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skyraider0609
01-25-2015, 06:43 PM
And the unthinkable - last place in Hockey East, especially in a year when there is a new member in the league - is suddenly not so far-fetched. That would put a major dent in the long-term recruiting process, no doubt.

With Amherst's win today against MC, your unthinkable scenario has come to pass Chuck. Deadlocked at the bottom of HE with seven points.

Ah, Go Pats?

Chuck Murray
01-25-2015, 07:11 PM
Looks like they closed out our thread today. I'm sure there's some symbolism and/or irony involved in the timing, but I'll leave you folks to be creative and figure that out. :D

Getting swept by a UMaine team that's not to be confused with the juggernauts of the Walshy era - or even the semi-juggernauts of the Whitehead era - was disappointing, to say the least. But I guess the scary part is that it wasn't all that surprising, either. Getting shut out in your own barn is never a good thing.

Borrowing from a now-stranded post in the old thread, which shared some preceding concerns posted by Greg ... unless UNH somehow finds a level of consistently positive play that's eluded them up to this point, this year's team will post the worst record of the Coach Umile era. And the unthinkable - last place in Hockey East, especially in a year when there is a new member in the league - is suddenly not so far-fetched. Don't look now, but as of a few minutes ago, last place is a sobering reality. That could put a major dent in the long-term recruiting prospects, no doubt.

I'll check back in after next weekend, as that's the end of the 7 game stretch I targeted a few weeks ago, and while UNH is 2-3-0 during that stretch to date, it's the way they've gotten there that's so troubling. The team's apparent absolute dependency on Pesce - a player who is no better than 50-50 on returning for his senior season - also offers a troubling outlook on the prospects of a quick turnaround next year.

Here's to hoping chronically overrated Notre Dame provides the perfect remedy to what ails the 'Cats next weekend ... but even if it does, I still share Greg's concerns about the outlook going forwards. If you put the program's records over the last decade on a graph, there wouldn't be any sharp drops from year to year. But from beginning to end, the trend is unmistakable. And it's not comforting that this year's highly touted freshman class has hardly set the world on fire.

Hopefully the promise of "next year" will begin to be realized as this team hits the stretch run, but it will not happen until/unless the team's younger players begin to play like they belong on a top tier D-1 program. For all the hype I've read on here, the underachieving frosh players as a whole have been a concern, and excepting Kelleher the sophs really haven't stepped up either. Three of your five top scorers - including Casey Thrush (let me repeat, Casey Thrush :eek: ) - graduate from the program at the end of the season. Your top defenseman BY FAR may not be back. And while your goalie tandem has shown some promise, they've both been thrown in at the deep end, and the jury remains very much out on whether either (much less both) will develop into a top-notch HE goalie.

I want to see Coach Umile turn this ship around, I really do. He has earned the opportunity to give it a shot. Maybe we will see the silver linings in increasing abundance over the last month or so of the season. But I'm truly disappointed in what I've seen with the development of the younger players as a whole so far. Growing pains, sure. And patience needs to be exhibited in this situation. But we also can't assume these highly-touted young players will just be able to flick the switch when they arrive on campus next Fall, and automatically progress to the next level. It doesn't work that way.

More than that, what I truly fear is that a sense of apathy is setting in all around the program, and every passing season on the downward trend only makes it more difficult to shake off the apathy - on and off the ice - and turn the program around. This may be Coach Umile's biggest challenge of all, as left unchecked it will permeate his program, undercut the promise of what looked to be a developing young team, and poossibly even infect future incoming players.

As the title of the preceding thread indicated ... I've been prepared to write this season off from the start, so long as we saw the promise of developing young players signaling a brighter, more competitive future. So far, I'm unimpressed, and my sole focus for the rest of this season is to see who's willing to pay the price to make this program relevant again.

Darius
01-25-2015, 07:58 PM
Other than the arena temperature what was disappointing last night was how flat we were to start the game given Friday's result and our 3rd period performance given a one goal deficit with quite a bit on the line. I wonder how sick some of the players might be. Excuses are pretty weak to hear right now, but Foegele is out sick, Pesce is out partially/maybe sick, perhaps some of the others are not 100%. Having said that, give Maine credit. They have some good players. Shore would be our best forward if he switched teams, likewise Hutton on D and Pecararo our best Freshman, at least based on last night. Those three and most/all of their team played harder than we did.

