contribute regularly for his team, grabbing two goals, including a shorthander, and two assists in his last five games.  He’s currently 11th in the league in goals and 8th in points.

Patrick Lee – LW – Brooks Bandits (AJHL) – 2014
24GP / 10 G / 12 A / 22 Pts / 6 PIM / 0
Lee has had a goal and two assists in his last five games.  This article from the end of October regarding Lee trying out for the Canada West junior team gives us a little more info about his recruitment.  It seems UMass beat out Ohio State and Minnesota State for his services.  It also mentions that Lee is a 2014 recruit, not a 2013 as originally thought.  Lee did not end up making the roster for this year’s junior championships however.

Casey Miller – C – Kimball Union (NE Prep) – 2014
0 GP / 0 G / 0 A / 0 Pts
KUA plays its first game this week.

Willy Smith – LW – Springfield Pics (EJHL) – 2014
8 GP / 0 G / 1 A / 1 Pts / 4 PIM
No points for Smith in his recent games

Frank Vatrano– LW/C – Junior Bruins (EJHL) – 2013
11 GP / 8 G / 4 A / 12 Pts / 12 PIM
Vatrano had three goals and two assists in his last three games.  He’s leading the Junior Bruins in goals despite only having played a little more than half as many games as the rest of the roster.

Branden Gracel was named a UMass Co-Player of the Week, shared with football’s Rob Blanchflower.

The Collegian has this feature on former Minuteman captain T.J. Syner and how he’s faring in the pros.  Syner was one of the more exciting players in recent UMass history and it’s great to see him get a chance to play AHL hockey and perhaps beyond (if Gary Bettman and Jeremy Jacobs ever decide we get to have NHL hockey again).

A couple videos to share.  First here’s a look at what the UMass hockey team members are thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Personally, I’m thankful that Joel Hanley is thankful for Dunkin’ Donuts, because so am I.

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You can see that a lot of players are thankful for their mustaches.  Here’s why:

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Be sure to support Coach Mick this Movember to help battle prostate cancer.

Vermont Preview

Vermont Catamounts 2-4-2 (2-4-2) 6th Hockey East

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Massachusetts Minutemen 3-5-1 (2-5-1) T-7th Hockey East

Only a chance for an abbreviated preview due to the odd scheduling of the last few days. However I think it’s safe to say that most fans are surprised that Vermont comes into the traditional Turkey Tuesday Tilt as the better team in the Hockey East standings than UMass. The Catamounts were not expected to do much, picked last in the conference by just about everyone. But they come into tomorrow’s game in 6th place gaining two wins and two ties in their 8 games so far.

The Catamounts six league points is only one less than what they accumulated all of last season. So far they’ve gained ties on the road with Lowell and Merrimack to go with home wins over Providence and Northeastern this past Sunday. It’s pretty easy to see the key to Vermont’s success so far. When they’ve been able to hold their opponents to two or less goals, they’ve won or tied. In all their losses their opponents have scored three goals or more. To help keep their opponents off the board UVM has gotten solid goaltending from freshman Brody Hoffman who has started all eight games for them. Thus far he has a 2.78 goals against average to go with a .910 save percentage.

Vermont is still struggling on offense though, putting just 1.88 goals per game in their opponents’ net. However UMass will have to keep an eye on their power play which is converting at a respectable 18.1% so far this season. Offensively Vermont is led by senior Chris McCarthy who has four goals to go with three assists this season. Junior forward Pete Massar is the only other Catamount with multiple goals with two.

For UMass the trick to winning is to show up and play like the game means something. Now I don’t want to diminish some of the factors affecting the team currently, like the wacky schedule and having players dealing with mid-season injuries. But there’s absolutely no excuse for what fans witnessed on Sunday. Tomorrow should be a battle of competing motivations. With a win Vermont perhaps could be looking to send a message to their former coaching staff; John Micheletto, Joey Gasparini, and John Gobeil. UMass on the other hand should look to send a message that Sunday was an embarrassing aberration that will not happen again. Last Friday UMass was ahead of three teams in the standings; Maine, Lowell, and Vermont. Just a few days later Maine has gained ground, Lowell is now tied with UMass in 7th place, and Vermont is actually ahead of UMass currently. A loss would be unspeakable at this stage of the season and would mean that the Minutemen will have garnered just one point against those three teams in the course of five days. I don’t like thinking of games in November as must-win, but tomorrow may just be that.

Beer The Triangle
Unfortunately between work and the horror that is Thanksgiving week traffic, there’s no way I can make it to Amherst in time to watch the game. That means I’ll be sitting at home, listening to Brock and Adam, and cracking open a beer. First up will likely be a Dogfish Head 90 Minute courtesy of UMasshoops.com legend Swampy.

