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HockeyRef
02-24-2017, 09:23 PM
If you're arguing that I'm being generous in saying we're equal to UConn, I wouldn't disagree much if at all...

;)

You'll get no argument from me have nothing left to say on the subject...

Chuck Murray
02-24-2017, 10:10 PM
Additionally, hopefully this puts the UConn is a cupcake silliness to rest. They have begun to evolve. Perception of them needs to do the same. We can all whine about how we've fallen this far to be an equal to UConn at this stage in their development. But UNH hockey is NOT better than UConn hockey. No matter how much some hate and disrespect their coach. They are dramatically better between the pipes and on defense - and while UNH scores more goals they are not that far ahead of UConn offensively. Thompson and Letunov are every bit a talent match of r UNHs first line - both are essentially one line teams. I'd trade our coaching situation for theirs in a heartbeat...

UConn is a cupcake, simple as. Of course, so is UNH. Same exact HE conference record at this point, and tonight's UConn win is only their second win in their last 12 games (sound familiar?). I honestly don't see the evolution, any more than a generation ago when folks claimed UMass and their own BC assistant-turned-HC Joe Mallen was supposedly building the Minutemen into the "sleeping giant" of Hockey East. Well, that "sleeping giant" obviously has narcolepsy, and with UConn looking at only a narrow chance to eke into the top 8 this season, I don't see the "evolution". I see "treading water in the HE kiddie pool". Like you said, it's a one-line team, and the depth of their recruiting looks to have generally leveled out after the top two forwards. And the fact there were almost 100 shots on goal combined tonight doesn't say much about either team's defense.

If your proposition is that UConn is still in its building phase, while UNH has been on a consistently downwards path for over a decade now, you're not going to get me to disagree. But there was a lot of chatter last season and this season about UConn pressing up the standings, upping its game on the recruiting trails, etc. ... and it's simply just not materialized. There's a good argument that UConn's most effective recruiter was standing behind the opposite bench tonight.

So please, let's go easy on the UConn coronation. The only way their program can be deemed to have been successful in their time in HE to date would be if you set the bar exceedingly low. Like, they're (marginally?) better than UNH at this point.

--------------------

Good to see old regular d.gerry on here today with some of his thoughts on topics we have been debating on and off over the last few weeks/months/years. There are literally dozens like d.gerry who used to post fairly regularly but have dropped off due to the program's descent, which translates to hundreds of hard-core every-game fans, and thousands of regular and casual fans who have lost interest in what used to be the most energetic program in HE, if not the country. Yeah, UNH may never have won the "big one", but when UNH got themselves to the Garden regularly for postseason play, or had NCAA Regional play across New England and out to Albany, no one - and that included the big Boston schools - traveled better than UNH. I hope I live long enough to see that again, 'cuz it was a wonderful thing.

As to the "Umile Question" ... kudos to HR for stepping out with a brutally honest (and obviously painful) conclusion. Losing tonight was a bitter pill to swallow, and now home ice even in the pathetic MBPBEGAM *playoffs* is no longer within UNH's control. Another non-win on the road tomorrow night cements a road series, and (as others have said already) I don't see this team winning a road series. 13 wins leaves Coach needing 16 next season (and 12 leaves 17 W's as the target) to get to "the next round number", and that's going to be a tall order. Will Coach take it upon himself to gracefully step aside then? I doubt it. And if not, will BS35+4 have the intestinal fortitude to write Coach a check for next season in advance, give him a retirement party to celebrate (December seems apropos), and give Souza an early start to his HC career?

