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UNH Hockey 2023-2024 Season Thread - End Of The Cellar-Dweller Era??

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  • Can anyone tell me how the unbalanced schedule in Hockey East works? Each team plays 4 teams 3x and the other 6 teams 2x. This season, UNH had the pleasure of extra games against BU, BC, Maine and Northeastern. The previous two seasons, UNH had extra games against Providence, Lowell, UConn and UVM.

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    • Maine is the best matchup we could of gotten in this quarterfinal, yes Alfond is a tough place to play, but we would have no shot if we were to play at BC, BU or Providence. I think Souza has found a new formula which has clearly worked since we've only given up 1 goal in 4 games. Maine has been a team reeling and hasn't been the same team since the start of the season (Umaine fans agree with this statement) and might be a little bit more comfortable because they've already clinched an NCAA tourney birth. But truthfully I think we matchup against Maine very well.

      Side note, my fiance is a UMaine alumni and she was in the pep band and went to the games but didn't really know much about the sport. I've shown her the ropes this year and explaining hockey to her and she loves it. I grew up in Newmarket and started going to UNH games in the early 2000's. We've made it an effort as a family to now go to a UNH vs. UMaine game once a year. We went to the White out the Whit game on that Saturday and we annihilated them. She was a great sport about it though and we have plans to watch the game on TV on Saturday. We have a baby on the way so I'll do my best to make sure he's a wildcat haha. Anyway lets get back on track..


      There's something to be said about a wounded tiger theory or should I say Wildcat. We have more desperation to win this game on Saturday and most certainly our backs are against the wall not just for the team but the coach as well. But truthfully, I think they turned a corner after the BC series, while they didn't win, you can say it was a moral victory being toe-to-toe with the most talented team in the country. You need hot goaltending and we have one of the best goaltenders in the country in Hellsten who is most definitely better than Maine's goalie. Having that series sweep back in February was a huge confidence builder, we can absolutely beat the Black Bears. Souza is going to have to look at film and make adjustments because if they play a little sloppy like they did last night, Maine is finishing those chances. I said this before the tourney started, the path to Boston is right there and we have a golden opportunity in front of us. Jumping up to 16th in the Pwr we are right on the bubble and going to Boston is essential if we want to make it to the NCAA tourney.

      I will say that no matter what happens, we can all agree that we have been so impressed this year with the jump this team has made. No one expected 20 wins. Yeah there were some bad losses in there, but I think now a culture has been established. The program has been dogwater for so long the team is learning how to win again. I promise that next year there wont be losses to West Point, or Merrimack *Puke* Really excited with the direction this program is going and the future is bright. I saw that there was a point to meet up for a forum lunch and I think that is a fantastic idea. Or at the very least meet at future games. As always GOOOO CATS!!!!!!!
      Last edited by Ferrrao1994; 03-14-2024, 01:11 PM.

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      • Ref, you comment on attendance last night was spot on. It was at best, typical. I believe I have been to every playoff game at the Whitt and remember being so surprised at the early ones when we were the team”everyone wants” and being so surprised at the attendance. 35/4000 seemed to be the norm.
        Mid week is certainly a factor as was student breaks but as noted it really feel off. Perhaps it is just the casual, not as emotionally involved, who don’t appear, but it remains a mystery. Perhaps it just shows what a niche sport it is.
        thoughts on game are hard to dispute but I did see a much more aggressive and focused UML.
        They were able to get behind us in our zone which really threw us off.
        Still a fun year that may continue if the Cats have their A game.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Ferrrao1994 View Post
          Maine is the best matchup we could of gotten in this quarterfinal, yes Alfond is a tough place to play, but we would have no shot if we were to play at BC, BU or Providence. I think Souza has found a new formula which has clearly worked since we've only given up 1 goal in 4 games. Maine has been a team reeling and hasn't been the same team since the start of the season (Umaine fans agree with this statement) and might be a little bit more comfortable because they've already clinched an NCAA tourney birth. But truthfully I think we matchup against Maine very well.
          I'm not sure us (Maine fans..but I'll speak for myself) agree entirely with this statement. They had a rough patch for sure. But I will tell you for certain, something clicked for them in the UMass series. They were back to being relentless, forechecking, and playmaking.. they needed to get out of their old heads. I think UNH's physicality is a bonus for them against Maine as they will need to slow down their neutral zone entries. If they keep it simple and play the body the hope would be a low scoring affair. However your special teams have been awful lately, do you really expect that to flip on a coin on the road? But let's be real, this is Orono, not Durham, and I can tell you for a fact this will be the most hostile crowd UNH has experienced all year and the crowd can absolutely get into your players heads.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by grooverider View Post