First up, let’s put the nail in the coffin of last night.

The Republican’s Dick Baker has his game story.

College Hockey News has their takeaways.

Looking ahead to tomorrow we have the preview from the Gazette.

Micheletto is treating tomorrow’s matchup against his former team like any other game per the Republican.

Vermont is ready for familiar faces reads the headline of the Burlington Free Press’ preview.

Not surprisingly UMass is no longer receiving votes in the USCHO poll. They also got shutout of any awards or Top Performers in this week’s Hockey East honors.

T.J. Syner scored his first AHL goal.

Friday Recap

I want to get the negative stuff out of the way up front, because it’s completely outweighed by the positives in this game.  It’s a little disappointing that the team could not hold onto a two goal lead at home for the win, including a one goal lead in the third.  That’s especially disappointing since not once but twice Conor Sheary had a breakaway that could’ve helped put the game away.  The second missed breakaway chance directly led to the two on one that got BU its first goal of the night.  UMass has had numerous breakaway chances this season, from Sheary’s last night to T.J. Syner’s penalty shot, and they’ve had a tough time converting on them.

So there were some missed opportunities that prevented UMass from getting that extra point last night.  But overall fans should be very happy with what they saw.  The biggest positive was the play of the defense and Kevin Boyle.  This looked to me to be the best game by the defensemen on the season as they completely stifled one of the best offenses in Hockey East, holding them to just 23 shots total.  And when shots did get through, Boyle was there to stop them.  It’s tough to fault him on either goal.  He certainly could’ve played the puck better on the first goal, but I’m not going to hang a 2 on 1 on his shoulders.  On the second he couldn’t cover up the rebound and none of the defensemen around were quick enough to clear it out of the front of the net and BU was able to pounce on it and score.  Overall great defensive effort all around.  BU really turned up the pressure when they came out in the third and UMass did an excellent job limiting the damage.  Of course the penalty kill was perfect, stopping BU on all four of their chances and limiting them to only four shots with the extra man.

Offensively UMass generated a ton of shots, 35 total.  If not for some very good play from Kieran Millan, UMass wins this one in a blowout.  The top two lines were able to pressure BU all night and it was good to see a goal come from the second line.  That goal, scored by Conor Sheary, was created when Rocco Carzo had to athletically collect a pass with his knee, played the puck down to his stick, which he immediately fired in the direction of Millan where Sheary put it home.  The first goal came thanks to some excellent passing, first a nice pass down low by Joel Hanley to attack the net where Mike Pereira was able to put it across the slot onto the stick of T.J. Syner who put it home.  Overall I was impressed by the puck movement, which I believe led to the large amount of shots we saw last night.  It was nice to see the top three forwards get back on track after struggling last week.  Syner had a goal which was setup by Pereira and Danny Hobbs led all skaters with 8 shots on net.

It would’ve been nice to get the two points but it was still a positive showing against a ranked team.  It will be interesting to see who is in net.  I’m thinking it will likely be Jeff Teglia since he played well last week and has had success at Agganis previously, gaining a tie there last year.  Hopefully last night helps to give the Minutemen some confidence that they can not only play with a team like BU, but actually control play for the majority of the game.  The opportunity is there for three points tonight, let’s see if they can take it.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – T.J. Syner
Syner’s goal was key for a number of reasons.  It got the Minutemen on the board first and allowed them to dictate what occurred for most of the rest of the game.  It came just seconds after a disallowed goal and quickly dismissed any potential negative momentum that could’ve created.  And it came at the very end of a period and gave the team some confidence going into the locker room.  But the goal, thanks to a great setup by Pereira, isn’t the only reason why Syner was my player of the game.  In the third with BU controlling play and threatening to take the lead, Syner was all over the ice and had some great backchecking work that disrupted several BU rushes.  When people think of Syner they think of his speed and offense, but he’s also one of the better defensive forwards on the team.  That showed last night.

Here’s the recap from the Republican.  I have to say that only 5,300 for a Friday night against BU is very disappointing.  The students showed up, where are all the locals?

The Globe has their BU-oriented recap.

Here’s the Gazette’s game story.

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.

Media Day Coverage; NHL Training Camp Updates

Today was Hockey East media day and, while I won’t be able to provide coverage as last year when I was actually able to attend, I’ll do my best to relay what came out of it.  As regular readers know I’ve been doing previews of the Hockey East in the past week and recently revealed my pick for UMass to finish 6th (though my true team preview will come later on).  The Hockey East coaches disagree and have UMass coming in 7th in the league.