Thinking about next year, are we going to be significantly better? Without a break out year or two, next year's seniors don't project to be a big improvement over this year's seniors. Next year's Junior class is a small one. Kelleher should continue his progression, a quantum leap would be nice. We have not seen a Freshman class really step it up progression wise from year to year lately so it is hard to be optimistic, but hopefully this year's Freshman/next year's Sophomore's break that trend. I'm pretty much just considering forwards here, I need more time to digest the D after last night's performance. If I were Pesce and Carolina came calling it would be hard not to bolt.

There is a great post on the MN Gophers Season Thread from HarleyMC today at 8:31 AM. It begins: "It always helps when you can not only shoot the puck, but actually direct it to a specific spot with accuracy and velocity."

Darius
01-25-2015, 08:05 PM
BTW, take away our students, close your eyes and listen and the Maine fans had us out numbered last night. Ouch.

Darius
01-25-2015, 08:39 PM
:eek:
Looks like they closed out our thread today.And now we have 2! :eek:

Greg A
01-25-2015, 08:50 PM
BTW, take away our students, close your eyes and listen and the Maine fans had us out numbered last night. Ouch.

i'll plead guilty. Getting over the flu (it's been a doozy), the crappy weather, plus the fact it was on TV kept me home. But what I watched last night and the night before (I bought the streaming video through the Maine website) was pretty pathetic. We are 2/3 through the season and I have seen no improvement in this team. Actually I think they have gone backward since, if you recall, they beat Michigan 5-1 at Ann Arbor the second weekend of the season. My simple question is, do these freshmen have any talent and, if they do, how come it is not being unlocked by the coaching staff? Frankly, for me it's always the same with recruits who do not meet expectations (at least those set by the coaching staff). Either the recruiters overvalued the talent level of the kids they recruited or they don't know how to coach them once they get here. It's one or the other. To me, at this point, it is the former rather than latter.

At the end of last season and the beginning of this one, I said to more than one person as well as on this thread that this was, for me, the make or break year for Scott Borek. I'm not sure how long he has been at UNH now but it is at least 10-12 years. He is the lead recruiter, at least I think he is. Can anybody point to a recruiting class that he brought in that was better than the one the year before? As the years have gone on it seems every class is worse than the last one. I look at the cast of characters out there on the ice and how many do you see, honestly, who are first or second level NCAA Division 1 talent? The last outstanding class of seniors for me was 2008 - Radja, Fornataro, Flashians, Regan. That's seven years ago that they graduated, 10 years since they were freshmen, and 12 years since they probably committed. Yup, we had JVR for a couple of years, and Bobby Butler and Paul Thompson were pretty exciting as well. But there was a time when UNH had a first or second team All American every year. I'm not going to do the research but I think from 1997 -2011 we had at least one every year. Now? Not so much.

I have a long memory when it comes to UNH Hockey, going back to the fall of 1970. In all that time there have been two fallow periods - 1985-1990 when the program sunk to depths I never thought was possible and 2011 - to the present. The common thread in both eras was the inability of the coaching staff to evaluate talent, have it come to UNH and nurture it when it got here. When Charlie Holt retired in 1986 on the heels of a 5 win season the cupboard was bare. That was followed by two more seasons with a total of 15 victories. It was not until new assistants (including Umile) were hired that the fortunes started to turn around. Four years later UNH made the NCAA tournament. I dare say the climb back to respectability today is a lot steeper. The competition is a lot stiffer and UNH is starting from a position that is as low as it can get. The key back in 1988 was getting new blood, a new perspective, new ideas on what constitutes a winning team. We need that today, desperately. When the transition was made back in '88, the impetus came from above. Hire new people to work with you or we will hire someone to replace you. The message was given and received and things changed. Is the same thing going to happen this time? We'll start with the given that Umile is entrenched, he'll retire only when he thinks it's time. But does he want to go out this way? How does he want to be remembered? As a guy who bumbled his was through his last years, giving the appearance that he's just hanging on. Or does he want to be remembered as the great coach that he definitely was, who gave his kids a chance to compete and win every night? At this point the choice is up to him. For me, legacy trumps loyalty.