            I'm not sure us (Maine fans..but I'll speak for myself) agree entirely with this statement. They had a rough patch for sure. But I will tell you for certain, something clicked for them in the UMass series. They were back to being relentless, forechecking, and playmaking.. they needed to get out of their old heads. I think UNH's physicality is a bonus for them against Maine as they will need to slow down their neutral zone entries. If they keep it simple and play the body the hope would be a low scoring affair. However your special teams have been awful lately, do you really expect that to flip on a coin on the road? But let's be real, this is Orono, not Durham, and I can tell you for a fact this will be the most hostile crowd UNH has experienced all year and the crowd can absolutely get into your players heads.
            Well, after this post, UNH should pack it up and call it a season! Seriously though, I tend to agree with your sentiments here. Sure, Maine went through a rough patch, but it does appear they found their groove (pun intended!) in the final season series. We beat you twice down here, so you know a bit of sweet revenge is on the Black Bear's minds (when it really counts). I never look forward to a trip up to the Alfond, probably one of the toughest places to by in the country when the fans are amp'd up. I would definitely take a trip down to Schneider over Orono.
            GO BLUE!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Ferrrao1994 View Post
              Maine is the best matchup we could of gotten in this quarterfinal, yes Alfond is a tough place to play, but we would have no shot if we were to play at BC, BU or Providence. I think Souza has found a new formula which has clearly worked since we've only given up 1 goal in 4 games. Maine has been a team reeling and hasn't been the same team since the start of the season (Umaine fans agree with this statement) and might be a little bit more comfortable because they've already clinched an NCAA tourney birth. But truthfully I think we matchup against Maine very well.

              Side note, my fiance is a UMaine alumni and she was in the pep band and went to the games but didn't really know much about the sport. I've shown her the ropes this year and explaining hockey to her and she loves it. I grew up in Newmarket and started going to UNH games in the early 2000's. We've made it an effort as a family to now go to a UNH vs. UMaine game once a year. We went to the White out the Whit game on that Saturday and we annihilated them. She was a great sport about it though and we have plans to watch the game on TV on Saturday. We have a baby on the way so I'll do my best to make sure he's a wildcat haha. Anyway lets get back on track..


              There's something to be said about a wounded tiger theory or should I say Wildcat. We have more desperation to win this game on Saturday and most certainly our backs are against the wall not just for the team but the coach as well. But truthfully, I think they turned a corner after the BC series, while they didn't win, you can say it was a moral victory being toe-to-toe with the most talented team in the country. You need hot goaltending and we have one of the best goaltenders in the country in Hellsten who is most definitely better than Maine's goalie. Having that series sweep back in February was a huge confidence builder, we can absolutely beat the Black Bears. Souza is going to have to look at film and make adjustments because if they play a little sloppy like they did last night, Maine is finishing those chances. I said this before the tourney started, the path to Boston is right there and we have a golden opportunity in front of us. Jumping up to 16th in the Pwr we are right on the bubble and going to Boston is essential if we want to make it to the NCAA tourney.

              I will say that no matter what happens, we can all agree that we have been so impressed this year with the jump this team has made. No one expected 20 wins. Yeah there were some bad losses in there, but I think now a culture has been established. The program has been dogwater for so long the team is learning how to win again. I promise that next year there wont be losses to West Point, or Merrimack *Puke* Really excited with the direction this program is going and the future is bright. I saw that there was a point to meet up for a forum lunch and I think that is a fantastic idea. Or at the very least meet at future games. As always GOOOO CATS!!!!!!!
              The last 2 times we have been at the Gahden we all meet up for a beer or 7 lol..jk...maybe this year? Maybe? Pretty please? If we make the Gahden it's on me...
              I'm just here for the hockey...

              Comment


              • Originally posted by grooverider View Post

                I'm not sure us (Maine fans..but I'll speak for myself) agree entirely with this statement. They had a rough patch for sure. But I will tell you for certain, something clicked for them in the UMass series. They were back to being relentless, forechecking, and playmaking.. they needed to get out of their old heads. I think UNH's physicality is a bonus for them against Maine as they will need to slow down their neutral zone entries. If they keep it simple and play the body the hope would be a low scoring affair. However your special teams have been awful lately, do you really expect that to flip on a coin on the road? But let's be real, this is Orono, not Durham, and I can tell you for a fact this will be the most hostile crowd UNH has experienced all year and the crowd can absolutely get into your players heads.
                Our power play reeks but at least our PK has been somewhat respectable. "On paper" ( the CHN tale of the tape stuff) the two teams are fairly similar with some differences here and there.

                After last night's so so performance am hoping and praying UNH doesn't think they can bring that game to Maine. Not to mention the obvious revenge factor the environment of the Alfond etc.

                But Maine can't look past UNH who hopefully will be a team that fully gets the gravity of the situation. We'll see if they can bring it from the start. Usually I can tell how they are.going to do in the first 5 mins...

                Anyway...both teams have had success this season they have not experienced in recent years..one will continue on that path (the Gahden) and naturally I hope its us!
                I'm just here for the hockey...