That got me thinking, just how good have the coaching minds of the conference been at predicting UMass’ final standing.

 

Year Coaches’ Pick Actual Finish
10-11 9th 8th
09-10 7th T-6th
08-09 6th 7th
07-08 T-5th 8th
06-07 7th 4th
05-06 7th 8th
04-05 6th 8th

 

What does this mean?  Not much.  You can see the data is kinda all over the place.  Although the last two years the trend is for UMass to finish one place ahead of the coaches’ picks, so I’m feeling good with picking them 6th.  Obviously I’ll put my thoughts on the actual predictions themselves into my previews which will continue this week.

Danny Hobbs was interviewed by the Hockey East media staff at today’s events.  Hobbs has his eyes focused on getting to the Garden in his final season in maroon and white.

Coach Cahoon’s interview starts at 6:18 of this video.  Yep.  Goaltending spot up for grabs, as we knew.

UMass was picked 8th in the informal media poll.

Dick Baker says a lot is expected out of the sophomores.  Captain T.J. Syner states UMass is striving for much more than 7th place.  He also mentions that the power play has looked good so far in practice, which is absolute music to the ears.

Speaking of T.J., if you’re in the Forest Park area of Springfield, please keep an eye out for his dog Bauer.

A couple other previews to share.  First comes from the College Hockey Blog where UMass is picked to finish 8th.  The blog is written by Fetch, who is one of the more entertaining people in the college hockey realm of Twitter.

The Maine Daily Campus doesn’t pick the order of finish, but does say the Minutemen will surprise this year.

Paul Dainton, not surprisingly, was sent down to Springfield by the BlueJackets today.  There he’ll battle with RPI’s Allen York for playing time.  He’s also reunited with former teammate Obi Aduba who is in camp with the Falcons.

Looking around at the rest of of the NHL training camps, Mike Kostka has survived a few round of cuts and is still with the Florida Panthers.  Greg Mauldin was sent down to Lake Erie by the Avalanche.  Both Justin Braun and Matt Irwin are still in camp with the Sharks.  As is Matt Anderson with the Devils.

Marv Degon has signed with the Reading Royals of the ECHL.

Former captain turned coach Dean Stork brought success to the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL using a lot of college players.  Brandon Wong, Dov Grumet-Morris, Cam Talbot; these are familiar names to college hockey fans.

Media Day didn’t necessarily bring news regarding conference expansion, but did bring some insight thanks to Mike McMahon who has been all over the realignment story in regards to Hockey East.  McMahon also said on Twitter that if Notre Dame is added to the fold that people he talked to thought RPI would be the most likely candidate to become the conference’s 12th team.  Although I’m still not convinced that Hockey East needs to change their footprint enough to include Notre Dame, I do think RPI would be the best choice to round out the number of teams.  It’s a school with a ton of tradition (one of my favorite Bruins, Joe Juneau, played there).  Houston Field House is one of the great barns of college hockey.  And from Amherst to the Capital Region is equal to, if not a little closer, than a trip to Boston.

Fenway Game Is Official, Schedule & Roster Released

The rumors became true today as a press conference took place at Fenway Park to announce Frozen Fenway 2012.  Where to start.  Well, I guess we’ll start with the basics.  UMass will be facing the Vermont Catamounts on January 7th at Fenway Park with a 4pm start.    Tickets will go one sale on September 13th.  Tickets will be on sale through the Red Sox website as well as through the individual schools.  There are potentially other events and even some community skating lined up, but the college hockey doubleheader between the four New England flagships is the pinnacle of the ice being laid down at Fenway.

I was lucky enough, thanks to Hockey East, to attend the press conference and I honestly can’t wait for this game to happen.  It was a little strange to be thinking about sitting outdoors bundled up for the frigid winter cold to watch hockey while melting in field box seats at Fenway.  But since this game will take place only a week after playing in sunny Fort Myers, maybe it won’t be the only time we’re thinking hockey while in sweltering temperatures.

The press conference was entertaining.  Tom Caron essentially MC’ed the event which featured Mayor Tom Menino (no huge speech bumbles but he did call us the  rarely used “University of Mass” a couple of times), Commissioner Joe Betagna, Red Sox exec Sam Kennedy, and the four respective coaches.  Everyone said….well pretty much what you’d expect them to say.  There was then some time for Q&A.  It was cool to hear what the different coaches and players (Co-captain T.J. Syner was there to represent UMass) thought about the upcoming games.  But it was also cool to just stand on the Fenway warning track in front of canvas alley.

