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

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  • Originally posted by norbert View Post

    It is Leclerc. He takes the face off and wins it to Huard on the left point who goes to the middle and the shot is blocked (shocker). After the face off, Leclerc moves to that spot to QB the man advantage. Tried taking pictures but quality from a TV is not good on a camera.
    Absolutely LeClerc who pinched the board at the blue line, which was a classic move. I think that the radio guys even said so. Is not the audio available on the replay?

    Probably need to go way back to the 2016/17 season since we have had a forward as good as LeClerc or Conmy.

    Should be a fun game this coming Friday night.

    Comment




    • Not the greatest quality, but you can see Cy take the face-off and drop back to the point. As the video goes Huard is still on the opposite side with four guys down low. You never see Cy come back during the play until after the goal when he celebrates in the corner.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post

        Absolutely LeClerc who pinched the board at the blue line, which was a classic move. I think that the radio guys even said so. Is not the audio available on the replay?

        Probably need to go way back to the 2016/17 season since we have had a forward as good as LeClerc or Conmy.

        Should be a fun game this coming Friday night.
        The announcers do not say who is.on that play....at least I havent heard it...agree...LeClerc and Conmy are the real deals! If Mike Murphy says it was him thats good enough for me. Thanks for the vid Norbert...I could see briefly his name on the jersey when I've watched the replay.

        To your point Snives assume you are talking about TyK..Potsy and /or Angus? I have also been pleased to see guys like Cafarelli and Blaisdell score as of late hope that continues. Now it's Cronins turn...And I think Turner Ring and Siedem have promise as well...
        Here we go 'Cats!!

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post

          Absolutely LeClerc who pinched the board at the blue line, which was a classic move. I think that the radio guys even said so. Is not the audio available on the replay?

          Probably need to go way back to the 2016/17 season since we have had a forward as good as LeClerc or Conmy.

          Should be a fun game this coming Friday night.
          All LeClerc did on that game tying goal Saturday was a FOW and a blue line puck save in the O zone. And yeah 2 goals in that game including the OT GW! All Conmy did was the game tying goal in that game and a 3 goal weekend! So yeah. They are the real deal!
          UNH Hockey: You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!

          Comment


          • Big Picture Questions

            Has UNH finally turned a corner?
            Is it sustainable beyond this year?
            If so what changed?

            If I was the AD I would be asking these questions.

            Has UNH finally turned a corner?

            It looks like there has been significant improvement this year. Sustainable this year remains to be seen; we have all been fooled by 1st half success in the past. What changed this year when coming in it looked dire? Significant improvement by Freshman becoming Sophomores, that we haven’t seen in recent years. LeClerc (2.2x), Sardarian (3x), Winters (3.1x) all have more than doubled their scoring, add in Freshman Conmy (2nd leading scorer at 1.27 pts/gm) that is a significant net scoring gain YOY. It has also allowed players to slot in better, which at the same time improves the bottom 2 lines. (Side Note: will be interesting to watch Carfagna whose scoring is off and Dunlap who still isn't full time progress at Ohio State.)

            Is it sustainable beyond this year?

            Next year’s forward recruits (primarily the MacPherson twins) are looking good and there is not lot of senior scoring. Also if this play continues there is more reason to believe the MacPherson twins actually make it on to campus. As long as these recruits keep playing well it seems reasonable that this a start of something not a blip. The only real player questions are replacing Jenson on defense, who else leaves for what unknown reason and then making sure everybody is happy playing their role.

            Beyond next year for me the recruits are murky. It just makes it hard to see what the future holds. The underclasses Sophomores, Freshman and then next year’s recruits seem to indicate something may be going right.

            So what changed?

            This is the real question.

            It can’t be the facility improvements those weren’t announced in time.

            Maybe it is the ice shrinking but Olympic ice isn’t affecting a number of other programs.