As I've said before ... as much as I hope Coach Souza proves to be the real thing, and gets things back to where they used to be ... I think it's eventually going to be Souza's successor that eventually turns the tide. And as d.gerry points out, that could mean we are watching more of the same from UNH for the better part of a decade. But that doesn't mean I'm not rooting for Coach Umile to pull a final rabbit out of his hat over the last few games of this season (and has a terrific going-away season next year IF he gets that chance), nor am I rooting for Coach Souza (and Coach Stewart) to fall flat once they are given the reins. I'm not a masochist, and it's way more fun writing stuff on here when things are going well. It's been a long time since things were that way, though ... and I just suspect we've got some tough road ahead of us at least into the early 2020's. Prove me wrong, guys. Please.

deltabravo62
02-24-2017, 10:35 PM
Not acceptable...it's just not acceptable. Period. But I'm not going to lay this entirely on the players....they did not look prepared and then couple that with a lack of motivation through most of the game. Oh whatever...

This team is still making the same mistakes they made in the exhibition in October. Nothing ever changes, stagnant defense, no neutral zone transition, and a decent offense when they actually get into the offensive zone.

The fact that nothing ever changes as a result of the recent 'umiliations is totally on the coaching staff.

Dan
02-24-2017, 11:15 PM
Chuck - you are welcome to your definition of a cupcake, but you are the only one who views a cupcake as any poor team. A cupcake is an expected easy win. UConn was that expected win, they are no longer. Especially for UNH. In addition to winning three straight against UNH, they took 7 of 16 points against the top four in HE this year. UNH took two.

This is UConns third season in HE and a win gets them home ice tomorrow, more than likely. They are still growing out of their AHA roots. Their last year in the AHA the Wildcats were an NCAA tourney team. The gap is closed and not entirely because UNH has slipped. People who view them as a team trending up are not wrong because they haven't immediately reached the top-four of HE.

If Thompson and Letunov leave - they won't be taking a huge leap next year either. But their defense and goaltending is legit and their future recruiting classes are much deeper than UNHs.

Defensively they've allowed 2.8 GPG to UNHs 3.5 (which trumps however many shots they gave up tonight). Their NHL prospect of a goalie is a freshman and they return their entire D Corp next year - 4 underclassmen along with a deep group of incoming blue liners. They will get better offensively because their best recruiter is their HC and he has a proven track record landing forwards. Which HE did with Thompson, Letunov and Nass. If all three return next year, their one line will be pretty dangerous.

The argument has been made here already that Souza was most responsible for landing their top kids and it's been proven false through simple research. When faced with the actual evidence there is no argument that UConns best recruiter was on UNHs bench tonight. None.

Many said UMass had potential and they did/do. No one thought Mallen would achieve it, nor Cahoon, nor Michelletti. They have, for the first time in their history made a good hire. We'll see if, for the first time in their history, they actually invest in their program, too.

Three years into their HE tenure there is NO doubt that UConns commitment to hockey is far greater than UMass'...

When UNH lost to Bentley, there ceased to be any cupcakes on their schedule. A few pillow fights perhaps, but no cupcakes. The lone reason UNH is not WELL out of the home ice race and behind UConn already is because they caught Northeastern at the right time and without Nolan Stevens. Otherwise they'd be 2-11-2 agains this supposed cupcake-walk of a second half we heard so much about...

HockeyRef
02-24-2017, 11:56 PM
Chuck - you are welcome to your definition of a cupcake, but you are the only one who views a cupcake as any poor team. A cupcake is an expected easy win. UConn was that expected win, they are no longer. Especially for UNH. In addition to winning three straight against UNH, they took 7 of 16 points against the top four in HE this year. UNH took two.

This is UConns third season in HE and a win gets them home ice tomorrow, more than likely. They are still growing out of their AHA roots. Their last year in the AHA the Wildcats were an NCAA tourney team. The gap is closed and not entirely because UNH has slipped. People who view them as a team trending up are not wrong because they haven't immediately reached the top-four of HE.

If Thompson and Letunov leave - they won't be taking a huge leap next year either. But their defense and goaltending is legit and their future recruiting classes are much deeper than UNHs.

Defensively they've allowed 2.8 GPG to UNHs 3.5 (which trumps however many shots they gave up tonight). Their NHL prospect of a goalie is a freshman and they return their entire D Corp next year - 4 underclassmen along with a deep group of incoming blue liners. They will get better offensively because their best recruiter is their HC and he has a proven track record landing forwards. Which HE did with Thompson, Letunov and Nass. If all three return next year, their one line will be pretty dangerous.

