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

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  • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

    Go back to the vintage block UNH logo circa 1999.

    UNH 4 BU 3 (OT)
    Agree on the uni’s.

    Hellsten stands on his head as BU wins the SOG battle but UNH wins the game 4-2 with an ENG.
    Last edited by e.cat; 01-12-2024, 04:35 PM.
    UNH Hockey: You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!

    Comment


    • Go back to the fly's head helmet :-) Soooo coool.
      I believe in equality of effort. In life, in hockey in everything.

      Comment


      • Pretty cool to see Jakob Hellsten on the Watch List for the Mike Richter award...anyone know who the last UNH goal tender was to be on this list?

        BU 4 UNH 1
        I'm just here for the hockey...

        Comment


        • Originally posted by acs64 View Post
          Go back to the fly's head helmet :-) Soooo coool.
          Are you into the whiskey already acs?
          UNH Hockey: You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!

          Comment


          • I believe in karma, so I wish this hadn't come out the day before a big game:

            https://www.collegehockeynews.com/ne...ege-Hockey.php

            Souza deserves a new deal


            Princeton wasn't a high-caliber opponent (the Tigers are ranked No. 48 in the Pairwise). Still, UNH swept the Tigers this weekend in dominating fashion, which is precisely what a team in UNH's position should do against lower-ranked teams in the Pairwise.

            UNH outscored the Tigers 8-3, outshot them 61-40, and shot attempts were 84-74 at 5v5.

            The timing couldn't be any better for head coach Mike Souza. He's in the final year of his contract (it's set to expire on April 30). New UNH athletic director Allison Rich opted not to renew the contract of head basketball coach Bill Herrion last season, and many close to the program thought Souza might suffer the same fate if not for a turnaround.

            Given UNH's start, Rich has no option but to extend Souza. And he's earned the extension.

            UNH already matched its win total from last season (11). They're on pace for 22 regular-season wins, which would be the most by the program since 2008. The Wildcats are No. 11 in the Pairwise and are making a push to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2013.

            But qualifying shouldn't be the bar for Souza.

            The Wildcats finished last season No. 50 in the Pairwise. They're currently 39 spots higher than last season, which is the biggest turnaround in the country (Wisconsin has improved 35 places, from No. 37 to No. 2).

            Even if the Wildcats finish outside the tournament, but ranked top-25 in the Pairwise, Souza deserves a new deal. How can you argue otherwise? Coaching is a "what have you done for me lately" business. When things go wrong, coaches get fired even if there is a long track record of success. The shoe is on the other foot now. Souza should get a new deal.
            UNH Hockey: From "Why Not Us' to "Woe is Us"

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Felger View Post
              I believe in karma, so I wish this hadn't come out the day before a big game:

              https://www.collegehockeynews.com/ne...ege-Hockey.php

              Souza deserves a new deal


              Princeton wasn't a high-caliber opponent (the Tigers are ranked No. 48 in the Pairwise). Still, UNH swept the Tigers this weekend in dominating fashion, which is precisely what a team in UNH's position should do against lower-ranked teams in the Pairwise.

              UNH outscored the Tigers 8-3, outshot them 61-40, and shot attempts were 84-74 at 5v5.

              The timing couldn't be any better for head coach Mike Souza. He's in the final year of his contract (it's set to expire on April 30). New UNH athletic director Allison Rich opted not to renew the contract of head basketball coach Bill Herrion last season, and many close to the program thought Souza might suffer the same fate if not for a turnaround.

              Given UNH's start, Rich has no option but to extend Souza. And he's earned the extension.

              UNH already matched its win total from last season (11). They're on pace for 22 regular-season wins, which would be the most by the program since 2008. The Wildcats are No. 11 in the Paairwise and are making a push to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2013.

              But qualifying shouldn't be the bar for Souza.

              The Wildcats finished last season No. 50 in the Pairwise. They're currently 39 spots higher than last season, which is the biggest turnaround in the country (Wisconsin has improved 35 places, from No. 37 to No. 2).

              Even if the Wildcats finish outside the tournament, but ranked top-25 in the Pairwise, Souza deserves a new deal. How can you argue otherwise? Coaching is a "what have you done for me lately" business. When things go wrong, coaches get fired even if there is a long track record of success. The shoe is on the other foot now. Souza should get a new deal.
              Thanks for posting this...very interesting on a couple of fronts for me at least. First: I enjoy and have found a ton of value in Mike McMahon's work.

