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Thread: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    You want to talk about heartbreaking losses in UNH history? How much time you got...??

    Seriously, I did have the following on my initial list:

    1999
    Maine 3, UNH 2 OT
    This probably deserves to be on the list ahead of a number of games - including the National Semi-Final, but I removed it when I realized I already had four games in the 1999 stretch run. That was a great game against a major rival on the biggest stage. The game going to OT and finishing the way it did has to make it one of the best contested games in UNH history. The frustrating part is UNH should have won. Krog had an OT chance all alone in front of Michaud and put it right into his pad. I still watch the GWG and my heart drops every time...

    BC 5, UNH 4 OT
    UNH also lost the HE Tournament Championship in 1999 - also in heartbreaking fashion and also in OT. BC jumped out to a 4-0 lead, before Krog got UNH on the board late in the first. David Busch and Jason Shipulski scored 10 seconds apart in the second period and Johnny Rogers tied the game sneaking out from behind the net in the third, but Blake Bellefeullie scored 6.5 minutes into OT to deny UNH.

    1999 was a heck of a year for UNH hockey - but also the ultimate what might have been. The team could have easily won both the HE title and the National Championship as constituted - but also could have still featured BOTH Derek Bekar and Erik Niklaus. Imagine the following top-six...

    Souza - Krog - Haydar
    Niklaus - Bekar - Shipulski*

    * Shipulski went 15-14--29 that season playing with Sadowski and Ficek...


    -----

    2008
    BC 5, UNH 4 3 OT
    Another I'll never forget. Nine-years after losing to BC in the HE Title game, UNH lost by the same score in the HE Tournament Semi-Final this time in 3 OTs. UNH was the team to blow the big lead in this game, with BC forcing overtime and ultimately winning on a Benn Ferriero PP goal. Danny Dries was in the box after taking a clear penalty late in the second OT (I believe)? He catches a lot of flak for that penalty and perhaps deservedly so, but you can't blame him for thinking obvious penalties would be ignored in the OT periods. How was THIS penalty on a clear scoring chance ignored! I am still not over it to this day...

    https://goo.gl/images/F9cgoK

    * BC moved on to play Vermont - who UNH would have also rolled for a third HE Tournament title. The Wildcats still finished with a #1 overall seed, but put up a complete no-show against a mediocre Notre Dame team, losing 7-4 in Colorado Springs. Another FF lost. They should have won their bracket, regardless, but finishing off a win over BC probably keeps UNH in the East. The two East #1's that season were Miami (Worcester) and Michigan (Albany). Michigan's Albany regional being especially soft...

    -----

    Other than that - you have the 2003 National Title loss to Minnesota, a bunch of extremely disappointing NCAA losses (RIT, Niagara, 2002 Nat'l Semi-Final vs. Maine, *Notre Dame) and a bunch of narrow NCAA losses (Miami, BU, Denvert, etc). There is also an early and extremely wild Riverstone Cup game with Dartmouth that finished in a 9-8 UNH loss...
    Dan
    Both of your lists are great. Saw most of them on both lists. must admit that I have not done the FF or Regionals outside of the northeast. Favorite was the North Dakota game. Great game but we truly stole that one. It was one of those rare ones when the bounces went our way and we stayed focused and tough.
    Lots of tough loses and hard to say which one would be number 1, but if forced, I would have to say the '99 overtime lose to Maine. Freakin Maine!

    I want to go to Refs mention of our quarterfinals win over PC the year they won it all. 3 really great games, certainly rates as one for the fun series list. I remember waking out of Schneider that night. Over and over I heard - "that will keep us out of the regionals!" The PC fans were just nuts that they lost to us. The interesting part of this story is that they did make it as a bubble team and sweep on to the title. Yale won as a bubble (think they may have won league tournament to qualify) team and did the same thing a couple of years earlier. And they had 12 loses or so.

    It is this intermittent reinforcement that keeps some of us from throwing in the towel.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by After the Whistle View Post
    Dan
    Both of your lists are great. Saw most of them on both lists. must admit that I have not done the FF or Regionals outside of the northeast. Favorite was the North Dakota game. Great game but we truly stole that one. It was one of those rare ones when the bounces went our way and we stayed focused and tough.
    Lots of tough loses and hard to say which one would be number 1, but if forced, I would have to say the '99 overtime lose to Maine. Freakin Maine!