The argument has been made here already that Souza was most responsible for landing their top kids and it's been proven false through simple research. When faced with the actual evidence there is no argument that UConns best recruiter was on UNHs bench tonight. None.

Many said UMass had potential and they did/do. No one thought Mallen would achieve it, nor Cahoon, nor Michelletti. They have, for the first time in their history made a good hire. We'll see if, for the first time in their history, they actually invest in their program, too.

Three years into their HE tenure there is NO doubt that UConns commitment to hockey is far greater than UMass'...

When UNH lost to Bentley, there ceased to be any cupcakes on their schedule. A few pillow fights perhaps, but no cupcakes. The lone reason UNH is not WELL out of the home ice race and behind UConn already is because they caught Northeastern at the right time and without Nolan Stevens. Otherwise they'd be 2-11-2 agains this supposed cupcake-walk of a second half we heard so much about...

The second half cup cake schedule? All those tough HE games? Maybe I'm not understanding your comment...

Dan
02-25-2017, 12:16 AM
The second half cup cake schedule? All those tough HE games? Maybe I'm not understanding your comment...

I was being sarcastic. There has been a lot of talk this year about UNHs schedule of cup cakes. At the end of the first half there was a lot of talk about how the second half schedule really wasn't difficult. While that talk may be correct in a vacuum, it just isn't when you're talking about those teams opposing UNH. Teams that would be cupcakes for the college hockey elite just aren't for UNH. An average second half schedule is overwhelming for UNH. Because the only thing separating this UNH team from UMass is Tyler Kelleher. Cleland is a warrior, but if TK wasnt scoring three points a night this team would be as bad at scoring goals as it is preventing them. Thus, expecting them to cruise past anyone is just setting oneself up for disappointment...

Darius
02-25-2017, 08:24 AM
Focusing on last night's game and reading threads of other teams that lost last night, one must remember that both teams come to play. CT has 7 drafted players including their goalie. UNH has 2 drafted players, neither dressed. It was not a compelling game to watch until the end when we increased our sense of urgency and CT was on their heels. I am still not a fan of having an empty net with only one defender on the ice, certainly not for 1:30 when you are applying even strength pressure.

Reasonable hope for a home series next weekend remains. If not, maybe we play NU at historic Matthews. Could be worse.

Chuck Murray
02-25-2017, 09:14 AM
Dan, I appreciate your response, and TBF I think we're circling around the same issues with slightly different takes. I'll highlight a few areas where we disagree, and also point out where we're pretty much in agreement ...


Chuck - you are welcome to your definition of a cupcake, but you are the only one who views a cupcake as any poor team. A cupcake is an expected easy win. UConn was that expected win, they are no longer. Especially for UNH. In addition to winning three straight against UNH, they took 7 of 16 points against the top four in HE this year. UNH took two.

I think we can all decipher that my (over)use of the term "cupcake" arises from the weekly Quest features, and before that from UNH's embarrassingly weak OOC schedule this season and last season. You are free to split hairs, and I'm fine with that. I've conceded that UNH have eventually shown themselves to be "cupcakes". Heck, not so long ago, I was referring to Merrimack as "cupcakes" and now they are sitting atop both UNH and UConn with a game to go (and with a better overall record, too). Consider it "creative license". :)

But let's take the example of last night's game, using your definition ... if an opponent with one win in their last 11 games can't be viewed as an expected win for a team playing its last RS home game on Senior Night, then your analysis of what constitutes a "cupcake" is pretty limited. Now, let's say UNH somehow manages to turn the tables on UConn tonight at their place. Does that suddenly mean UNH is no longer a "cupcake" because they'd finish in front of UConn in the league (and with a better overall record)? I doubt it. So again, please ... all I'm asking here is, let's keep UConn's *progress* in perspective. More on that shortly ...