Darius
01-25-2015, 09:04 PM
Greg, if anyone deserves a little flu slack it is you! The band and students ("If you can't go to college 'cause you haven't got the knowledge go to...") were in good form last night. The band remained so all night, the students not quite so much in the 3rd period when syllabus week Saturday night took precedence over what had become an obvious loss. UNH/ME, even between bottom dwellers, is still the game of the year on the Durham campus.

Snively65
01-25-2015, 09:42 PM
Of the 10+ threads that were shut down today, ours had the most posts. So, my interpretation is that our fan base here is much harder working than is the team. Or, maybe we just have more talent?

Snively65
01-25-2015, 09:48 PM
Skyraider beat Chuck to the punch by about 20 minutes, but Chuck close a new more compelling thread title. So, perhaps you three posters here could copy your entries to the other thread, or we could copy our three entries on the other thread here. Whatever.

C-H-C
01-25-2015, 10:29 PM
Originally posted by Josh Ciocco (May, 2012):


"Tyler Kelleher, Shane Eiserman, Dylan Chanter and Cam Marks are all "A" rated recruits. The future is very bright at UNH and alot of that has to do with outstanding recruiting."

"I also disagree that they no longer get top end recruits as the job they have done with the '95 class in particular has the potential to be better than any age group UNH has ever brought in. I understand that these kids need to make it to campus---but right now that group of kids is very high end and not only is it on par with recruiting classes of the late 90's and early 2000's---its better!"

"If you are in the rinks as much as I am and watch the recruits they are bringing in you know there is a very positive buzz surrounding the team and the buidling blocks for a championship team are in place."

"Brett Pesce- The kid has alot of potential. Has excellent feet and is very savvy with the puck. Has the ability to be the top defenseman UNH has seen since Stafford. Will be draft eligible next season and Id expect him to go in the top 3 rounds. as a sophmore I think he will get strong consideration for the US World Junior Team. Is very slight right now and will probably have a 3 month adjustment period where he will have to get used to the pace and strength of the opposition. Could have bennefitted from another year of juniors, but at the same time was the top available defenseman in the country and there was no sense in bringing in an inferior defender.

Dan Correale- Is college ready and will challenge for a roster spot on a crowded line up. Has offensive abilities, but most importantly plays with an edge and toughness. Will bring an element to UNH and will provide a spark on small ice surfaces and physical games.Would have been at UNH this past season if not for an injury. Has second line upside, but will more than likely settle into a 3rd line role---think Josh Ciocco

Jamie Hill- Really improved his stock over the course of the playoffs where he led the USHL in playoff goals and was a big reason why Waterloo nearly won a title. The fans will love Jamie as he works his bag off. Is a really quick skater, but not fast goal line to goal line. Has a good, quick stick and can make plays in tight spaces. Will challenge for a 4th line spot and is the type of player coach umile will like. Has physical limitations. Best case scenario is he develops into a steve saviano--worst case scenario he ends up being a greg collins type player.

Kyle Smith- Very under rated. I have watched kyle for a long time and it takes some time to appreciate his game. He is one of those players who will never jump out at you, but if you watch him you will notice how many subtle good plays he makes. I think he will struggle to get into the lineup in his first year or two at UNH because he does not play with the energy of an effective 3rd/4th line guy---but this kid could really turn it on as he matures. Has Preston Callander upside---but more realistically his career will follow that of Josh Prudden.

Max Gaudreault- Think Jeff Silengo. Has good size and pays attention to the details. I will highly doubt he ever becomes a high end scoring forward and it could be tough for him to get more than 10-12 points per season. He will win draws, make good, safe decisions and bring positive intangibles into the locker room. Can make plays and could be someone to compliment the top end guys if need be.

Colin Macdonald- Will score goals at UNH. A late bloomer who is just figuring out how good he is. Can really shoot the puck and has a knack around the net. Good size kid who can skate and get to the net when he wants. The knock on him is that he coasts for long periods of time and sometimes finds himself on the perimeter a little too much. His style of play will remind some of Bobby Butler--though I cant say he will explode like Bobby did as a senior--but Bob was a good player his first three years at UNH too.