    I want to go to Refs mention of our quarterfinals win over PC the year they won it all. 3 really great games, certainly rates as one for the fun series list. I remember waking out of Schneider that night. Over and over I heard - "that will keep us out of the regionals!" The PC fans were just nuts that they lost to us. The interesting part of this story is that they did make it as a bubble team and sweep on to the title. Yale won as a bubble (think they may have won league tournament to qualify) team and did the same thing a couple of years earlier. And they had 12 loses or so.

    It is this intermittent reinforcement that keeps some of us from throwing in the towel
    .
    yep...those wins while they may seem insignificant to the bigger picture of UNH hockey over the years, they give something to be happy about in the down years. And it just goes to show you what can happen if you can just make it to the show as you pointed out. Unfortunately that hasn't happened YET for our 'Cats. YET: You're Eligible Too

    For those of you who have persevered over the years, you deserve it and I hope one day it comes true. UNH is certainly due as are the fans. Go 'Cats!!
    Last edited by HockeyRef; 11-30-2017 at 01:38 PM.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    The more I think about it – one of the more disappointing UNH losses in program history may have been the 1996-97 Regional First-Round loss to Colorado College. The Tigers beat UNH 3-2 in Worcester and advanced to play East #1 Clarkson (?!).

    UNH was so loaded that year and even though they were only a #4 seed playing a #5, I remember thinking they were a big favorite to beat CC and emerge from their regional – regardless of Clarkson in their way with a first-round, night off under the old regional system.

    This may be the most gifted UNH team in school history – though I’m sure that sentiment might stir up some disagreement. The team’s top-9 forwards that year included…

    Krog: 23-44—67
    Mowers: 26-32—58
    Boguiniecki: 26-31—57
    Niklaus: 29-22—51
    Nolan: 22-29—51
    Bekar: 18-21—39
    The ‘S’ Line: 32-28—60

    Defensively UNH ran out Filipowicz, O’Brien, Murray, Bragnalo, Enders, Eric Johnson and Eric Fitzgerald. The top-3 were studs. Bragnalo was just a sophomore and Enders a freshmen. So with the youth of those two and the Erics, I suppose the back-end of the UNH defense was the team’s weak point.

    Sean Matile and Brian Larochelle were the goalies – with Larochelle playing early in the season while Matile served his major junior penalties. The team started 15-2-0, I believe, and I remember they were featured on the cover of the old “College Hockey Magazine” as the #1 team in the country early on.

    That team won the Governor’s Cup, the Badger Showdown (defeating CC in the Championship Game) and finished second to BU in both the HE Regular Season and Tournament. They scored 204 goals in 39 games played (5.2 GPG). They used to really run in gun in Umile’s early years…

    The top college hockey teams were great (and deep) back then – but that is another FF gone wanting (at least)…
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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by sonar View Post
    I will always remember the 1977 NCAA Semifinal game with Wisconsin. This was UNH's first "Final Four" in hockey. It went to overtime and UNH lost 4-3. That was bad enough, however the way the game ended made it even more memorable. The winning goal was scored from the right face off circle - I can still visualize it. The puck went directly from the Wisconsin center's stick into the net. Barry Edgar, who remains as one of my favorite players, was involved in that face off. Little did I know that it was the beginning of a number of difficult playoff experiences for UNH. There have been a few positive experiences, however balancing the positive/negative sheet would probably take more years than I have left. Although who knows maybe I'll renew my season tickets beginning in 2018-19.
    The face off was between Jon Fontas and Mike Eaves. Eaves allegedly (no verification on the grainy video) swiped at the puck before it hit the ice and it slipped by Dan Magnarelli at the near post. Eaves, of course, is the former coach of Wisconsin and the father of Ben and Patrick Eaves, both of whom played at BC 10-15 years ago. We are 41 years out from that game and, when I look back, it is amazing to me how well UNH played against the Badgers. UNH had a lot of great players, but let's face it, the team was high octane offense with defense at best a sometime thing, witness the 10-9 OT win vs. Cornell the week before. Wisconsin had a great team, coached by the great Badger Bob Johnson, with plenty of guys who went on to the NHL. The fact that UNH held them to three goals in regulation is stunning when I think about it. UNH played a great game with a couple of guys, Joe Rando and Peter Noonan, probably playing their greatest games at UNH. Shame that they lost.

