FightCast Episode I: The Maine

Oh, yeah, you read that right. FightCast. A portmanteau of Fi…guys? Guys? Where’d you go? Come back!

Yeah, welcome to the digital era, where the future will be televised. On the radio. On the, err, Internet. On the Maine. I should stop talking now. Just listen. Disclaimers:

– We recorded this last Friday right after the CCSU game, so the material is slightly dated. But hey, I managed to get it posted before the next UMass game, so there’s that. Besides, none of you were gonna listen to it at all during New Year’s anyway

– It’s an hour long. Load it on your iPod and drive somewhere while listening to it.

– Language. Par for the course here, but uhh yeah, not safe for work.

– Inside jokes. There are some. Sorry.

– There are a few rants, including Matt about UMassHoops, and both of us about politics. It’s got some rough edges. Deal with it.

Anyway, it’s all kinds of fun, so without further ado:

THE FIGHTCAST EPISODE 1

 

So also, there’s hockey tomorrow, not that anyone cares because Frozen Fenway is coming up and Providence, ho hum, been there done that. However, our intrepid Jarod Hendrickson, who by the way is the only person writing Contributor’s Corner articles these days hint hint someone write for ussssss! anyway, here’s another look back at the Florida games and ahead to a rematch with the Friars. The Fight Mass boys won’t be there, but Jarod’s planning on making the trip down. Take it away, J:

Contributor’s Corner: “Providence/The Town Preview”

UMass looks to turn the page to 2012 with a strong start to the second half of the season. The Minutemen put in a solid all around game and upset #13 Cornell at the Florida College Classic behind a pair of goals from sophomore Conor Sheary. They then fell 5-2 to Maine in the championship game the following night, going 0-5 with the man advantage. UMass now finds themselves at (6-8-4) (2-6-3 HEA), good for 9th place in the standings.

Moving on from there…Saturday…Jan 7th…Fenway Park. A day we’ve been all looking forward to for a very, very long time that hasn’t come soon enough. All that stands between our beloved team and that epic experience is a date with Providence on Thursday. As usual, these two points on the line are huge for the Mass Attack, who currently find themselves on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. The good news is only 3 points separate 5th place Providence (8-8-1)(6-4-0 HEA) and us, a 4 point weekend would go a long way into propelling UMass back up in the standings. The Friars have surprised a lot of people this season, playing solid all year and sweeping a then #1, unbeaten Merrimack last month. But hey, we beat #1 BC, so that’s a wash. Providence has started the new year with a 5-2 loss to Brown. PC is led by freshmen Ross Mauermann (6 G/8 A) and junior Tim Schaller (9 G/4 A). Alex Beaudry (7-7-1, 2.93 GAA, .898 save%) should be in net. This game is no pushover like the past (like we won those anyways..) and UMass can’t overlook this game while having their sights set on Frozen Fenway. I’m looking forward to be making my first trip to PC and seeing the game in person, and they better not disappoint. This game offers a great tune up for Saturday’s tilt, and hopefully UMass can gain some momentum going into Fenway.

And then there’s the biggie. The granddaddy of them all (sorry Rose Bowl)…Frozen Fenway. After a two-year hiatus, college hockey is back at the cathedral of Boston, starting with your UMass Minutemen vs. Vermont at 4pm followed by UNH (sucks) vs. Maine at 7pm. The games will also be televised on NESN as part of their “hockey is really fucking awesome day in New England”. What an amazing experience this will be for all fans (yes even UNH) involved, especially those making their first ever trip to Fenway, including yours truly. The logo and signs for these games should read “Frozen” Fenway. Thanks to global warming, this ass backwards winter season will continue through the weekend. The flask in my back pocket will be cooler than the temperature for the game. The forecast for Saturday calls for a high of 48 degrees with sun and 10% chance of rain. So the fans will be drunk AND comfortable. The ice…meh at best. If you thought you’ve seen shitty ice at the Mullins, we’re all in for a treat this weekend. Expect slow, sloppy play, forcing teams to go to a “back to basics” game plan. Short, crisp passes will be key, and UMass’s speed will be hampered by the conditions. There’s nothing we can do about the weather, however, it is what it is and both teams will have to deal with it. At least it’s not supposed to rain (knocks wood). Both goaltenders will have to adjust to the changing light and the unique sightlines Fenway presents. Which leads to the question of who will occupy the net for UMass. It’s been a guessing game all season, but I see Teglia (0-4-1, 3.30 GAA, .891 save%) getting the start Thursday and Boyle (5-3-3, 2.99 GAA, .898 save%) in net at Fenway, although it’s definitely possible for Boyle (who’s emerging as our #1 goalie) to pick up both starts. As for Vermont (4-13-1)(1-9-1 HEA), they’re awful. Like a “only have 3 points in Hockey East and are in 10th place” level of shitty. Despite this, UMass dropped a 2-1 decision up in Burlington last November, getting only 19 shots on goal and giving Vermont their first and only win in Hockey East so far. The leading scorer for the Catamounts is Sebastian Stalberg (7G/12A) and their backstop is Rob Madore (3-10-1, 3.96 GAA .865 save%). So yeah, it’s a game the Minutemen can easily win, yet as they’ve proven with bottom tier Hockey East teams in the past, can also inexplicably lose.

The Minutemen’s keys to victory need to be simple for Fenway. Their penalty kill is third worst in the nation, so it is crucial they stay out of the box. Weather conditions will play a factor, so smart hockey and a full 60 minute effort should put UMass in a good spot when the clock hits :00. This is going to be an unreal experience, so take it all in and enjoy this awesome privilege we’ve been given. On this day, UMass can have nice things, and hopefully they can deliver a win to cap off a great day of hockey.

————–

So there you have it. I’ll try to write something after Thursday’s action on the ice (as well as basketball’s A-10 opener against Fordham), but if not, you probably won’t be hearing from us until Saturday. See you all at Fenway!

-Max

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