Harry Quast- I have not seen him play. I am told he has alot of upside as he is a big kid with a good stick. I was also told he will keep the dmen honest in practive and is good enough to steal a job on the blue line. UNH has had a great deal of success with recruited walk ons in the past---Jamie Fritsche was a full time guy for UNH and developed into one of the better defensive dmen in the league--tough to beat and play against.

All in all I think this is a solid class. Pesce is the only guy in this group who I would call an "A" prospect, but there is a couple others who I feel could develop into really solid players for UNH and be very good in the later years of their careers--such as Callander, Radja, Butler and Thompson. What is really exciting is the fall of 13 and 14 classes. Bringing in Masters (who is still committed), Poturalski and most importantly Kelleher will really add some immediate offense. Fall of 14 has the making to be even more special with Shane Eiserman (who I absolutley love---think Bill Arnold) and two studs out in BC in Chanter and Marks. The future is bright."

HockeyRef
01-25-2015, 11:03 PM
Other than the arena temperature what was disappointing last night was how flat we were to start the game given Friday's result and our 3rd period performance given a one goal deficit with quite a bit on the line. I wonder how sick some of the players might be. Excuses are pretty weak to hear right now, but Foegele is out sick, Pesce is out partially/maybe sick, perhaps some of the others are not 100%. Having said that, give Maine credit. They have some good players. Shore would be our best forward if he switched teams, likewise Hutton on D and Pecararo our best Freshman, at least based on last night. Those three and most/all of their team played harder than we did.

Thinking about next year, are we going to be significantly better? Without a break out year or two, next year's seniors don't project to be a big improvement over this year's seniors. Next year's Junior class is a small one. Kelleher should continue his progression, a quantum leap would be nice. We have not seen a Freshman class really step it up progression wise from year to year lately so it is hard to be optimistic, but hopefully this year's Freshman/next year's Sophomore's break that trend. I'm pretty much just considering forwards here, I need more time to digest the D after last night's performance. If I were Pesce and Carolina came calling it would be hard not to bolt.

There is a great post on the MN Gophers Season Thread from HarleyMC today at 8:31 AM. It begins: "It always helps when you can not only shoot the puck, but actually direct it to a specific spot with accuracy and velocity."

Pesce has a chest injury and cannot play until cleared by team docs. Not sure if he'll be ready for the ND series but I have my doubts.

wildcatdc
01-26-2015, 01:15 AM
i'll plead guilty. Getting over the flu (it's been a doozy), the crappy weather, plus the fact it was on TV kept me home. But what I watched last night and the night before (I bought the streaming video through the Maine website) was pretty pathetic. We are 2/3 through the season and I have seen no improvement in this team. Actually I think they have gone backward since, if you recall, they beat Michigan 5-1 at Ann Arbor the second weekend of the season. My simple question is, do these freshmen have any talent and, if they do, how come it is not being unlocked by the coaching staff? Frankly, for me it's always the same with recruits who do not meet expectations (at least those set by the coaching staff). Either the recruiters overvalued the talent level of the kids they recruited or they don't know how to coach them once they get here. It's one or the other. To me, at this point, it is the former rather than latter.

At the end of last season and the beginning of this one, I said to more than one person as well as on this thread that this was, for me, the make or break year for Scott Borek. I'm not sure how long he has been at UNH now but it is at least 10-12 years. He is the lead recruiter, at least I think he is. Can anybody point to a recruiting class that he brought in that was better than the one the year before? As the years have gone on it seems every class is worse than the last one. I look at the cast of characters out there on the ice and how many do you see, honestly, who are first or second level NCAA Division 1 talent? The last outstanding class of seniors for me was 2008 - Radja, Fornataro, Flashians, Regan. That's seven years ago that they graduated, 10 years since they were freshmen, and 12 years since they probably committed. Yup, we had JVR for a couple of years, and Bobby Butler and Paul Thompson were pretty exciting as well. But there was a time when UNH had a first or second team All American every year. I'm not going to do the research but I think from 1997 -2011 we had at least one every year. Now? Not so much.