This is UConns third season in HE and a win gets them home ice tomorrow, more than likely. They are still growing out of their AHA roots. Their last year in the AHA the Wildcats were an NCAA tourney team. The gap is closed and not entirely because UNH has slipped. People who view them as a team trending up are not wrong because they haven't immediately reached the top-four of HE.

Fair enough overall (keeping in mind "home ice" means basically a tie for 8th). I'll get to that "trend" in a little bit ...


If Thompson and Letunov leave - they won't be taking a huge leap next year either. But their defense and goaltending is legit and their future recruiting classes are much deeper than UNHs.

Defensively they've allowed 2.8 GPG to UNHs 3.5 (which trumps however many shots they gave up tonight). Their NHL prospect of a goalie is a freshman and they return their entire D Corp next year - 4 underclassmen along with a deep group of incoming blue liners. They will get better offensively because their best recruiter is their HC and he has a proven track record landing forwards. Which HE did with Thompson, Letunov and Nass. If all three return next year, their one line will be pretty dangerous.

The argument has been made here already that Souza was most responsible for landing their top kids and it's been proven false through simple research. When faced with the actual evidence there is no argument that UConns best recruiter was on UNHs bench tonight. None.

I'm not quite sure I agree with the "proven track record" you're espousing for their current HC - it would seem IF you're trying to extend that past the last few seasons at UConn, then you're doing the same for him at BC as I'm guilty of having done for his former assistant at UConn and giving too much credit downstream from the top guy. But all in all, I'll take your word for their future recruiting outlook, and yeah, their top three guys should be a force next season ... if they remain intact. But as we've increasingly found out in recent seasons, keeping your best guys interested in a program competing in the bottom reaches of HE can be easier said than done.


Many said UMass had potential and they did/do. No one thought Mallen would achieve it, nor Cahoon, nor Michelletti. They have, for the first time in their history made a good hire. We'll see if, for the first time in their history, they actually invest in their program, too.

Three years into their HE tenure there is NO doubt that UConns commitment to hockey is far greater than UMass'...

OK, so here's where we differ, and it's a doozy. First of all, the Mallen hire was trumped at the time as a big (BIG) deal. Just because it was pre-Internet doesn't change the fact that lots of folks in the print media were saying what a brilliant move this was, and their season playing an independent schedule before they officially joined HE saw Mallen post a 20 win season (likely against many "cupcakes" ;) :D ). More hype ... then the rubber hit the road, and reality set in. First three seasons in Hockey East, UMass finished 9th-8th-8th. Now, let's say UConn wins tonight AND Merrimack loses. First three seasons in Hockey East, then UConn finishes ... hmmm, 9th-8th-8th. If UConn loses tonight, then it's 9th-8th-10th. Mallen sticks around for 7 seasons, and the "sleeping giant" is still asleep.

So according to you, who thinks UMass has never thought aggressively about backing their Men's Hockey program until the last year or so, and the arrival of the new AD etc. ... when UMass decides to move on from Mallen, they twiddle their thumbs and settle for stiffs to run the program, right? Well, not quite. That was the offseason where our very own legendary Coach Dick Umile was approached to run the UMass program. And once he got through parlaying things into his "lifetime contract" at UNH, courtesy of AD Judy Ray, UMass scraped the bottom of the barrel with Don "Toot" Cahoon ... oh wait, not the former BU assistant and Princeton HC, where at the latter he remains to this day their best ever head coach, and the first (only?) coach to ever win them anything in the ECAC? Cahoon steps in, and after two seasons of working through the leftovers from the Mallen era, pretty much reverses the program's fortunes (modestly anyway) similarly to what he'd done at Princeton. But the slumbering giant sets back in at the end of his reign, and they remain fast asleep to this day. So with all due respect ... to say Carvel is "their first good hire" is both wrong AND wishful thinking. I mean ... based on exactly what?? :confused:

Bottom line, it's tough to build something where nothing has really previously existed. A lot of folks backed Coach Mallen at the time, and ditto Coach Cahoon (who managed to get everyone's hopes up for a few years before they backslid). And so far, UConn's current HC isn't doing all that much better than Coach Mallen at a similar juncture in his UMass career. "Real hire" Coach Carvel is also still sitting at the bottom of the league, at last check (but in fairness, he needs more time). And while I don't think Coach Cahoon is going to be making it into the HHOF any time soon, his modest accomplishments with Princeton AND UMass (where he remains historically the best coach ever at both of those programs) deserves a lot more respect than you're giving him.