    As an aside, a year or so ago I had the privilege to dine with Jon Fontas in his hometown of Lexington. When I asked him he told me that it took him quite a while to get over that game and specifically that play. His 93 year old dad was with us and, let's just say, he had still not gotten over it.

    This game is among the top ten losses of all time for UNH in that they played great games, sometimes under tough circumstances, but came up short. The others that I can think of off the top of my head are:
    March, 1974 - ECAC quarterfinal loss to RPI. This is the game where UNH was without Cap Raeder, their All-American goalie, for most of the game. UNH fell behind by three, then tied it up in the second period scoring three unanswered goals while skating 3-on-3 with Cliff Cox, Jamie Hislop, and Gordie Clark on the ice. Snively was never so loud, before or after.
    March, 1977 - ECAC final loss to BU, 6-4. UNH had played double OT the night before and I think they just ran out of gas. My lasting memory of this game is UNH coming over the BU blue line, Miller feeding Ralph Cox, who one timed it from the top of the face off circle for a goal. I think that tied the game but it was not to be.
    March, 1977, the aforementioned NCAA semi at the dingy Detroit Olympia
    March, 1979 - NCAA semis vs. Minnesota at the same Olympia. UNH lost, I think, 4-2, with Gopher Eric Strobel getting two goals. After the game, former Wisconsin backup goalie and then scout Mike McNabb (Peter's brother) told us that UNH hadn't scouted very well since the book on Strobel was, if you hit him a couple of times early on, you take him out of the game. Oh well.
    Quite a gap to the next one because, frankly, after 1982 until 1992 there wasn't much to write about until:
    March, 1994 - Regional final loss to Harvard. This is back in the day where the top seed got a bye into the final. UNH played the night before, shutting out RPI 4-0. We stayed with Harvard for two periods the next night, then got blown out in the third. Valiant effort
    March, 1997 - Finals loss to BU, 4-1 I think. UNH had beaten BC pretty handily the night before but had no answer for BU which went on to the NCAA final that year.
    March, 1997 - Regional semis in Worcester. This one stills resonates with me, a 3-2 loss to CC. UNH was better than them but, for some reason, slept walked through the first two periods. CC went on to the FF that year, getting blown out by North Dakota in the semis.
    April, 1999 - NCAA final loss to Maine in OT. I had that game on tape (now dvd) but have never watched it. Great game. UNH could (should) have won but didn't. I have it on good authority that John Sadowski never talks about his overtime face off win.
    April, 2003 - NCAA final loss to Minnesota. We hung with them for two periods but then it was over in the third, courtesy of he who should not be named.
    March, 2009 - Regional final loss to BU, 2-1. Dan was nice enough to link the highlights of this game a couple of weeks ago. Funny how your memory sometime fails you. But it was spot on because, all along, I have felt that UNH should have won that game. They had a ton more chances than BU, so much so that it should never have come down to the final minute.
    March, 2010 - I am throwing this one in here because there was no excuse for UNH to get blown out by RIT, especially after dominating Cornell the night before. Just plain not ready to play. Only saving grace is that I didn't have to make travel plans for Detroit.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Ambrose View Post
    March, 1997 - Finals loss to BU, 4-1 I think. UNH had beaten BC pretty handily the night before but had no answer for BU which went on to the NCAA final that year.
    To touch on the '97 team we both mentioned above - they were arguably the best team in the country that year on the offensive end, but the one goalie they could not beat with any consistency. Michelle LaRocque, Boston University...
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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Just to add more posts (potentially that is) How do you guys who have seen all of this hockey explain how a team like Yale comes in (and PC) at the 16th seed and run the table? Do you believe its more about grit than talent at that point? Dan mentions the 'loaded team' that could not win...(and I do have enough sports background to know this doesn't equal success) really hurts the most for sports fans. When you shoulda, but you didn't.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Now my top wins:
    January, 1972 - UNH vs. Harvard at Snively. Harvard came in as #1 in the country, with Joe Bertagna in net. Great, great game, with Guy Smith getting the OT winner. Found out several years later from Charlie Holt that Smith had kicked it in but the refs (only two back then) missed it.
    March, 1977 - ECAC quarters vs. Brown, a 4-3 OT win courtesy of a Dave Lumley slapshot from the right point that was going ten feet wide until it deflected off a Brown skate and into the net. A big deal win because UNH had, sometimes under trying circumstance, failed to advance to the Garden.
    March, 1977 - ECAC semis vs. Cornell, 10-9 win courtesy of Bobby Gould's strike in second OT. It meant that UNH was going to the FF for the first time in program history. We had no idea what we were getting into but, man, were we happy.