                Comment


                • Originally posted by grooverider View Post

                  I'm not sure us (Maine fans..but I'll speak for myself) agree entirely with this statement.
                  Thanks for stopping by and demonstrating how poorly Univ Maine apparently educates their students, assuming that you earned a degree in Orono. :-)

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by JB View Post
                    Hmmm... I watched it live from my normal spot up high in the corner. I didn't get the benefit of replays etc. you got on NESN.

                    Wondering if those of us in attendance have that different impression because we were in building. I will note that over on the Maine thread more than one of them hopes they see last nights UNH team not the mid February one they got the last time. Their impressions seem more aligned with mine.
                    I don't think there's any question that being in the building is usually an advantage, JB. Having said that, from my viewing, I just didn't see many so-called Grade A chances generated by UML. Maybe part of it is that UNH does a nice job at blocking shots - I think I saw somewhere that UNH blocked 21 shots, and only 20 even made it through to Hellsten (and only 10 of those combined over the last two periods). I never ever really felt that Lowell had sufficient quality of player and opportunity to tie things up once Blaisdell scored. But that's just me. And if the UMaine players (or fans) want to think Hellsten was difference, hey, they should go with that.

                    I do think some of the comments on the UMaine thread during last night's game were tinged with a little trepidation and optimistic hoping that Lowell would deal UNH another "UNH moment". This may be a rare occasion when UMaine-iacs are actually a little concerned about postseason UNH. I mean, let's face it, as good as I think Barr has been (as an assistant elsewhere, and as an HC so far at UMaine), he has yet to show the UMaine-iacs his postseason best as an HC. He may do that this weekend, and wax Souza's guys (say, for example) 7-2, and the ghosts of Walshy and TIMMAY will romp over MS7 doing a poor man's imitation of Dick Umile. The "business as usual" scenario. OR ...

                    ... maybe Barr can't channel his inner Walshy, and his players are a generation younger, with little working knowledge of how this match-up is "supposed" to turn out? And maybe, after 8 years of unabated mediocrity, MS7 has finally tapped into the winning formula, and can transform the long-standing pro-UMaine arc to this rivalry?? I mean, if Souza were to be renewed after this season, the recruiting gets a lot easier if he can actually point to something that even approaches a coaching accomplishment??? The "flip the script" scenario.

                    UMaine has been in the catbird's seat in the UMaine/UNH "Border Battle" (or whatever the UNH PR department wants to try to call it) since the day Shawn Walsh first arrived in the Downeast. There is nothing - NOTHING - UMaine fans would want less than to see a UNH team come up to Orono in the HEA quarters, and deprive them of a trip to Boston. It's all going to be out there and on the line Saturday night. A chance for both HC's to set the tone for the future of the rivalry ... and besides one quickly-avenged night in Boston in March 2002, it's been a mostly one way "rivalry" if we're being fair. Barr is trying to preserve/extend that edge ... which is why Souza HAS to win this one. Stating the obvious, he may never get another chance.

                    If UMaine wins, good for them. They are the better team over the course of the season. See PWR, HEA 3rd place, etc.

                    That would not make me angry. What would really torque me would be an MS7 extension after a UMaine win.

                    Can't wait ... this weekend (and aftermath) could be spectacular on these boards. Bring me some Wild West USCHO!!!
                    Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                    Montreal Expos Forever ...

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post

                      Thanks for stopping by and demonstrating how poorly Univ Maine apparently educates their students, assuming that you earned a degree in Orono. :-)
                      Agree. I think groove is still in a weed induced coma. But he is right about one thing, Orono is not Durham.
                      UNH Hockey: You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post

                        Thanks for stopping by and demonstrating how poorly Univ Maine apparently educates their students, assuming that you earned a degree in Orono. :-)
                        I'm in IT give me some leeway I'm broken without auto correct lol

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                        • Originally posted by e.cat View Post
                          Agree. I think groove is still in a weed induced coma. But he is right about one thing, Orono is not Durham.
                          You are right buddy we actually have a couple trophies up here :-)

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by grooverider View Post

                            I'm in IT give me some leeway I'm broken without auto correct lol
                            Great answer! Nicely played, groove. :-)

                            Mostly I am just trying to revive some of the fan hostilities like in the good old days for our two teams.

                            Last edited by Snively65; 03-14-2024, 09:31 PM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post

                              Great answer! Nicely played, groove. :-)

                              Mostly I am just trying to revive some of the fan hostilities like in the good old days for our two teams.
                              Miss those days!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by JB View Post

                                Hmmm... I watched it live from my normal spot up high in the corner. I didn't get the benefit of replays etc. you got on NESN.

                                Wondering if those of us in attendance have that different impression because we were in building. I will note that over on the Maine thread more than one of them hopes they see last nights UNH team not the mid February one they got the last time. Their impressions seem more aligned with mine.
                                This was a game they stole. Jakob saved them for this game. Power play was atrocious, and they could not get out of their own end. If they play like this Saturday it could be 10-1. JB and I talked all game and I had this a 2-1 loss in OT as to how it was going.

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