Just a few thoughts coming out of today.  First, I love that we’re playing Vermont.  For those who have been reading all summer you’ll know that I did a whole thing on who is UMass’ rival.  While voters on the Fear The Triangle Facebook page picked Maine, my vote was for the Catamounts.  My reasoning for that choice was the long history that exists between the schools and the pure opportunity to build a rivalry that doesn’t really exist with other schools.  Well, today both Coach Cahoon and UVM Coach Kevin Sneddon specifically mentioned the historic rivalry that dates back decades between these schools.  Toot actually brought up the introduction of the Turkey Tuesday game when he became coach as a way to help build that relationship between the schools.  I love this matchup.  A thrilling game in January and we could be well on our way to having a real rival.

The other thing I wanted to mention is just to point out what a huge deal this is.  Dick Baker of the Republican asked a great question.  He asked, essentially, is this our Beanpot?  Toot came back and said players get four years to play for the Beanpot, this is a once in a lifetime event.  Totally true.  Who knows when or if something like this will happen again.  And he said the players were psyched.  T.J. Syner, a Massachusetts native, sounded excited about the opportunity.  Toot said fellow Co-captain Danny Hobbs called from Quebec and was also thrilled at the chance.  And I really hope the UMass fans and alumni treat it the same way.  Today UMass hockey was front and center on one of the biggest sports stages in the world.  Come January 7th, it’ll be there again.  I hope everyone who considers themselves a UMass fan, every alumni, any friend of the university, and any college hockey fan will make sure to be there when UMass takes the….field(?) in January.

Couple other tidbits from today.

UMass will be getting another new jersey this year according to Toot.  I’m guessing it’ll replace the third we saw last year, which I liked in general but thought the Sam on the jersey was a little too mini-Minuteman for my liking.  As part of the press conference highlights were shown of the Boston College-Boston University game at Fenway from a couple seasons ago where both teams wore unique, and frankly pretty stylish,  jerseys.  That got Toot thinking as to whether it’d be a possibility to do the same for UMass.  I suggested triangles.  No, I really did.

Sam the Minuteman, along with the pair of cats from UNH and UVM, fared well despite the heat on the Fenway field.  The same could not be said of Maine’s beloved mascot, Bananas, who passed out and was MIA when the press conference started.  Good news is he is alright and should be up and pushing around shopping carts full of rubber pucks in no time.

Caron made sure to mention that Toot was the best dressed of the four coaches, sporting a suit while the other wore polo shirts.  Toot kidded that he wore the suit because he went to church to thank God for the opportunity to play at Fenway.  Amen to that.

Lastly, I asked Toot if the game was played tonight who he’d put in net because, well isn’t that what everyone wants to know?  He said he’d have to go with his veteran (Jeff Teglia), but that there was a lot of time between now and the game.

At the press conference this year’s roster and official schedule was released.  No real surprises on the roster.  Mike Donnellan is not listed.  Donnellan struggled to get playing time, so it’s not unexpected to see him absent from the list.  I always thought that Donnellan played well enough during his limited time and really hoped he’d be used as a forward last year when the team was obviously lacking a physical element.  But it looks like the team and he have moved on.  Certainly good luck to him wherever his future takes him.  Other than that all the other players are returning and the expected  incoming freshmen are all listed as well.

Here is the final schedule that was distributed, which has evolved a bit over the summer.  All start times are 7pm unless noted:

Fri 10/7 at Northeastern
Fri 10/14 Bentley
Sat 10/15 at Providence
Fri 10/21 at Boston College
Fri 10/28 Boston University
Sat 10/29 at Boston University
Fri 11/4 at New Hampshire
Sat 11/5 Boston College
Fri 11/11 Holy Cross
Sat 11/12 Northeastern
Fri 11/18 Maine
Sat 11/19 at Lowell
Tue 11/22 at Vermont
Sat 11/26 at Quinnipiac (4pm)
Fri 12/2 Harvard
Wed 12/7 Yale
Thu 12/29 Cornell (time TBA) – Everblades Classic in Estero FL
Fri 12/30 Clarkson/Maine (time TBA) – Everblades Classic in Estero FL (Cornell/Maine/Clarkson)
Thu 1/5 at Providence
Sat 1/7 Vermont – Frozen Fenway 2012 (4pm)
Fri 1/13 Boston College
Fri 1/20 Vermont
Fri 1/27 Lowell
Sat 1/28 at Lowell
Fri 2/3 at Northeastern
Sat 2/4 Merrimack
Fri 2/10 at Boston University
Sat 2/11 Providence
Fri 2/17 at Maine
Sat 2/18 at Maine
Fri 2/24 New Hampshire
Sat 2/25 New Hampshire
Fri 3/2 Merrimack
Sat 3/3 at Merrimack

I find it a bit strange that the one Vermont game that will be at the Mullins (UMass is losing a home game for the Fenway matchup) is on a Friday instead of a Saturday.