              I subscribe to his Mack Report and also CHN. (had not read this yet). Lest we forget, he pegged UNH
              somewhere from 54 on down in his pre-season report...(since then he has mentioned in his work UNH's turnaround)

              Secondly I guess I'm wondering about his timing of this subject of MS7 getting an extension given the amount of hockey left, the breadth of the competition and
              who knows what else could happen. Obviously, I want UNH to do as well as they can and really hope they make the NCAA and/or go 'deep' in the HE tournament.
              I just think that March (?) when its all said and done, you could write a piece like this. (I doubt he'd write an opposite version of this is the season goes south?)

              As per "Dr. Rich has no option" but renew the HCI'd like to say, yeah, Dr. Rich has options, and I'm counting on her to make
              the right decision on the direction of this program and its leadership in the Spring. I doubt she feels boxed in regarding this task
              of renewing her Men's Hockey coach.

              I would have rather seen him talk about the team success (and yeah I know he does that in this article) with the focus on just that...the team.
              Giving MS7 props is not a bad thing and I'm going to say it, deserved (speaking of this seasons current results)

              How he finishes this season is the determining factor, and so far (this season) he's delivered. Team has played well and players seem to be developing (which
              to ME is the biggest indication of a successful HC, and staff.


              Ps...Interesting the amount of press MS7 is getting right now; def making the big time in this feature/publication

              Pss Let's go 'Cats...Beat BU!
              Last edited by HockeyRef; 01-12-2024, 08:39 PM.
              I'm just here for the hockey...

              Comment


              • If Souza earns and extension after the season than kudos to him…

                However, I find it asinine and insulting (and indicting of MacMahon as a journalist) - that after Souza’s career to date MM would condescend to the audience that MS ‘deserves’ an extension after a decent two month stretch ‘even if UNH stumbles and fails to qualify for the tournament’…

                What he is telling you as a UNH fan, what CHN (Adam Wodon) has told UNH fans previously, is that you don’t deserve any better than the last few seasons. Period.

                Most likely, he’s trying to influence favor by doing a solid for someone he probably likes and sources. He also recently told UVM that, despite all their recent struggles, they should accept the mediocrity that comes with two months of their intern (Earn it, or not, over 30-some games. Not a huge ask from a school.) In reality he’s telling UNH to accept its lot in life as an also ran...

                Again, Souza can have an extension (or not) when he earns it. This is DI athletics (The University of New Hampshire can compete, and has competed, for NC’s btw) not bosom buddies…

                Even if UNH finishes strong, makes it to Boston and is one and done in the NCAA Tournament, I would still be taking a long, hard look at MS’s entire tenure (if I was AD Rich) in making a decision. For me, that would mean either a change or a short prove it extension…

                I say that because I do KNOW that UNH can be, and deserves, better. And because I couldn’t give a flying flip what MM thinks UNH should expect or deserves…

                If you’re even going to write an article like this one, you should try to put yourself in the shoes of a UNH administrator or fan. Because no one, not anyone, cares what a Merrimack blogger has to say about the situation.

                And the ONLY answer - no matter what you think of Souza come April - is that UNH student-athletes (present & future), the program and the fans deserve a fully evaluated decision. In no way has an early decision been warranted…

                To ignore the last 2/3 of a decade under Souza, and point to just half a season of games as a fait accompli, while trying to shame UNH into not evaluating the entire season, is ignorant and dismissive. Pike’s article was timely, thoughtful and objective, this is entirely the opposite.
                Live Free or Die!!

                Comment


                • Even if the Wildcats finish outside the tournament, but ranked top-25 in the Pairwise, Souza deserves a new deal. How can you argue otherwise?
                  Translation. UNH should expect no better than the top 33-40% of NCAA Hockey. Trash.

                  That’s a finish, by the way, that Souza has yet to realize in any of his six seasons as HC, or nine seasons on the UNH staff. UNH's best finish in his entire tenure was 31st. To put it another way he has NEVER been a part of a UNH coaching staff that has finished in the top-half of college hockey (or higher than 8th in Hockey East). In a decade!

                  Yet in MM's eyes, Souza has already earned an extension, due to a pretty good stretch in his last 17-games…? And a potential, maybe, down the road Top-25 PWR finish?

                  How can you argue otherwise?

                  GTFOH.
                  Last edited by Dan; 01-12-2024, 09:23 PM.
                  Live Free or Die!!

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Dan View Post

                    Translation. UNH should expect no better than the top 33-40% of NCAA Hockey. Trash.

                    That’s a finish, by the way, that Souza has yet to realize in any of his six seasons as HC, or nine seasons on the UNH staff. UNH's best finish in his entire tenure was 31st. To put it another way he has NEVER been a part of a UNH coaching staff that has finished in the top-half of college hockey (or higher than 8th in Hockey East). In a decade!

                    Yet in MM's eyes, Souza has already earned an extension, due to a pretty good stretch in his last 17-games…? And a potential, maybe, down the road Top-25 PWR finish?