            Ultimately college sports are about recruiting. Are these new recruits a function of Giuliano starting in 2018? Recruiting tends to be a bit longer cycle, 3-years (?). That would make the first students Giuliano was part of recruiting ~2021-2022 arrivals, this year’s Juniors. There isn’t a lot of scoring from the Junior class however: Huard (assists), Devlin (top 6 forward enjoying So. & Fr. Line mates) and Gagne (Captain and solid defense). As noted above it would be the next years recruits (this years So.) potentially the first year of Giuliano having impact that are the change. Is Giuliano to Souza what McCloskey was to Umile?
            Last edited by JB; 11-29-2023, 05:05 PM.
            "Now Progress Takes Away What Forever Took To Find" Dave Matthews Band, The Dreaming Tree

            Comment


            • JB, excellent post, and, perhaps those who have been with the program and understand the dynamics of recruiting will chime in. I think, tho, in my limited way
              of understanding how this all goes down (and I'm getting better at it) you've pretty much answered your own question...the recruiting has definitely improved and with
              the success of the team more of the same 'should' show up in a perfect world. Not sure who does the bulk of the recruiting and I'd think all 3 have an impact in this,
              but obviously there seems to be a 'point man' in the mix like McCloskey was to Umile, as you say. Borek came after, if I have that right, and, he brought in some
              significant talent.

              On another note, I think part of this is that Mike Souza has embraced the concept (and this is hugggeee speculation on my part) that this is HIS team and its time for HIM
              to get this show on the road. I think he's held onto DU's coattails and has finally let those go. Sounds kind of childish doesn't it but you can see a difference in the way he
              carries himself, does interviews. Of course, what do I know but, you can see a difference and that has translated all the way down the line. Too bad we can't see what
              March 2024 looks like, because, by then, we'd have a more definitive look at how it all panned out. I just think, maybe the HC has turned a corner...if anything. And it helps as a
              motivator as he is very well aware of what the outcome for his future (at UNH) will be if the team doesn't produce decent results this season.

              And then, there's buy in from the team itself. They are the ones doing the heavy lifting and I'd think, they just want to be a better team. Their compete level has been a
              vast improvement from game to game, as has been noted they seem to play a full 60 of intensity you didn't often see in past seasons. I said this earlier and it was scoffed at
              that UNH could play with 'anyone' and I still think that right now.

              Looking forward to more from those with a deeper understanding- I wish CHC would post on this as his view of recruiting is always spot on...I think of one of
              his early season Twitter posts when he said "No matter how UNH does this season they will do it with the best roster they've had in many years" or something
              to that effect. I do believe, he's right.
              Last edited by HockeyRef; 11-28-2023, 04:30 PM.
              Here we go 'Cats!!

              Comment


              • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
                On another note, I think part of this is that Mike Souza has embraced the concept (and this is hugggeee speculation on my part) that this is HIS team and its time for HIM
                I don't subscribe to this line of thinking. Partly because I think the product on the ice is really driven by the talent and culture. I can't see an existing coach driving a culture change in one year. Yes if a new coach and doing a big roster turnover (see UMass, Carvel). Wanting it more to save your job, probably doesn't help.

                I think coaches can screw it up easier than anything else. See 2 guys below the goal line on a 5x3. See Umile's teams playing super tight in big moments because he was clearly super tight.

                Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
                And then, there's buy in from the team itself. They are the ones doing the heavy lifting and I'd think, they just want to be a better team. Their compete level has been a vast improvement from game to game, as has been noted they seem to play a full 60 of intensity you didn't often see in past seasons.
                This I might put a little weight into. The team choosing to work harder in the off season to make sure they could compete for the full 60 minutes.

                Ultimately it is all about putting the puck in the net. Everything gets a little easier when you score more. Margins for error are bigger confidence you can score a goal and get back in a game gets bigger. Putting the puck in the net is about the talent.

                It is why turn arounds like the afore mentioned UMass all start with upgrading talent.
                "Now Progress Takes Away What Forever Took To Find" Dave Matthews Band, The Dreaming Tree

                Comment


                • Originally posted by JB View Post
                  I don't subscribe to this line of thinking. Partly because I think the product on the ice is really driven by the talent and culture. I can't see an existing coach driving a culture change in one year. Yes if a new coach and doing a big roster turnover (see UMass, Carvel). Wanting it more to save your job, probably doesn't help.