    January, 1979 - UNH at Clarkson. Game at the old Walker Arena, a classic college hockey pit. Hard to describe the place, you had to be there. I think UNH won something like 5-3, with Ralph Cox pouring in four goals. Classic college game.
    March, 1979 - ECAC finals vs. Dartmouth, 3-2 win courtesy of the aforementioned Mr. Gould, #17 scoring at 17:17 of the third period for UNH's first and only ECAC championship
    March, 1982 - NCAA quarters, a two game total goal victory over Michigan State. To this day I have no idea why UNH was selected for the tournament or why they were awarded home ice. But. they made the most of it, led by Andy Brickley, Steve Lyons, and Danny Potter among others
    March, 1990 - Hockey East quarterfinals at Providence. Kullen's last year as coach. UNH had been in the toilet for 7 long years, winning 19 games in a three year stretch at one point. But that season the benefits of some better recruiting finally paid its first dividend. This was a best 2 of 3 and UNH lost the first game, 5-0. I'm saying to my wife and good friend Jim, why are we here? But we came back the next night and won. In the final game UNH was down by three, but roared back in the third with five straight goals, the winner by the immortal Riel Bellegarde, to advance to the HE semis for the first time.
    March, 1992, Hockey East semis vs. Providence at the old Garden. UNH had lost to Providence four times that year. Once a fifth matchup had been determined, Umile told me that they called in all the brilliant hockey minds at UNH, including Charlie Holt, to figure out a way to finally beat them. And they did, 3-2, with another immortal, Savo Mitrovic, scoring shorthanded for the game winner. The win guaranteed UNH a spot in the NCAA tournament for the first time in 9 years.
    March, 1994, Regional semis vs. RPI. This was a 4-0 shutout behind Trent Cavicchi. My lasting memory of this game is that I was sitting in the RPI section with my friend Jim when the cheering leader for RPI was instructing his minions as to what they would do when RPI scored. After his speech,, there was a brief pause, which gave me enough time to yell out "you have to score first." Got a ration from the crowd but I can always say I was clairvoyant.
    December, 1996 - Badger Showdown, Milwaukee, WI. Wasn't there for this one, but UNH rode into the game on a 13 game winning streak to face host Wisconsin. UNH was hammered early, going down by 2 or 3 goals, with the Badger faithful yelling "overrated, overrated." UNH came back and won (8-7 maybe?). A sweet win at a very tough place to play.
    March, 1998 - Regional semis vs. the very same Wisconsin. UNH had flamed out at the end of season, losing in the HE quarters to Maine at the Whit (on my 50th birthday to boot). Somehow we were not shipped out west but, instead got to Albany where they promptly went down by three goals by the middle of the second. I remember walking around the arena, muttering about our fate, when I bumped into Jason Shipulski's mom, Karen. She was a pistol, no nonsense so we sat down and wallowed in our grief. From there we saw Dylan Dellezay score from just inside the blue line (replay showed the puck dipped about two feet just before it got to the goalie), then they scored again, and again, and again. And won . . .
    March, 1998 - . . . then won again, in the Regional final vs. BU. Mark Mowers shorty in OT. Still gives me the chills.
    March, 1999, Regional final vs. Michigan. Another goose bump game Haydar to Krog to Haydar for the 2-1 OT winner in front of the loudest neutral ice crowd cheering for UNH that I ever witnessed.
    April, 1999 - NCAA semis vs. Michigan State. Dismantling the Spartans. When I walked out of that game I was convinced we were going to win it all. Probably would have if we had played someone other than a Hockey East team.
    February, 2002 - vs. Maine @ Orono. This was not a win, but a 2-2 tie, the night after Michael Ayers hand was cut in a goal mouth scrum. We left that Friday night game, headed for the bar where we were facing the prospect of being #1 in the country without either a first or second string goalie. Ayers had been cut, while Matt Carney was back in Durham with a concussion. Suddenly in walks Ayers mom and shouts, "I need a drink." She proceeds to tell us that her son had been stitched up, doctors told him he could do no more harm to his hand, so he was going to play. And play he did. Pretty heroic game.
    March, 2002 - Hockey East Finals vs. Maine. Our first HE championship. The Saviano and Collins show with Darren Haydar, as he said, "just along for the ride."
    March, 2003 - Hockey East Finals vs. BU, 1-0 thanks to Tyson Teplitsky (and Ryan Whitney). I still have a tee shirt that says "Repeat at the Fleet."
    March, 2009 - Regional Semis vs. North Dakota, 4-3, no? Thomas Fortney and Peter LeBlanc. If you watch the Fortney goal, focus on Jerry Pollastrone, who was behind the net. He's the first one who realizes the puck is in the net. The look on his face, even through a mask, is priceless. On LeBlanc's goal, we were sitting at the opposite end of the ice but when he hopped off the bench and grabbed the puck I said to myself, "he's got a clear lane, he's going to score." And he did. What a moment.