When UNH lost to Bentley, there ceased to be any cupcakes on their schedule. A few pillow fights perhaps, but no cupcakes. The lone reason UNH is not WELL out of the home ice race and behind UConn already is because they caught Northeastern at the right time and without Nolan Stevens. Otherwise they'd be 2-11-2 agains this supposed cupcake-walk of a second half we heard so much about...

Love the pillow fights comment. Wish I'd thought that one up myself.

HockeyRef
02-25-2017, 09:54 AM
Focusing on last night's game and reading threads of other teams that lost last night, one must remember that both teams come to play. CT has 7 drafted players including their goalie. UNH has 2 drafted players, neither dressed. It was not a compelling game to watch until the end when we increased our sense of urgency and CT was on their heels. I am still not a fan of having an empty net with only one defender on the ice, certainly not for 1:30 when you are applying even strength pressure.

Reasonable hope for a home series next weekend remains. If not, maybe we play NU at historic Matthews. Could be worse.

You make good points here; down 3 solid players if you include Wyse but we didn't play with that urgency after we scored first and that was the diff. That being said you point out what Dan made reference to and that is on many levels UConn is solid where we are weak particularly in D. Obviously they have recruited well in the past couple of seasons. Thompson and Leturnov are difference makers. We didn't have a good PP going either.

Appreciate your perspective as always!

HockeyRef
02-25-2017, 10:07 AM
Sweet! Will Chuck and Dan have a good ole fashioned 'pillow fight'? We can call it the "Battle of the Cupcakes" :D:eek::D (just a little diversion here folks..) Love it.

Chuck Murray
02-25-2017, 10:12 AM
Interesting quotes mixed in with Al Pike's game story last night at the Foster's website:

http://www.seacoastonline.com/sports/20170224/uconn-5-unh-3-time-is-running-out-on-wildcats

"We work hard but we struggle to score," said UNH coach Dick Umile. "We fell behind but the guys battled. I don't have any answers to be honest with you."

Excellent message from the head coach. "I have no answers". Terrific.

"Tirone was outstanding keeping them in the game," said UConn coach Mike Cavanaugh. "Towards the end we were playing a little bit on our heels and we knew UNH wasn't going to fold."

Luce Canaan channeling Walshy with this nice (backhanded) compliment.

"We've done a good job battling back and keeping ourselves in games," Blackburn said. "Come playoff time that's probably not going to be acceptable."

There's some keen insight. In his defense, you gotta think he's heard this in the locker room at some point.

"It's frustrating, believe me," Umile said. "We'll go down there tomorrow and give it our best and hopefully come back with a W."

Not quite up there with "Win One for the Gipper" ... but good to know Coach has bought into The Quest. :)

walrus
02-25-2017, 10:18 AM
Too bad you don't play Maine again, maine is the king of cupcakes

Dan
02-25-2017, 12:11 PM
Chuck -

First, as far as UMass' history of head coaches goes, I remember a lot of excitement around the return of hockey to the flagship university of one of the top talent producing states in the country. I don't remember much at all around Joe Mallen being a great hire. I'm sure many expected he would win, but due to the location of the public university more than any Mallen hype.

Remember, he had one year of HC experience and was something like 4-20 in that year at UMass Boston. After that, he coached at BC while the program consistently declined during his tenure. He was then passed over for the BC job in lieu of the coaching legend that is Steve Cedorchuk. So he was the second assistant at a fading BC school with a disastrous season as a HC on his resume when he left for UMass...

