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View Full Version : UNH Wildcats 2014/2015 - Wait 'Til Next Year!!!



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Chuck Murray
09-26-2014, 01:55 PM
Since everyone seems to be hesitant to move away from the "Maybe Dick" 2014 postseason thread, I'll step up and get this one started. I don't think there's any question the upcoming UNH Men's Hockey season promises to be quite a different experience for long-time fans of the program. It's been awhile since we've seen such an exodus of players from one season to the next - to the point where there is not a single senior projecting to get any playing time on the blue line, and likely only one returning defenseman who will even be a junior, while plans for a returning 3 year starter between the pipes seem to have had a (likely permanent) setback. Freshman defensemen will need to fill as many as 3 of the 6 slots on the blueline (possibly more), and the projected goalies for this season not currently out on bail have played less than a period at the D-1 level.

To get a sense of what's missing ... the three departing defensemen (Knodel, TvR and Agosta) were not only the defensive stalwarts of last year's team, but they were also the team's 4th thru 6th highest scorers.

Up front, with top two scorers Goumas and Sorkin having moved on, the remainder of the returning forwards not named Willows or Downing combined for a total of twenty (20) goals between them, with Kelleher tops in that group at 5 goals. It's not even like last year's team was a scoring dynamo - certainly not in comparison to the high-scoring UNH teams from early in Coach Umile's tenure. But he is going to have to rely on several of the incoming freshmen to step up with significant first-year contributions for UNH to even hope to tread water with their offensive output. And in a season where many on the backline (AND all of the goalies) are going to be learning by the seat of their pants in the deep end of the pool (holy mixed metaphors Batman! :eek: ), this projects to be a team that's going to NEED to score a lot to cover for some of the unavoidable and to-be-expected growing pains.

Throw in a daunting early season NC schedule, and I'm not optimistic about the team getting off to a quick start (no more "Defending Champions of November" I fear ;) ), with the more realistic outlook seeming to be that *maybe* the team will gradually progress and begin to make some forward progress by the time they hit the meat of the Hockey East schedule in early 2015. In some ways, I almost like the idea that there will be zero expectations and zero pressure on this year's team, and whatever they might accomplish will be a happy bonus for us all. And then we can get on board early and embrace the "Wait "Til Next Year!" concept.

From the standpoint of Coach Umile ... it might not be a bad opportunity to "reboot" and look at adopting some new approaches to things with a very young and still-moldable crew of underclassmen who he will be depending upon heavily to resurrect the program to the top tier of Hockey East and (hopefully) nationally in what has to be considered the final few seasons of his tenure at UNH. Bringing Coach Stewart on board may have been an important first step to changing things up a little bit. Certainly Coach Umile has a great chance to remind everyone that he's a pretty darned good coach, and by pushing a young team like this one towards the top earlier than others might expect, he could nab another Coach of the Year award. But I'm sure our very own "Captain Ahab" would give them all up for another shot at that elusive white whale. Time is not on his side, but he's gotta be coaching at this point for a reason, and I for one hope against hope he eventually gets what has been so elusive for so long now. Good luck 'Cats on what promises to be a compelling season!! :)

wildcatdc
09-26-2014, 04:24 PM
Yikes! I think I'll crawl back under my rock. See you next September!

In all seriousness, if the strength of our recruiting classes (per CHC) prove out, I think it will be exciting to see the development over the course of the year, even if we're a sub-500 team.

Snively65
09-26-2014, 05:51 PM
I am still thinking 6th place in Hockey East, forever the optimist.

HockeyRef
09-26-2014, 05:51 PM
Yikes! I think I'll crawl back under my rock. See you next September!

In all seriousness, if the strength of our recruiting classes (per CHC) prove out, I think it will be exciting to see the development over the course of the year, even if we're a sub-500 team.

Ha! I hear you about that rock...:p Like you tho, my take on this season is exactly that...what is going to play out and how far will the team go? I think the focus is keeping it real and look for those positives! BTW Chuck excellent post on where we basically stand. This years class is very exciting and what's coming is as well! Keep it real.

wildcatdc
09-26-2014, 06:29 PM
Ha! I hear you about that rock...:p Like you tho, my take on this season is exactly that...what is going to play out and how far will the team go? I think the focus is keeping it real and look for those positives! BTW Chuck excellent post on where we basically stand. This years class is very exciting and what's coming is as well! Keep it real.