    Since then? Not much to talk about, is there? Let's hope that we kvetch too much and that the powers that be have a clue.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    Just to add more posts (potentially that is) How do you guys who have seen all of this hockey explain how a team like Yale comes in (and PC) at the 16th seed and run the table? Do you believe its more about grit than talent at that point? Dan mentions the 'loaded team' that could not win...(and I do have enough sports background to know this doesn't equal success) really hurts the most for sports fans. When you shoulda, but you didn't.
    Well Yale won because all four teams that year were pretty much the same. No great talent stuck out, even the Bulldogs. It's why I think (hope) that UNH will someday have a chance. There are just no great teams anymore. Some are better than others for sure, but the talent level you saw 15-20 years ago just doesn't exist anymore. Many reasons for this but the pool has been eroded and is why "Any Given Year." Its why you have Yale and Union to name two.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    To touch on the '97 team we both mentioned above - they were arguably the best team in the country that year on the offensive end, but the one goalie they could not beat with any consistency. Michelle LaRocque, Boston University...
    I think back then that UNH just did not know how to win big games. The collar got tighter the farther into the season you got. I can remember them losing to PC at BC in the HE quarters in 1996. The loss to CC in '97, the loss to Niagara in '00, not making the field the next year. Even when we were real good, it could be tough sometimes to be a UNH fan. Always say, it is (was anyway) a great ride. Lots of fun back in the day.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Anybody think we could've found a way to beat UML in 2013 Regionals IF we had a healthy Kevin Goumas and Grayson Downing?? Or was Hellebuyck (sp) too good...by the way UNH gets the top story in the HE blog on the front page...
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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Ambrose View Post
    ...the talent level you saw 15-20 years ago just doesn't exist anymore. Many reasons for this but the pool has been eroded...
    EXTREMELY interesting comment. Because anyone "affiliated" with the game will continue to insist on how it is "growing." In fact, they just said it again on that NBC "History of the NHL" special where Bettman was spewing about how moving to the Sun Belt has increased the amount of talent by attracting kids that "never would have played" hockey if not for the NHL's expansion. They brag about how the talent pool has never been bigger.

    Only problem is....increased numbers don't necessarily mean increased talent. One theory is that there is a "finite" amount of elite-level talent and expansion simply dilutes that talent so that no team can stockpile it (like, for example, the Montreal Canadiens of the mid-70s whose 1977 team may have been the greatest ever - Lemaire, LaFleur, Cornoyer, Robinson, Shutt, Houle, Lapoint, Dryden, Gainey, Jarvis, Savard - just an insane amount of talent). My theory is that kids just don't play anymore. When we were kids we played SOME sport EVERY DAY after school. Most kids only play "organized" sports now. But that doesn't allow you to develop the necessary "instincts" for the game. It's too choreographed. Not only that, the "good" kids play and the rest stand around and watch. When you play in the neighborhood, EVERYBODY plays.

    I went to my high school's Thanksgiving football game and was astonished by how BAD the teams were. I'm not talking about "physical" talent (there was a running back who scored five touchdowns). I'm talking about knowledge of the game. Most of the kids were standing around. They didn't know where to go or what to do, and most importantly, they didn't 'react' to anything. On one touchdown pass there were literally five defenders within ten feet of the receiver and ALL of them just stood there and watched him catch the ball.

