If Max or I still wrote previews, what we would have written was last night’s game against Providence was going to be the biggest indicator of what kind of team we have this year. Yes, UMass looked reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally good against BC twice, BU twice and UNH, but its not like that statement didn’t apply to the Toot era either, The major issue with the Toot era, the one that made you wonder aloud ‘HOW THE FRANCH DO WE ONLY HAVE SIX WINS’, was the perpetually underwhelming performances against the back half of Hockey East. Despite having the talent to play with the BUs and BCs of the world, the Cahoon era teams CONSISTENTLY lost to teams like Vermont, Merrimack (back when they weren’t good) and, most of all, Providence. UMass is 0-3-3 against Providence in the last 2 years. Read that again. Not a single win in 2 fucking years AGAINST PROVIDENCE!!!!
Well, I’m happy to report that so far, in winnable games against lesser opponents, the Micheletto era is still batting 1.000. UMass won 4-0 last night in a game that was never really in doubt. After a sloppy 1st period that made me wonder if anything really did change, the Minutemen came out of the second like a baby set on fire and ended up going into the second intermission with a 3-0 lead. The biggest development of last night’s match was the reemergence of Michael “Space Cat” Purrrreria who get a pretty little PP goal to go along with 2 assists. You could tell Mikey was smelling that first goal after having 2 solid games last weekend without a point, and I think its no coincidence that the 2 assists came after that first goal. Once Mikey broke that goal-less drought, he seemed a bit more willing to pass first rather than try to force a shot. With Mikey back in (hopefully) full force, I’m feeling even more confident in this team. I would take the top 2 lines to war with anybody in college hockey right now. The talent is there, and hopefully the passion stays there. So far, from what I’ve seen, this team doesn’t give up. Yeah, it has gotten beat by a lack of conditioning, and simply by depth of talent, but I have yet to watch a game this year where you knew the team’s heart wasn’t in it (it was obvious our boys were going to lose in the 3rd period of the BC game last week, but I would blame conditioning and playing a team that was 25-1-0 in their last 26, rather than heart). If this team can get up for Providence, then I feel pretty good about saying there is a chance we sniff home ice and, please for the love of god i hope, avoid Conte in the quarters this year.
The Debbie Gillies memorial bullet point section of Matt’s recaps
- Tim Schaller, the insufferable scumbag who got 5 and the game for a completely blatant shove of the heroic Conor Allen into the sanction, is from Merrimack NH. FOR SHAME, FUTURE CITY I WILL WORK IN
- Oh Conor Allen is like a homeless man’s college hockey version of Bobby Orr. That second goal was a beauty. Top shelf, shorthanded. I drunkenly bought that goal a drink, it was so pretty.
- Speaking of scum, Steven McParland, the dude who boarded the saint Eric Filiou CLEARLY after the whistle and did not receive a penalty is now enemy number one of us and, in turn, you. Dude looks like a scumbag, seriously, look. Oh, and he’s a freshman. Enjoy the next 4 years, fuckface.
- Passing along a story I heard about the BC game on Sunday. Apparently, on the goal that would have put UMass up 3-1 in the 3rd, Parker Milner was, and I’m quoting from somebody who was right behind the net, clearly inside the goal and past the line when he stopped the puck. However, when the refs went to review it, miraculously, the overhead camera” wasn’t working”. However, it was working for the rest of the game. Thus, no goal. Fucking Conte.
- Quick mini rant about the student section. First, apparently it was small because it was a long weekend. Okay, I hate your excuse, but I guess its a valid one. Whatever. However, y’all n**gas quiet and shit. Step ya game up. Oh, and to the jerkoff who wanted to start a fuck the Friars chant while Filiou was down, then called us pussies when he was promptly scolded: fuck off, I hate you and would absolute break your neck, you fucking nobody. Its hard to let go of something I took so much pride in improving, but the student section is no longer mine to police. Adam (the new guy with the flag) and his posse is doing what they can, but its hard to be the only clever people in a wave of perpetual ignorance. They need the new era. Freshman, sophomores, anybody who gives a shit, be the next generation Go down to the flag section, yell stuff thats clever, yell loud, don’t use “fuck” as your crutch. There’s going to be a time where i’m not going to know a single soul in the row I used to call home. Its overwhelming to have no control over it. But the next wave of intelligent snarky students needs to start now. The love and support you can feel in a student section, where you see the same people game after game for your UMass career. That starts when you put yourself in a position to succeed. Come down, start the next generation. Be the solution, not the problem.
- Shane Walsh is the best player ever I love him he needs to be on a line with Troy Power and Sheary and be the all awesome line.
- Evan Stack’s new nickname is Even Stackers because he’s not bad but he has yet to do anything to differentiate himself from his competition in a saturated hockey player/bar market.
- KJ “lol im not spelling that out” Tiefenwerth is showing flashes. He can’t score, but it looks like his vision is getting better every game. He had a great deke to get in the offensive zone, and then a great laser pass. He’ll get an assist during the 3 games in 6 nights stand next week. I’m calling it.
- Providence showed the most Hockey East goonery at the Mullins Center since Maine back in the day. I was waiting for Oleg to lose his shit and just start punching. There was one scrum where he just tackled somebody, but it wasn’t really a tackle it was just a sad FIFA 13 style ‘errrrrrbody fall down’ moment. The one guy who did look like he was about to eat the one game suspension and drop the gloves after the Allen boarding was Mike “like a bus” Busillo who definitely looks like he was about to drop the gloves with the photographer in his Hockey East headshot. Bus skated towards the PC bench and was definitely looking to fuck shit up. Good for him, I’m glad we get to keep chippy Mike Marcou without Mike Marcou.
- #bikemarcou owns
See you guys on Tuesday for basketball, y’all. Expect a preview but then don’t expect it because Max ain’t writing shit, apparently.