BTW - I too was surprised not to see Willows on MUR. Maybe he didn't have a sound bite that they thought was useful....

sonar
09-26-2014, 06:54 PM
"Somebody asked me - you know, how come it took you so long to win a national championship?
And I said .... I'm a slow learner; but you notice when I learn something, I have it down pretty good."

John Wooden

Hope springs eternal .......

HockeyRef
09-26-2014, 08:25 PM
"Somebody asked me - you know, how come it took you so long to win a national championship?
And I said .... I'm a slow learner; but you notice when I learn something, I have it down pretty good."

John Wooden

Hope springs eternal .......

Naturally I can't resist replying that I wish there were a like button to this board! Oh BTW I still have some Sage from the HE last year plan on burning some at the beginning of the season..WTH can't hurt!! ;). 'Go 'Cats!

HockeyRef
09-27-2014, 07:42 AM
I see where UNH alum Brett Kostolansky is playing for the Ice Hogs this season and TvR is still hanging in there with the Blackhawks! Very exciting for our alums...best wishes to our UNH Women's team who open a new chapter today in Maine...Go 'Cats!

Chuck Murray
09-27-2014, 10:37 AM
"Somebody asked me - you know, how come it took you so long to win a national championship?
And I said .... I'm a slow learner; but you notice when I learn something, I have it down pretty good."

John Wooden

Hope springs eternal .......

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Are we next to expect the unveiling of the Dick Umile "Pyramid of Success"??

Is Harry Quast about to be revealed as this generation's on-ice version of Bill Walton??

The possibilities are endless. And if it all holds true, Coach will live to within months of his 100th birthday. :)

sonar
09-27-2014, 02:41 PM
No

Chuck Murray
09-27-2014, 07:36 PM
No

You sure 'bout that? :)

skyraider0609
09-28-2014, 07:26 PM
My thought on the upcoming 2014-15 season:

You know they're not going to lose 162 consecutive games.
Harry Caray

NCAA watcher
09-28-2014, 08:44 PM
This will be UNH's most exciting year in quite a while. The expectations are low, and the talent is young. But that means the growth will be fun to watch, and they have a chance to lay a good foundation for the tail end of this year and for the next 3 years.

e.cat
09-29-2014, 09:05 AM
This will be UNH's most exciting year in quite a while. The expectations are low, and the talent is young. But that means the growth will be fun to watch, and they have a chance to lay a good foundation for the tail end of this year and for the next 3 years.

like button hit:)

HockeyRef
09-29-2014, 10:39 AM
like button hit:)

Ditto! All I know is we have Tix to the Union game so it's full steam ahead! Drop the puck and Let's Go 'Cats!!

e.cat
09-29-2014, 11:31 AM
Ditto! All I know is we have Tix to the Union game so it's full steam ahead! Drop the puck and Let's Go 'Cats!!

Road trip huh? Have fun:)

HockeyRef
09-29-2014, 01:24 PM
Road trip huh? Have fun:)

Yeah sort of! Am normally 5 hrs away from UC but am officiating at Keene State that day and the trip from there is only 2 soooo.....road trip it is!

C-H-C
09-30-2014, 09:06 AM
"UNH Freshman Michael McNicholas: A Skilled Playmaker" (http://unhhockeyblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/unh-freshman-michael-mcnicholas-skilled.html)
Includes video highlights.

ClOuD 9
09-30-2014, 08:50 PM
best wishes to our UNH Women's team who open a new chapter today in Maine...Go 'Cats!
Much more envious of the new chapter the Merrimack women are putting together - Erin Whitten-Hamlen (UNH '93), Kasey Bellamy (UNH '09); why can't we put together a coaching staff like that? <Img src=http://board.uscho.com/images/smilies/frown.gif> :mad:

Darius
10-01-2014, 10:33 AM
Ten to watch: Meet some of college hockey’s impact defensemen for 2014-15
http://www.uscho.com/2014/10/01/ten-to-watch-meet-some-of-college-hockeys-impact-defensemen-for-2014-15/#ixzz3Eu72sOJp

Brett Pesce, New Hampshire junior: Last year saw an uptick in Pesce’s goal production, with seven tallies (he had just one as a freshman). One of those was the series clincher in the Hockey East quarterfinal against Northeastern.

Pesce, a Carolina third-round pick, will be a horse on the UNH blue line again, making his presence felt in all three zones.

Noah Hanifin, Boston College freshman is compared to Chris Chelios.