I’ll have more thoughts on the schedule, roster, and projected lines in the weeks to come as we lead up to October.

Lastly, the obvious choice for my Beer The Triangle pick for the Fenway game is Beer Works, within stumbling distance of anyone’s overprice Red Sox seats..  However, I finally made it to Lower Depths, located on Comm Ave, today and I have to say I was quite impressed.  I had a very good farmhouse ale from Great Divide but was blown away by a tremendous Doppel Bock from Westephaner.  It was excellent, almost had a scotch ale flavor to it (which, by coincidence, is on deck for my BTT homebrewing).  Anyway, I think I might have to make a few more research trips to see if this will be my pregame pick for the Fenway game.

Here’s the official UMass release for the Fenway game.

Dick Baker does a great job describing today’s event.

In what makes a ton of sense, most, if not all, of the CCHA teams are merging with the WCHA.  Find a place for UAH and I think we can call it a day.

Finally, I’m too young to remember his UMass days, but I do remember former Cy Young winner Mike Flanagan as a Baltimore Oriole and I’m sorry to see a UMass legend go too soon

Holy Cross Added To Schedule

The hockey season ticket renewal mailings went out this past week and while the full schedule isn’t finalized, there does appear to be a change from what was distributed at the Reverse Raffle in April. The letter mentions home games against Harvard, Yale, and Holy Cross. The first two we knew about, but a game against the Crusaders wasn’t on the original schedule. It appears that Holy Cross has replaced UConn from that earlier schedule, as the Huskies released their schedule and it doesn’t have them coming to Amherst.

I did notice that Bentley released their schedule, confirming their game against UMass.

From what I’ve heard, everything is still on track for UMass to play Vermont at Fenway on January 7th. Others have noted that Hockey East has kept that date clear of games involving other Hockey East teams.

Speaking of the season ticket renewal, one benefit that has been instituted this year is a discount based on the length of time you’ve had season tickets. It definitely pays to get seasons tickets.

Sounds like co-captain T.J. Syner was impressive at Capitals Development camp, scoring two goals in the final scrimmage and drawing praise from a Caps blogger.

Syner & Allen Off To Camp

I believe I said last week that the coverage of the development camps coming from the NHL teams themselves has frankly sucked.  Sure enough, despite the fact that they’re not on the official Washington Capitals Development Camp Roster, it turns out both T.J. Syner and Conor Allen are attending the camp.  Thankfully the Washington Post appears to be on top of things.

Sounds like Adam Phillips was on the receiving end of a cheap shot at Flyers camp.  (Flyers?!  Cheap shots?!?)  I’ve seen a few other recaps of his performance at camp but they all say the same thing:  “Plays well, needs to add weight”.  Nothing we didn’t already know.

I suspect a number of former Minutemen will be at the San Jose Sharks camp later this month, but for some reason in the past they’ve kept the goings on there, including the roster, from the general public.

Here’s a video found of 2012 recruit Kenny Gillespie (#19) scoring a goal for Shattuck St. Mary’s from this past February.  Nice to see him use his 6’2” frame to get in front of the net and then put the loose puck in the net off the backhand.

The Iron Mountain Daily News out of Michigan reports that Boston University and Boston College were both invited to the new hockey conference being formed out west, but said no.  I can’t imagine either school would seriously consider leaving the already strong Hockey East, with its natural rivalries and easier logistics, to be with a group of Midwest and Rocky Mountain schools they have little in common with.  The report also states that Notre Dame is looking for a league smaller than Hockey East’s 10 team league.  I wonder if Western Michigan coach Jeff Blashill, who turned the Broncos into an NCAA team this year, jumping to the Red Wings will hurt WMU’s chances of gaining an invite to the new league.

NHL Updates

A few NHL related UMass news to pass along tonight.

First, Mike Kostka has signed a one year deal with the Florida Panthers.  Hopefully playing in the Panthers system (not exactly tops in the NHL) will afford him a chance to make his NHL debut.

Secondly, sticktap to a FTT reader who informed me that T.J. Syner has received an invite to attend the Washington Capitals Development Camp.

Lastly, Adam Phillips has received an invitation to attend the Philadelphia Flyers camp.  Joining him there will be none other than former Notre Dame goaltender Brad Phillips, Adam’s brother.

Last minute addition to this post:

Recruit Kenny Gillespie was included on NHL Central Scouting’s watch list for the 2012 draft.  Gillespie is considered a “B” level prospect.

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