                  I think coaches can screw it up easier than anything else. See 2 guys below the goal line on a 5x3. See Umile's teams playing super tight in big moments because he was clearly super tight.



                  This I might put a little weight into. The team choosing to work harder in the off season to make sure they could compete for the full 60 minutes.

                  Ultimately it is all about putting the puck in the net. Everything gets a little easier when you score more. Margins for error are bigger confidence you can score a goal and get back in a game gets bigger. Putting the puck in the net is about the talent.

                  It is why turn arounds like the afore mentioned UMass all start with upgrading talent.
                  Agreed, but also with 'ref that "Mike Souza has embraced the concept (and this is hugggeee speculation on my part) that this is HIS team and its time for HIM to get this show on the road". It does appear that he is treating Freshman and upper classmen differently than he was and Coach Umile did. "Ryan, you may be a Freshman, but you are also as talented as any Freshman in the country. Show it."

                  Totally agree on the second bold. One gets the feeling that LeClerc, Gagne and maybe some others vocalized that this is not the UNH team they grew up watching or want to be a part of and it's time do do something about it.

                  100% speculation.

                  I will not be out cheered in my own building.

                  Comment


                  • It has been interesting watching from afar. This is the first time in years I really wish I could catch a game at the Whit. Would it be fair to say one of the differences so far is that the team overall is more assertive versus tentative in recent years……Too bad they don’t play at Arizona State this year.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Darius View Post
                      Agreed, but also with 'ref that "Mike Souza has embraced the concept (and this is hugggeee speculation on my part) that this is HIS team and its time for HIM to get this show on the road". It does appear that he is treating Freshman and upper classmen differently than he was and Coach Umile did. "Ryan, you may be a Freshman, but you are also as talented as any Freshman in the country. Show it."
                      Souza played on a line with D. Haydar. Haydar was a freshman. Honestly Souza was the 3rd guy. So he lived Umile playing a talented freshman on the first line. Honestly in 98-99 we all went who is this little kid on the first line, didn't take long to see it. Same as Comny you could see it the first game.

                      Who was the other freshman this talented that Souza brought in the last 8 years that should have had 1st line time from day one?
                      "Now Progress Takes Away What Forever Took To Find" Dave Matthews Band, The Dreaming Tree

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by JB View Post

                        Souza played on a line with D. Haydar. Haydar was a freshman. Honestly Souza was the 3rd guy. So he lived Umile playing a talented freshman on the first line. Honestly in 98-99 we all went who is this little kid on the first line, didn't take long to see it. Same as Comny you could see it the first game.

                        Who was the other freshman this talented that Souza brought in the last 8 years that should have had 1st line time from day one?
                        I'll take the cheese on this one: Warren Foegele, runner-up to Liam Blackburn
                        Shrink-The-Rink, Win a Title

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by bakchk20 View Post

                          I'll take the cheese on this one: Warren Foegele, runner-up to Liam Blackburn
                          I never said Umile was good at appropriately using young talent. My point is that this is not some new concept completely foreign to UNH Hockey in the Umile/Souza time frame and as a point of fact Souza lived it, successfully, as a player. Which makes it hard for me to buy in that Souza is doing something new because now it is "HIS team".

                          Leadership is about followership (followers choose to follow a leader). This is more true in college hockey today, transfer portal, than in the past. I just don't buy that college players follow Souza because: he demands it, to "save" his job, because in 2023 it is now his team, because he is under the gun and feels urgency, etc.
                          Last edited by JB; 11-29-2023, 02:21 PM.
                          "Now Progress Takes Away What Forever Took To Find" Dave Matthews Band, The Dreaming Tree

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by JB View Post

                            Souza played on a line with D. Haydar. Haydar was a freshman. Honestly Souza was the 3rd guy. So he lived relies, playing a talented freshman on the first line. Honestly in 98-99 we all went who is this little kid on the first line, didn't take long to see it. Same as Comny you could see it the first game.

                            Who was the other freshman this talented that Souza brought in the last 8 years that should have had 1st line time from day one?
                            Very thoughtful post, JB, which is already generating some excellent replies, I think.