                    How can you argue otherwise?

                    GTFOH.
                    Spot on Dan, 100 percent! Your post would be a better piece than the trash MM just wrote! This seems exactly like a story written for a friend. His complete disregard for the entirety of MS7’s coaching tenure here is inexcusable. He’s also basically predicting a 22 win season for UNH this year, laughable. EVEN if UNH wins 22 games that doesn’t just hand an extension to MS7. This was an OP ED, definitely not journalism.
                    GO BLUE!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by d.gerry View Post

                      Spot on Dan, 100 percent! Your post would be a better piece than the trash MM just wrote! This seems exactly like a story written for a friend. His complete disregard for the entirety of MS7’s coaching tenure here is inexcusable. He’s also basically predicting a 22 win season for UNH this year, laughable. EVEN if UNH wins 22 games that doesn’t just hand an extension to MS7. This was an OP ED, definitely not journalism.
                      Echo your (and Dan- well written posts about the realistic tenure of MS7) perspective here. I'm no fortune teller and my game predicts have been less than
                      'spot on' but unless the team totally tanks in the second half- I'm betting he gets a 1 year extension. Have also heard he (MS7) has worked hard on getting donors
                      to come on board for the recent projects so there's that in the decision making mix.

                      On another note interesting to watch Maine totally dismantle Yukon last night after being down by 3. Now there's a coaching success story right there in Ben
                      Barr. Maine fans have got to be happy-whether or not he stays long term will be interesting but for now, they are the real deal.
                      I'm just here for the hockey...

                      Comment


                      • Strong (and very accurate) take by Dan, and I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly with most/all of his conclusions.

                        I wonder if McMahon would feel so strongly about the situation if it were Borek who had achieved the same results at Merrimack? I think not. Even the Herrion comparison he tries to use isn't fully developed. FWIW Herrion had done more with less than Souza when he was non-renewed, so it's hardly the case that MS7 has forced UNH's hand.

                        No reason to believe this take is anything but MM trying to do a solid for a pal whom he also sources.

                        Al Pike 1
                        McMahon 0

                        Take your time, AD Rich. Your Hoops decision is looking to be a good one so far (limited data, but ... ) and there's no reason to panic and renew Hockey earlier than necessary, as I seriously doubt there is a long line of suitors waiting for MS7 to free up if you do choose to take a pass. The decision to let your head coach enter the final year of his deal without any assurances of next year has been the smartest decision made by the UNH AD's office this century to date. You will likely not make a more consequential staffing decision for the remainder of your tenure at UNH.

                        I'll take Dan's bottom-line conclusion and briefly tweak it to reflect my conclusion ...

                        Even if UNH finishes strong, makes it to Boston and is one and done in the NCAA Tournament, I would still be taking a long, hard look at MS7's entire tenure (if I was AD Rich) in making a decision. For me, that would mean a short prove it extension … another one year or two tops, with the stated intention that if things bottom out next season and return to past levels in MS7's tenure, there'd be express provisions for a buy-out.

                        Souza can't complain this would be anything but fair, considering the long-term scope of his work and results at UNH. He has been granted an extreme amount of patience for a D-1 coach of a flagship program with a history of FAR better results. Would he have been given this much of an opportunity to basically go through two full recruiting cycles before making a turnaround at (say) Wisconsin or North Dakota or BU or BC, or even Providence? I seriously doubt it. The new guy who's running the show in Orono is showing how quickly a turnaround can happen, when done properly. If it's "shamed" MS7 into working harder/smarter to keep up, then long may it continue.

                        As someone who advocated for UNH to cut its losses last offseason, I couldn't be more pleased with how UNH has performed this season, and as a huge fan of redemption stories, I do continue to be "all in" on UNH and Coach Souza for the remainder of this season. I can absolutely live with being wrong about a buy-out last summer IF MS7 proves over the next 2-3 years he is the "real deal", and it just turns out to be a "better late than never" story, like Sean McDonnell and UNH Football. What I won't tolerate is a knee-jerk extension followed by a return to normal sub-.500 service when that was an avoidable scenario. Which is where we are right now.