I have a long memory when it comes to UNH Hockey, going back to the fall of 1970. In all that time there have been two fallow periods - 1985-1990 when the program sunk to depths I never thought was possible and 2011 - to the present. The common thread in both eras was the inability of the coaching staff to evaluate talent, have it come to UNH and nurture it when it got here. When Charlie Holt retired in 1986 on the heels of a 5 win season the cupboard was bare. That was followed by two more seasons with a total of 15 victories. It was not until new assistants (including Umile) were hired that the fortunes started to turn around. Four years later UNH made the NCAA tournament. I dare say the climb back to respectability today is a lot steeper. The competition is a lot stiffer and UNH is starting from a position that is as low as it can get. The key back in 1988 was getting new blood, a new perspective, new ideas on what constitutes a winning team. We need that today, desperately. When the transition was made back in '88, the impetus came from above. Hire new people to work with you or we will hire someone to replace you. The message was given and received and things changed. Is the same thing going to happen this time? We'll start with the given that Umile is entrenched, he'll retire only when he thinks it's time. But does he want to go out this way? How does he want to be remembered? As a guy who bumbled his was through his last years, giving the appearance that he's just hanging on. Or does he want to be remembered as the great coach that he definitely was, who gave his kids a chance to compete and win every night? At this point the choice is up to him. For me, legacy trumps loyalty.

Excellent post. Having been on campus 87-91, I couldn't agree more. This feels measurably worse. Too many other programs have made too much progress. I feel like Sony in a world of Apple.

sonar
01-26-2015, 07:09 AM
Trending downward and trending upward have become commonplace phrases. One does not have to be clairvoyant to observe which teams that are trending upward in Division I hockey. Some of us have even experienced the elation of being a UNH fan when the team was in ascendance.

Chuck has expressed concerns “about the outlook going forwards” and Greg mentioned that it appears parallel to ”the late stages of the Holt era.” These are two well-informed fans who have a sense of the history of UNH hockey. I have had conversations with other long time fans who continue to attend games and also some who have “dropped out.” It is not difficult to conclude that UNH is trending downward. Sadly, and I do mean sadly, I sense that UNH remains a few years away from the “rock bottom” that Scott mentions in his recent post.

There is still a spark that surrounds UNH hockey (e.g. the rejuvenated student section) and enough new fans seem to be helping to keep that spark alive. Although last night the radio announcers did allude to “the air having gone out of the building.” It is difficult to measure a quality of weariness that gradually comes to erode a fan base, but most of us know it when we experience it.

As some of you know, UNH hockey has been a large part of my spectator life for many years and I am grateful for the joy surrounding that association. The weariness and erosion of spirit experienced by a sports fan are minor compared to other struggles that life may deliver …. but that does not make them any less genuine.

Darius
01-26-2015, 09:26 AM
Skyraider beat Chuck to the punch by about 20 minutes, but Chuck close a new more compelling thread title. So, perhaps you three posters here could copy your entries to the other thread, or we could copy our three entries on the other thread here. Whatever."UNH Wildcats 2014/2015 - Next Year Can't Get Here Fast Enough!!!"

Be careful what you ask for.

Greg A
01-26-2015, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by Josh Ciocco (May, 2012):

Well, except for Pesce, he was wrong.

Greg A
01-26-2015, 09:50 AM
Someone suggested that i transfer my post of yesterday to this thread:

i'll plead guilty. Getting over the flu (it's been a doozy), the crappy weather, plus the fact it was on TV kept me home. But what I watched last night and the night before (I bought the streaming video through the Maine website) was pretty pathetic. We are 2/3 through the season and I have seen no improvement in this team. Actually I think they have gone backward since, if you recall, they beat Michigan 5-1 at Ann Arbor the second weekend of the season. My simple question is, do these freshmen have any talent and, if they do, how come it is not being unlocked by the coaching staff? Frankly, for me it's always the same with recruits who do not meet expectations (at least those set by the coaching staff). Either the recruiters overvalued the talent level of the kids they recruited or they don't know how to coach them once they get here. It's one or the other. To me, at this point, it is the former rather than latter.