    You can't be good at anything without working hard. It takes repetition. There is NO substitute. Kids today think they can do someone once or twice and be good at it. The attention span is non-existent. Nobody will ever convince me that ANY of these players today are better than Bobby Orr, for example. I will argue that to the grave...

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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by chickod View Post
    EXTREMELY interesting comment. Because anyone "affiliated" with the game will continue to insist on how it is "growing." In fact, they just said it again on that NBC "History of the NHL" special where Bettman was spewing about how moving to the Sun Belt has increased the amount of talent by attracting kids that "never would have played" hockey if not for the NHL's expansion. They brag about how the talent pool has never been bigger.

    Only problem is....increased numbers don't necessarily mean increased talent. One theory is that there is a "finite" amount of elite-level talent and expansion simply dilutes that talent so that no team can stockpile it (like, for example, the Montreal Canadiens of the mid-70s whose 1977 team may have been the greatest ever - Lemaire, LaFleur, Cornoyer, Robinson, Shutt, Houle, Lapoint, Dryden, Gainey, Jarvis, Savard - just an insane amount of talent). My theory is that kids just don't play anymore. When we were kids we played SOME sport EVERY DAY after school. Most kids only play "organized" sports now. But that doesn't allow you to develop the necessary "instincts" for the game. It's too choreographed. Not only that, the "good" kids play and the rest stand around and watch. When you play in the neighborhood, EVERYBODY plays.

    I went to my high school's Thanksgiving football game and was astonished by how BAD the teams were. I'm not talking about "physical" talent (there was a running back who scored five touchdowns). I'm talking about knowledge of the game. Most of the kids were standing around. They didn't know where to go or what to do, and most importantly, they didn't 'react' to anything. On one touchdown pass there were literally five defenders within ten feet of the receiver and ALL of them just stood there and watched him catch the ball.

    You can't be good at anything without working hard. It takes repetition. There is NO substitute. Kids today think they can do someone once or twice and be good at it. The attention span is non-existent. Nobody will ever convince me that ANY of these players today are better than Bobby Orr, for example. I will argue that to the grave...
    ...which was the reason I left coaching (but might get back in, heaven help me ) One of my fav things to remind my teams was "the only place where the word success comes before work is in the dictionary". I know, hardly original but you make some good points about work ethic. When back in my last year of coaching I had a great group but motivation wasn't stellar and they actually asked if they "had to go to the tournament". (sigh worthy) I knew I had made a good choice to leave coaching and concentrate on my young family and my officiating career...ho hum!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Ambrose View Post
    March, 2009 - Regional final loss to BU, 2-1. Dan was nice enough to link the highlights of this game a couple of weeks ago. Funny how your memory sometime fails you. But it was spot on because, all along, I have felt that UNH should have won that game. They had a ton more chances than BU, .
    Hated the outcomes but have said many times this was the best game I have seen in person. That 08-09 is very underrated. They would have been the favorte in the Frozen Four

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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Game Day folks! Big weekend coming up...4 HE points on the line. HR is thinking split; would love to win one at the 'Whitt as we haven't beaten PC there at least not since I've been following?? Curious to see how many UNH fans will be there as when we got tix the place seemed sold out. HR's predictions:

    Friday: PC 3 UNH 2
    Sat: UNH 2 PC 1

    Doubt I'll be right, but moves the forum along to it's closure! See some of you later. Go 'Cats!!
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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    It will be interesting to see how UNH does against PC this weekend. Should go a long way in telling us where we really stand in the league with the team finally playing at full strength!

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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    NH College Hockey: Wildcats healthy for weekend with Friars:
    http://www.unionleader.com/article/2...TS22/171209956
    Sophomore forward Joe Sacco (shoulder) is the lone UNH player out with an injury for this weekend’s home-and-home series with No. 9 Providence College.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by chickod View Post
    EXTREMELY interesting comment. Because anyone "affiliated" with the game will continue to insist on how it is "growing." In fact, they just said it again on that NBC "History of the NHL" special where Bettman was spewing about how moving to the Sun Belt has increased the amount of talent by attracting kids that "never would have played" hockey if not for the NHL's expansion. They brag about how the talent pool has never been bigger.
    My comment about 15-20 years ago is based on two things. First, the best players don't stay for 3 or 4 years anymore. Go to Conte Forum or Agganis Arena and look at the plaques on the wall for former players who played in the NHL. In the nineties and early aughts, just about every name up there played his 3 or 4 years at the school. In this day and age, would Brian Gionta or Chris Drury last four years at their schools? How about Jason Krog? Kids today leave too early. Except for the elite of the elite (McAvoy seems to be a good example), they are just not ready for the game at the NHL level. I find it interesting, for example, that Jack Eichel is in a slump this year while Jimmy Vesey is continuing to do well. Could it have anything to do with the fact that Eichel would be a junior at BU now and Vesey was a four year player at Harvard. Look, you can't deny the kids the opportunity to take the money that is being thrown their way but, because of it, the college game is suffering. Not much different than basketball in my estimation.

