Hockey Preview, Part 1: Ch-ch-changes

Hey, you know what’s really depressing? Talking about our football team and the embarrassment that is the current richard-measuring contest that is the former-players-vs-Molnar debacle. Let’s talk about something that has somehow become less depressing by comparison – our hockey team!

It’s rapidly almost October yet and the time is NOW for us to shift gears, though I think we will weigh in more on the football sitch once more of the details are out there. Or not, honestly, fuck ’em. Now that we are Triangle-less, keeping track of who’s coming and going on this team is a lot harder, so I figured it’s a good opportunity to compile some statistics and lists to see what we’re working with here. Tonight, let’s see who won’t be walking through that door in a couple weeks (!):


Four graduating seniors:

Darren Rowe (D): Career 13/20/33 (-18), last season 6/10/16 (-18) // Rowe-vell’s offensive output was a saving grace, but he didn’t really have that end-of-career Mike Marcouian rounding into form defensively. May have been better suited at forward on a team that could afford that from a depth standpoint.

– Kevin Czepiel (F): Career 7/19/26 (-5), last season 2/6/8 (-5) // Yoke’s leadership, quickness, and D will be hard to replace, but his offensive production will not.

– Rocco Carzo (F): Career 18/30/48 (-22), last season 9/10/19 (-9) // Rocco’s career started and ended well for the Minutemen, despite doing next to nothing offensively for the middle portion. Really wish he had one more year left because his game was rounding into form his senior year.

– Eddie Olyczk (F): Career 4/2/6 (-15), last season 3/1/4 (-4) // A stalwart defensively and on the PK his senior year, and another fiery competitor type, but again, not exactly irreplaceable offensive production.

We also lose six players to the pros, transfers, and Mick’s offseason cuts:

– Jeff Teglia (G): Career 18 GP, 4.14 GAA, .866 SV% // Tegs was part of a goalie controversy his sophomore year, but Mick clearly didn’t have the same faith in him and he spent the year buried on the bench. Surely one of the newcomers can at least fill these shoes.

– Conor Allen (D): Career 14/25/39 (-12), last year 5/14/19 (-1) // A leader on both ends of the ice, Allen is likely the position player whose early departure will hurt the Minutemen the most, and frankly we might miss him even more than Boyle. I was worried the blue line depth was going to be thin before Allen left.

– Eric Filiou (F): Career 4/9/13 (-6), last year 1/1/2 (-2) // Another guy who clearly fell out of favor with Mick, so like Tegs, not a hugely surprising cut, as he only played 16 games last year. Fun name to hear John Hennessey say, at least.

– Rob Dongara (F): Career 7/9/16 (-2) in 2 seasons at NU // So deprived we are of the opportunity to have a man with such an awesome name play in a UMass game. Showed a lot of potential his freshman year with the Huskies, could have been a wild card this year. The world will never know.

– KJ Tiefenwerth (F): 2/4/6 (-4) in his only season // KJ was supposed to be one of the big “gets” of the last few years, but never appeared to get it going in the maroon and white. Not sure why Mick didn’t give him a chance to stick it out, but of course we’re not the ones running the practices. Will obviously score a hat trick against us with Quinnipiac someday.

– Kevin Boyle (G): Career 41 GP, 2.86 GAA, .896 SV% // Take a look at Kevin Boyle’s splits for the 2012/2013 season. In his first 10 games, he allowed 17 goals, never more than 3 in a game, with a 1.67 GAA and .936 save percentage. He allowed more than three goals in five of the remaining 10 games, his season GAA ballooning to 2.73 and season save percentage plummeting to .897. Mind you, the competition in the second half picked up a bit, and the team’s effort (in our view) tailed off in a big way down the stretch in front of Boyle. But I think Mick must have seen something about both goalies’ play in the second half that convinced him that Mastalerz was the way to go moving forward. (For comparison, Mastalerz posted two shutouts in the final six games and allowed more than three goals just twice after his rough November. And he won at BC!) Steve posted a slightly higher GAA but also a slightly higher save % last year in almost as many games, so I don’t see the drop-off in goal to be as precipitous as a lot of the emotional fans seem to think it is. Yes, I’m still kinda surprised Boyle got cut, and he seems like a nice enough guy who we wish all the best to at Lowell, but let’s stop acting like Mick cut Jonathan Quick from the team. We can survive this.

So that’s what we’re looking at for departures. Oh, and Shane Walsh changed his number from 15 to 10, but that appears to be the only number change with the returning players, which makes it easier to keep track of who’s who. Next time, we’ll talk about the incoming freshmen, then we’ll look at who’s coming back, and try to piece together what the depth chart might possibly look like with our completely uneducated eyes. Also coming up, we’ll take a look around at the 10 other teams and let you know what we hate about each of them and why.

In the meantime, enjoy the new home uniforms, which two out of three founding Fight Mass members, and 100% of the ones who currently actively do anything with the blog and Twitter, think are swell. While a good point has been made by Fight Mass friend and Aflac duck speech coach Joe Meloni, that the jersey does have a bit too much in the piping department, I still think the simple and clean approach is great. I can’t be the only one who favors the classic simplicity of, say, BU’s jerseys to the overdone stained glass thing that BC has talked themselves into in recent years. It also eschews the ugly block lettering that always looked sort of tacky. I think it’s a great progression of the alternate road uniforms that have been rolled out lately, which in retrospect are probably just too busy, all too busy.

from UMass Athletics official site

Alright, well, see you guys after Breaking Bad. (Maybe we’ll write a spoiler-tastic recap!)

– Max


PS: Hey guys last minute edit because this is awesome and certainly encouraged behavior if you have filled out the seven books of paperwork required to have permission to consider using a UMass Official Dorm Bulletin Board™


why thank you @TheRealBrogster you swell person you




  1. Pingback: Introducing: University of Massachusetts Minutemen | Bloggin' On Babcock

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