At the end of last season and the beginning of this one, I said to more than one person as well as on this thread that this was, for me, the make or break year for Scott Borek. I'm not sure how long he has been at UNH now but it is at least 10-12 years. He is the lead recruiter, at least I think he is. Can anybody point to a recruiting class that he brought in that was better than the one the year before? As the years have gone on it seems every class is worse than the last one. I look at the cast of characters out there on the ice and how many do you see, honestly, who are first or second level NCAA Division 1 talent? The last outstanding class of seniors for me was 2008 - Radja, Fornataro, Flashians, Regan. That's seven years ago that they graduated, 10 years since they were freshmen, and 12 years since they probably committed. Yup, we had JVR for a couple of years, and Bobby Butler and Paul Thompson were pretty exciting as well. But there was a time when UNH had a first or second team All American every year. I'm not going to do the research but I think from 1997 -2011 we had at least one every year. Now? Not so much.

I have a long memory when it comes to UNH Hockey, going back to the fall of 1970. In all that time there have been two fallow periods - 1985-1990 when the program sunk to depths I never thought was possible and 2011 - to the present. The common thread in both eras was the inability of the coaching staff to evaluate talent, have it come to UNH and nurture it when it got here. When Charlie Holt retired in 1986 on the heels of a 5 win season the cupboard was bare. That was followed by two more seasons with a total of 15 victories. It was not until new assistants (including Umile) were hired that the fortunes started to turn around. Four years later UNH made the NCAA tournament. I dare say the climb back to respectability today is a lot steeper. The competition is a lot stiffer and UNH is starting from a position that is as low as it can get. The key back in 1988 was getting new blood, a new perspective, new ideas on what constitutes a winning team. We need that today, desperately. When the transition was made back in '88, the impetus came from above. Hire new people to work with you or we will hire someone to replace you. The message was given and received and things changed. Is the same thing going to happen this time? We'll start with the given that Umile is entrenched, he'll retire only when he thinks it's time. But does he want to go out this way? How does he want to be remembered? As a guy who bumbled his was through his last years, giving the appearance that he's just hanging on. Or does he want to be remembered as the great coach that he definitely was, who gave his kids a chance to compete and win every night? At this point the choice is up to him. For me, legacy trumps loyalty.

Felger
01-26-2015, 11:02 AM
Be careful what you ask for.


Well, except for Pesce, he was wrong.

When I first re-read the Ciocco post my initial reaction was that all those Josh-sniffers should be careful what they wish for...

catsfan
01-26-2015, 12:15 PM
More than that, what I truly fear is that a sense of apathy is setting in all around the program, and every passing season on the downward trend only makes it more difficult to shake off the apathy - on and off the ice - and turn the program around.

What I worry about is that this sense of apathy will extend to the students. The Maine Game Whittemore crowd was a pitiful shell of what it used to be, but the students, from the start, were pretty magnificent. While some of the older fans did not come due to weather (weather they would have driven through and put up with in the old days), the fans that did come were quiet and uninspiring, most of them not even wearing white. However, the students, virtually all dressed in white, were into it, at least until the game got to the point were we appeared to have no chance. The students seem to be more noisy and better fans than they were in the past, but this spirit will quickly die if we see more performances like we did on Saturday night.

NCAA watcher
01-26-2015, 12:26 PM
We'll start with the given that Umile is entrenched, he'll retire only when he thinks it's time. But does he want to go out this way? How does he want to be remembered? As a guy who bumbled his was through his last years, giving the appearance that he's just hanging on. Or does he want to be remembered as the great coach that he definitely was, who gave his kids a chance to compete and win every night? At this point the choice is up to him. For me, legacy trumps loyalty.

Somehow Umile doesn't strike me as the kind of "big picture" kind of guy. There's a job to do, if it doesn't work, you just work harder. He'll stay until he can get the National Championship.

skyraider0609
01-26-2015, 01:09 PM
I didn't mean to cross the wires with two UNH threads percolating simultaneously. I saw the earlier had closed out, didn't see a new one, and decided to go where I'd never ventured before...a thread starter. No ego from me...if everyone wants to move the party over to ChuckMurray, that's fine.

I agree with Greg A, the climb out of this hole is going to be tough. UNH hockey isn't exactly a model I'd say for outstanding recruiting. They've had some hits, but more misses I'd say. I still think the program will be mired up to the frame until there's a clean sweep behind the bench and as we all know, that's not happening anytime soon. My .02