                        =========

                        'Ref, yes, it's "interesting" how much press this story is (finally) catching now. It's not a coincidence, and the longer this goes on, the more we can all expect to read about it. The local college hockey "press" is notoriously insular, and they will almost always cover for one of their own, especially when it's a likeable guy like Souza. Times like these always make me remember the cause celebre that was made of Ron Anderson, former BU and Boston Braves player, who after retiring took over as coach of Merrimack (ironically) and navigated them from a successful D-2 program into the spunky scrappers they remain pretty much to the present day in D-1 HEA:

                        Ron Anderson (b.1950) Hockey Stats and Profile at hockeydb.com

                        Think of Anderson as the Luce Canaan of his day (albeit with a more genial MS7 personality), with the D-2 to D-1 transition, and a decade of pretty consistent sub-.500 hockey afterwards. Towards the end of his final season at MC, the local college hockey press rallied around him to try to deify him, and cow MC into extending him despite his inability to really get a competitive foothold at their new stations. Merrimack did pull off an amazing upset of #1 seed and nationally ranked BU in the HEA Quarters (before the days of the infamous MBPBEGAM round), but MC held their ground, and I believe it was the late Chris Serino (at the time one of Umile's UNH assistants) who got the nod. So the press rallying around a good guy who may professionally find himself in dire straits is not a new thing. But I do trust AD Rich to see through the ruse and make the right call ... whatever that turns out to be ... I hope! ;-)
                        Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                        Montreal Expos Forever ...

                        Comment


                        • Chuck, have to agree that there is no way most college programs (esp a flagship sport like hockey, or football) would allow a coach to hang on when the
                          bottom line is being affected, which, is of course, money. This season the 'Whitt is pretty full for the most part and I'm sure the Maine games are going to be
                          sellouts (which is why I purchased the seats next to me haha).

                          Sigh, but I miss 'Watcher's thoughts and can imagine how he'd react to this 'opp ed' (good use of the term Dale!). Still puzzled at the 'why' this was written
                          and when you say it was written on behalf of someone else, who would that be? Agree; doubt the author would be that kind to his own coach if the roles were
                          reversed. Oh well...moving onto BU.

                          Come on 'Cats, make my day by reversing the ten year 'Curse of the Agganis'!
                          I'm just here for the hockey...

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
                            Sigh, but I miss 'Watcher's thoughts and can imagine how he'd react to this 'opp ed' (good use of the term Dale!). Still puzzled at the 'why' this was written
                            and when you say it was written on behalf of someone else, who would that be? Agree; doubt the author would be that kind to his own coach if the roles were
                            reversed.
                            As to why this was written, McMahon is a Malden Catholic guy who undoubtedly has connections with Souza.

                            As to his point, he's not wrong that at this point, Souza has earned another year extension. You know my views, but the decision must be driven by facts, not feelings. You are what your record says. In terms of the conclusions on those facts, we don't know what UNH's true talent level is right now. They beat teams we thought would be good (BU, NU). The rest of the season will tell us whether UNH is now at the middle of HE, or like Vermont, has snuck up on some and is a bit over its head. We can impose our preconceived views of talent on the results, or be guided by the results.

                            On Dan's thought of a one or two year extension, the luxury A.Rich has is she doesn't have to give an extension right now (a) can wait to see the whole year, and (b) MS has little to no leverage, so any extension would be one year only (she seemed comfortable going year to year this year).
                            The Souza record:
                            15-16 10th place
                            16-17 10th place
                            17-18 11th place
                            18-19 8th place
                            19-20 9th place
                            20-21 10th place
                            21-22 9th place
                            22-23 10th place

                            Comment


                            • To me, Mike MacMahon’s blog post wreaks of the same stench as must the dead fish that is tossed in front of the opposing net after UNH’s first goal at the Whitt. Likewise, a custodian needs to use a metaphorical shovel to rid MacMahon’s writing from the blogosphere. I, for one, will never read another word that MacMahon writes. :-)

                              Last edited by Snively65; 01-13-2024, 11:01 AM. Reason: Spellin’

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by NCAA watcher View Post

                                As to why this was written, McMahon is a Malden Catholic guy who undoubtedly has connections with Souza.

                                As to his point, he's not wrong that at this point, Souza has earned another year extension. You know my views, but the decision must be driven by facts, not feelings. You are what your record says. In terms of the conclusions on those facts, we don't know what UNH's true talent level is right now. They beat teams we thought would be good (BU, NU). The rest of the season will tell us whether UNH is now at the middle of HE, or like Vermont, has snuck up on some and is a bit over its head. We can impose our preconceived views of talent on the results, or be guided by the results.

                                On Dan's thought of a one or two year extension, the luxury A.Rich has is she doesn't have to give an extension right now (a) can wait to see the whole year, and (b) MS has little to no leverage, so any extension would be one year only (she seemed comfortable going year to year this year).
                                Fair and valid assessment of the situation; I'd be totally ok with a one year but no more than that. Souza mentions his class coming in next year...what do you make of
                                it and will this group add alot of upside to what we have right now?

                                Heard the game tonight is close to, or is just about, at a sellout. Will be on the lookout for fellow 'Cat fans!
                                I'm just here for the hockey...

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