    The second thing, talked about some, is that now so many kids go the Major Junior route. NHL level experience in terms of the number of games and the rules, and a lot of these kids get paid.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by chickod View Post
    EXTREMELY interesting comment. Because anyone "affiliated" with the game will continue to insist on how it is "growing." In fact, they just said it again on that NBC "History of the NHL" special where Bettman was spewing about how moving to the Sun Belt has increased the amount of talent by attracting kids that "never would have played" hockey if not for the NHL's expansion. They brag about how the talent pool has never been bigger.

    Only problem is....increased numbers don't necessarily mean increased talent. One theory is that there is a "finite" amount of elite-level talent and expansion simply dilutes that talent so that no team can stockpile it (like, for example, the Montreal Canadiens of the mid-70s whose 1977 team may have been the greatest ever - Lemaire, LaFleur, Cornoyer, Robinson, Shutt, Houle, Lapoint, Dryden, Gainey, Jarvis, Savard - just an insane amount of talent). My theory is that kids just don't play anymore. When we were kids we played SOME sport EVERY DAY after school. Most kids only play "organized" sports now. But that doesn't allow you to develop the necessary "instincts" for the game. It's too choreographed. Not only that, the "good" kids play and the rest stand around and watch. When you play in the neighborhood, EVERYBODY plays.

    You can't be good at anything without working hard. It takes repetition. There is NO substitute. Kids today think they can do someone once or twice and be good at it. The attention span is non-existent. Nobody will ever convince me that ANY of these players today are better than Bobby Orr, for example. I will argue that to the grave...
    Response A: Get off my lawn, you damm kids!

    Response B: The skill level of even the average hockey player today is insane. The heroes of yesteryear can't even begin to compare. There really weren't any skills coaches back in the day, now there are hundreds of them breaking down every aspect of the sport to it's smallest movement and building up incredibly skilled players. That's not to be confused with talented or athletic players, those are different components, but those are at as high or higher levels now as well.

    Some people complain that kids focus too much on hockey and don't play other sports now. You turn it around and say they don't spend enough time playing and working on hockey. Respectfully, you have no idea how hard today's players work on their games. It's incredible how much time and effort the top kids put into hockey now - just the opportunity alone with the number of rinks, teams, camps, skills coaches, summer tournaments, it was NEVER like this back in the day.

    You feel that talent and skill is down, because you don't see any of those juggernaut teams from ye olden days. The reason you don't see them is because talent is up, everyone is good now. Back then, the talent was limited, and few teams got it all, and the drop off to the have nots was huge, making the haves seem incredible. Now, the drop off is incredibly minimal, everyone can play - the gap between the top and bottom has shrunk, the best are still the best but they don't stand out so prominently any more, say it any way you want, the talent is just deeper now.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats-The Back Nine and Beyond!

    Quote Originally Posted by e.cat View Post
    It will be interesting to see how UNH does against PC this weekend. Should go a long way in telling us where we really stand in the league with the team finally playing at full strength!
    i'm interested to see how PC does because if you ignore the results against the Clarkson juggernaut, you still have a team that does things like spot Merrimack a four goal lead, and conversely blows leads like they did against SLU, Miami, and BC. Good Hawkey shows up, PC is in business.

    Foley is on fire this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    i'm interested to see how PC does because if you ignore the results against the Clarkson juggernaut, you still have a team that does things like spot Merrimack a four goal lead, and conversely blows leads like they did against SLU, Miami, and BC. Good Hawkey shows up, PC is in business.

    Foley is on fire this year.
    We're hoping "Good Danny" shows up as well!! 😉

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