Umile's use of UMass reflects nothing on the schools commitment to hockey. He had NO intention of going there. So, whatever they offered was irrelevant. All that mattered was showing UNH he might leave, so he could maximize their commitment. UMass' other top candidates were Blaise MacDonald and Don Cahoon. The NIAGARA coach turned them down, leaving them with the sub-.500 coach from Princeton.

Cahoon is NOT the winningest coach in Princeton history. Gadowsky, his immediate predecessor won at a higher percentage. Gadowsky also made two NCAA tournaments to Cahoons one, landed an ECAC tournament title (Cahoon never one a thing at Princeton), won a national coach of the year award and finished in the top three twice. Cahoon's ECAC finishes were 9,10,9,7,10,5,7,4,6. GG posted two 20 win season, Cahoon one in three more seasons. Quite frankly all Cahoon did at PU was land Jeff Halpern who carried Cahoon and Princeton on his back to whatever modest success they achieved. He was their third choice and the definition of meh. If UMass had hired its fourth choice at the time (according to USCHO) they'd be competing near the top of HE with Jeff Jackson behind the bench...

Miccheletti was a disaster from the word go and another down the list choice as they failed to impress multiple candidates with their commitment to hockey.

The new AD deserves a ton of credit for landing his first choice - and a guy many thought would never leave his alma mater. Carvel has seven years of NHL experience. Turned around SLU very quickly with elite talent like Beyruther (NH native) and Kyle Hayton. He is a very good hire. SLU will likely reach 20 wins again this season due to his efforts...

As for UMass' commitment to hockey - they still think they are the Camby/Calipari bball power of the 90s and have been pouring money into a football program that will never amount to anything at the FBS level. That has hurt hockey in a big way. If they commit to this coach then this program does have a chance, albeit 20+ years later...

Dan
02-25-2017, 01:22 PM
As for UConn - in just four years Cavanaugh has taken them from Atlantic Hockey also ran to a very tough out in HE. A team that can beat anyone, has landed elite recruits and is already much closer to the top of HE than they are to UMass and ME. UMass was consistently getting clubbed 8-1 by the HE elite at the end of the Mallen era...

UConn as an athletic dept has MUCH more money and has shown a better commitment to many secondary sports (likely more so because they can, than that they care more). UConn is in a much better position today than UMass has ever been in...

If you want to argue that UConn's modest improvement, recruiting success and many optimistic indicators should be taken with a grain of salt until it truly translates, that's fine. But then, you simply cannot write them off with such a sense of assurance either. You do so because you dislike Cavanaugh. Which is fine, but you can't have it both ways.

As for Cavanaugh - all evidence, hear-say, print media and recruit quotes indicates he has been the primary recruiter at UConn. He was an assistant for 21 seasons (18 with York), being titled with lead recruiter responsibilities for most of those seasons while being a part of staffs that have landed an incredible amount of elite talent over those 21 seasons, perhaps more than any other. He lands at UConn and immediately they land Tage Thompson, Gendron and Spencer Nass. Letunov, Huska and Masonious committed after Souza left.

There is zero merit to the idea that Souza's tree non-descript years at Brown and three seasons at UConn - where all evidence points towards most recruiting success tracking back to Cavanaugh in particular and said success has continued after Souza's departure - can yet be compared in the least to Cavanaughs 21 seasons of asst experience and early UConn success...

Souza has been better of late - but approaching two full years at UNH (and 100% in charge) he has landed ONE player with a ceiling that clearly indicates an all-HE type player. Commesso. Wazny and Crookshank have high floors but legitimate questions remain about whether they will reach ceilings of difference making forwards UNH is used too. Even if they do, that's not enough. The surest bets on D are third to second pair guys in Miller/Wyse. I hope Green becomes Agosta. Which means more of the same on defense. The rest of the recruits are question marks. Some with more potential than others...

chickod
02-25-2017, 01:46 PM
As for UConn - in just four years Cavanaugh has taken them from Atlantic Hockey also ran to a very tough out in HE. A team that can beat anyone, has landed elite recruits and is already much closer to the top of HE than they are to UMass and ME. UMass was consistently getting clubbed 8-1 by the HE elite at the end of the Mallen era...