                            I think that Conmy is the second since Haydar worthy to be a first year player on the first line (the other was LeClerk last season). Had not Bekar left after three years, I think that it would have been a first line of Bekar-Krog-Haydar in the 1998/99 season instead of Souza, as Swain (soph), Ficek (soph), and Cordeiro (fresh) were not nearly as worthy as Haydar on the right side. Mowers and Nolan were also lost from the 1997/98 team, which opened up the slot for Haydar on the right side of the first line. I think that the 1997/98 team had much better depth up front than the 1998/99 team with its second line of juniors Shipulski and Sadowski with one of the other three mentioned above. In contrast, I think that the 2001/02 and 2002/03 FF teams had much more depth up front than either the 1997/98 or 1998/99 teams, if not having singular talents the likes of Bekar, Mowers, or Krog.

                            I am not sure why anyone considers this year’s team to be Souza’s first owned, as the rosters for the last two to three years have consisted mostly of Souza’s recruits from his first three years as Umile’s assistant. I cannot imagine Conmy or LeClerk playing behind anyone else on the first line as freshmen the past two seasons, as the recruiting over the past few years has been mediocre at best.

                            As for bckchk’s suggestion for Foegele (Umile-era recruit, I think) being first-line worthy in the 2014/15 season, I do not think that there was a way in which Foegele was going to displace TyK (soph) on the left side, or seniors Downing or Willows, but I think that Foegele probably should have played on the second line with Poturalski (fresh) and Thrush (senior) in place of Correale (junior) on the left side.

                            As for bckchk’s suggestion for Blackman being first-line worthy in the 2016/17 season (also Umile-era recruit, I think), I do not think that there was a way in which Blackman was going to displace any of the seniors TyK, Salvaggio, or McNicholas. But, I liked the first-year third line of BvR, Grasso, and Blackburn that season, which was as productive as the second line of Nazarian, Vela, and Eiserman, which was injury-prone.

                            In sum, if one counts Devlin from two years ago, I think that Souza has scored with one superb forward each of last three years, after serval dry years. If Souza can score two top forward recruits for next season (the Ontario bros?), now we will be talking a couple top lines along with some forward depth, which we have not seen in several years.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by JB View Post

                              I never said Umile was good at appropriately using young talent. My point is that this is not some new concept completely foreign to UNH Hockey in the Umile/Souza time frame and as a point of fact Souza lived it, successfully, as a player. Which makes it hard for me to buy in that Souza is doing something new because now it is "HIS team".

                              Leadership is about followership (followers choose to follow a leader). This is more true in college hockey today, transfer portal, than in the past. I just don't buy that college players follow Souza because: he demands it, to "save" his job, because in 2023 it is now his team, because he is under the gun and feels urgency, etc.
                              Well ok then. Let's take Souza out of this and go with a few offered possibilities already stated...

                              In a Nutshell:

                              *LeClerc and Gagne wanted to be a better version of the Wildcats
                              *Coach Jeff is the answer to MS7's prayers (oops I said I'd leave him out of it my bad)
                              *They have adopted a new 'in your face' style of hockey that plays a full 60

                              Would love to hear more POV on this...it's a great topic!
                              Last edited by HockeyRef; 11-29-2023, 06:41 PM.
                              Here we go 'Cats!!

                              Comment


                              • Yes Ref this is a great conversation. Lots of interesting and good thoughts. I don’t see this years team coming out of no where. 3 years ago I could see an improvement with team effort but still no scoring and many defensive lapses. At the end of their freshmen year Devlin and I believe Cronin made a big statement about how the team was ready for a big step forward. Last year they appeared energized by a couple of descent freshmen, with Cy leading the way. He had a great start but appeared to reach a ceiling after the first of the year. HE schedule and teams looking for him may have contributed.

                                But they looked better last year and appeared to be working very hard and with a lot of grit.
                                Teamplay was spotty and as we saw the end of the year was not rewarding for the team. This years freshmen have just blended so well with the existing talent to the point that I believe we can roll 4 lines all game. Look at Connor Sweeney, he plays with such grit and determination that he find a heck of a lot of ice both on the P

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