UConn as an athletic dept has MUCH more money and has shown a better commitment to many secondary sports (likely more so because they can, than that they care more). UConn is in a much better position today than UMass has ever been in...

If you want to argue that UConn's modest improvement, recruiting success and many optimistic indicators should be taken with a grain of salt until it truly translates, that's fine. But then, you simply cannot write them off with such a sense of assurance either. You do so because you dislike Cavanaugh. Which is fine, but you can't have it both ways.

As for Cavanaugh - all evidence, hear-say, print media and recruit quotes indicates he has been the primary recruiter at UConn. He was an assistant for 21 seasons (18 with York), being titled with lead recruiter responsibilities for most of those seasons while being a part of staffs that have landed an incredible amount of elite talent over those 21 seasons, perhaps more than any other. He lands at UConn and immediately they land Tage Thompson, Gendron and Spencer Nass. Letunov, Huska and Masonious committed after Souza left.

There is zero merit to the idea that Souza's tree non-descript years at Brown and three seasons at UConn - where all evidence points towards most recruiting success tracking back to Cavanaugh in particular and said success has continued after Souza's departure - can yet be compared in the least to Cavanaughs 21 seasons of asst experience and early UConn success...

Souza has been better of late - but approaching two full years at UNH (and 100% in charge) he has landed ONE player with a ceiling that clearly indicates an all-HE type player. Commesso. Wazny and Crookshank have high floors but legitimate questions remain about whether they will reach ceilings of difference making forwards UNH is used too. The rest of the recruits are question marks. Some with more potential than others...

Wow. All this anticipation for a "new era" and you sure took all the air out of the balloons with that one. Jeez...let's hope your outlook doesn't come to pass

herbst20
02-25-2017, 02:04 PM
UNH just landed NTDP Dman Max Gildon.

Was once a Wisconsin Commit

Dan
02-25-2017, 02:10 PM
UNH just landed NTDP Dman Max Gildon.

Was once a Wisconsin Commit

This is good. Despite UW dropping him he instantly leaps clearly to the top of the UNH defensive recruit pile. Good for Souza.

As for your comment chickod - Youre right, personally I was extremely skeptical of the Souza hire. He has swayed me a bit with Commesso, Wazny and Crookshank but with lots of work left to accomplish. I was leaning back to skeptical with the commitment announced earlier today (and Watchers welcome reminder that Souxa only has four years of prior experience! ;))- but Gildon brings me back to cautiously optimistic long term with Souza having lots of work to do and plenty still to prove before anyone should get too excited about the new era...

Chuck Murray
02-25-2017, 02:12 PM
Chuck -

First, as far as UMass' history of head coaches goes, I remember a lot of excitement around the return of hockey to the flagship university of one of the top talent producing states in the country. I don't remember much at all around Joe Mallen being a great hire. I'm sure many expected he would win, but due to the location of the public university more than any Mallen hype.

Remember, he had one year of HC experience and was something like 4-20 in that year at UMass Boston. After that, he coached at BC while the program consistently declined during his tenure. He was then passed over for the BC job in lieu of the coaching legend that is Steve Cedorchuk. So he was the second assistant at a fading BC school with a disastrous season as a HC on his resume when he left for UMass...

Steve "Count" Cedorchuck ... back when BC was making the kinds of bizarre decisions in the AD's office that have become second nature to UMass since. God, I miss those days. :) Ironically, say what you will about Mallen, but at the end of the day, he proved to be a better D-1 coach than The Count (talk about low thresholds).


Umile's use of UMass reflects nothing on the schools commitment to hockey. He had NO intention of going there. So, whatever they offered was irrelevant. All that mattered was showing UNH he might leave, so he could maximize their commitment. UMass' other top candidates were Blaise MacDonald and Don Cahoon. The NIAGARA coach turned them down, leaving them with the sub-.500 coach from Princeton.

Hindsight is 20-20. We can say now that "he had no intention of going there", but that doesn't mean UMass didn't think they had a shot at hiring him, and made a strong pitch to do just that. Unless you think Umile had paisan in Amherst, and they conspired to fleece Judy Ray out of a lifetime contract, then this makes no sense. Umile at the time was more successful than pretty much any other coach mentioned in this thread, and he wasn't even at the midway mark of his career.


Cahoon is NOT the winningest coach in Princeton history. Gadowsky, his immediate predecessor won at a higher percentage. Gadowsky also made two NCAA tournaments to Cahoons one, landed an ECAC tournament title (Cahoon never one a thing at Princeton), won a national coach of the year award and finished in the top three twice. Cahoon's ECAC finishes were 9,10,9,7,10,5,7,4,6. GG posted two 20 win season, Cahoon one in three more seasons. Quite frankly all Cahoon did at PU was land Jeff Halpern who carried Cahoon and Princeton on his back to whatever modest success they achieved. He was their third choice and the definition of meh. If UMass had hired its fourth choice at the time (according to USCHO) they'd be competing near the top of HE with Jeff Jackson behind the bench...

Gadowsky was Cahoon's successor, not his predecessor. That means Gadowsky built on the (limited) success Cahoon had at PU, which at the time was unprecedented in that program's history. I think that's worth mentioning.

BTW - Gadowsky would have been a great choice to follow Coach Umile, given his success to date at Penn State. Five years ago, anyway. Nowadays, why would he even consider leaving Happy Valley PA? Opportunity lost. :(


Miccheletti was a disaster from the word go and another down the list choice as they failed to impress multiple candidates with their commitment to hockey.

Agreed 100%.


The new AD deserves a ton of credit for landing his first choice - and a guy many thought would never leave his alma mater. Carvel has seven years of NHL experience. Turned around SLU very quickly with elite talent like Beyruther (NH native) and Kyle Hayton. He is a very good hire. SLU will likely reach 20 wins again this season due to his efforts...

Could be. But success at UMass Amherst will be tougher than following a long line of successful coaches at SLU, which has had a fairly successful D-1 program for a lot of years now.


As for UMass' commitment to hockey - they still think they are the Camby/Calipari bball power of the 90s and have been pouring money into a football program that will never amount to anything at the FBS level. That has hurt hockey in a big way. If they commit to this coach then this program does have a chance, albeit 20+ years later...

UMass is a curious place, no doubt. Probably hard for them to swallow that UConn has moved so far ahead of them in other sports (and may well repeat the process at some point in D-1 Hockey). When I heard that they were going to play football at Gillette Stadium from my assistant (who was a D-1 All-Conference 'keeper at UMass) I thought they were kidding me. Then when I found out it was true ... :eek:

chickod
02-25-2017, 02:13 PM
This is good. Despite UW dropping him he instantly leaps clearly to the top of the UNH defensive recruit pile. Good for Souza.

As for your comment chickod - Youre right, personally I was extremely skeptical of the Souza. He has swayed me a bit with Commesso, Wazny and Crookshank but with lots of work left to accomplish. I was leaning back to skeptical with the commitment announced earlier today - but Gildon brings me back to him having lots of work to do and plenty still to prove before anyone should get too excited about the new era...

I understand. It just seemed like the timing was bad. Kind of like piling on. Lots of bad news on a few threads the last couple of days. :)

Dan
02-25-2017, 02:18 PM
Chuck - you are right and I did mean successor when discussing Gadowsky and my mistake may have led some to believe that he set the table for Cahoons tenure. However, when Gadowsky "succeeded" Cahoon he won eight games (I believe) in his first season before building Princeton to its most successful few years. So it doesn't seem that the cupboard was left too full...

I think it is very fair to wonder, if Halpern (one player) never comes to Princeton do they ever finish in the top half of the ECAC standings under Cahoon.

I agree, Gadowsky would have been the perfect replacement for Umile right down to style of play.