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WildShawn
10-01-2011, 07:39 AM
Under 9 hours until the 'Cats hit the ice for an exhibition against a usually tough New Brunswick.

What are our expectations for UNH this season? It seems like the predictions (top 3 in Hockey East and top 15 nationally) are where we are every year. Is this optimistic, too harsh or right on?

Any idea if todays exhibition will be broadcast on the internet?

jml42691
10-01-2011, 09:47 AM
Today's game v. New Brunswick is listed on the online stream site, looks like you'll have to pay for access though.

http://unhwildcats.tv/

Greg Ambrose
10-01-2011, 12:56 PM
4PM start caught a few people by surprise, people who had made plans for the afternoon. But perhaps there will be a spillover from the football game which should be over by 3PM. Does UNH allow after game tailgating. If so, people will have an enjoyable transition from football to hockey.

As for the team, I think they'll be pretty strong defensively from DiGi on out. Offensive, to me it is trying to figure out which forward is going to have the breakout year. Two years ago it was Butler, last year Thompson. I honestly don't know who the best candidate is but I'll take a stab with Henrion. He's got a good shot, mixed it up a little last year, so if he is on the first or second line and gets some steady PP time, he could put up some numbers.

smitre
10-01-2011, 03:02 PM
As has been the case in recent years I am trying to figure out where the offensive punch will come from. Moses is this obvious individual candidate to put it all together followed by Henrion for goal sniping. Hopefully we get to enjoy the surprises of how this team comes together.

Saetia22
10-01-2011, 08:46 PM
Well this fan saw a lot of positives this afternoon even if NB is a weak team. A few random thoughts, opinions and observations:

- first line looks like they can pick up where they left off
- silengo should play well with speels and Henry.
- freshmen looked decent in limited ice. It'd be nice if umile rolled out a freshman line most nights. Camper was faster than I imagined he would be. Thrush looks like he has a lot of potential. Willows seems quick but still adjusting to the speed. Downing had some bright spots - he seemed pretty confident with the puck.

Would of liked for a backup goalie to get some ice.

UNHhockey29
10-01-2011, 09:13 PM
Would of liked for a backup goalie to get some ice.

As would I. We all know Digi is a solid goalie, have someone else get a little playing time under their belt.

Very excited for the upcoming season!

Verkligen
10-01-2011, 10:31 PM
BU's loss in exhibition tonight... Good news or bad news for next Saturday night? Thoughts?

C-H-C
10-02-2011, 12:38 AM
UNH Handily Defeats New Brunswick 3-0

WIrinkrat
10-02-2011, 01:27 AM
Surprised there hasn't been much talk about this game, even though it's only an exhibition...

Here are my completely irrelevant observations, comments, and player grades (which are more relative to each player and their own abilities/potential rather than comparing them to each other):

2. Hardowa: Typical Hardowa game...not going to notice him much, which is a good thing. Reminds me of Jamie Fritsch. B

3. Block: Was decent on faceoffs...an area UNH needs to be better in this season. Still not convinced he's a top 6 forward offensively. C+

4. Kipp: His penalty 7 seconds into the game (a pretty marginal call I thought) turned out to be a spark. Would like to see his physical presence a little more consistently. Got beat to the front of the net a few times. C+

5. Knodel: Scary, scary first period. Got caught flatfooted in transition a few times and let guys get behind him for quick outlets. Used his reach to make a nice recovery on one and was bailed out by DiGi on the other. Has a pretty big shot from the point, but was not able to get it on target. Footspeed probably an issue. D+

6. van Riemsdyk: Didn't see much of the offensive upside today, but for his first time out that's something I'm okay with. Didn't see him make too many big mistakes in his own end and he had a few nice plays in transition. B-

9. Willows: Rough debut for him. Definitely quick with speed to burn, but was not playing with any confidence with the puck on his stick. Lots of throwaways and turnovers. Tried to hit everything that moved...which for a skilled scorer is usually a sign that he's pressing to make a contribution knowing that he's lacking confidence in the rest of his game. D

10. Speelman: Picked up a couple helpers but was not a huge factor overall I didn't think. A few bad turnovers and at times tried to beat 1 too many guys in the offensive zone. He needs to be better next weekend. C

11. Pavelski: He is what he is, and was effective in that role. Skated hard but you're not going to get much offensive upside. C+

12. Agosta: I see where the footspeed issues were called into question last season, but this kid was my biggest surprise of the day. Showed a very good stick in the defensive zone breaking up a few shots and passes, and made some nice outlets in transition. Was very good at the offensive blueline and on the PP. Nice ability to take something off his shot and get it through traffic or into a spot where one of his guys could get a stick on it. A-

14. Borisenok: Thought he was so-so. Mishandled a few pucks but was good on PK and had a nice pass to spring Moses. Still not convinced he's the guy I want centering my top line from an offensive standpoint, but regardless he'll be a key piece this year. C+

15. Kostolansky: He's got to be the go to guy on the back end this season with Kessel gone...not necessarily in terms of carrying the load offensively, but just as the leader in general... but he didn't seem to really assert himself that way tonight. Fortunately he didn't stand out for any negative reasons either. A quietly solid game but he's capable of being a top defenseman in the league, so more should be expected. C

16. Henrion: I applaud him for his ability to grasp the facemask a facemaskless player. C

17. Camper: Didnt spend much time on the puck, but had a really nice release on his one opportunity in the first period. Has decent size and speed. A little more upside than I expected given what I had read here and in other places. C+

18. Silengo: Thought he played pretty well. Was excellent on draws and carried the puck well in open ice. Big improvement from where he was this time last season. B

19. Thrush: Considering he wasn't supposed to even be here, I thought he played very well. Quick, good size, handled the puck in traffic a few times...pretty good offensive upside. B

21. Sorkin: Looked like he took a nice step from last season and was playing with more confidence. A good candidate to step up as a secondary scorer with ~20 points this season. B+

22. Moses: Best UNH player by far. Nearly scored a highlight reel between the legs goal. Created chances nearly every time he touched the puck and probably could have had 5 goals. Still lacking finish around the net...needs to bury his chances this season for UNH to keep pace offensively. A-

23. McCarey: Kind of like Pavelski you know what you're going to get. As long as he brings his lunch pail he's a good 4th liner, but not much else. C

26. Burke: Finally looked healthy and was playing with confidence. One of UNH's best players tonight along with Moses and Goumas. Carried the puck well, played physical, was good down low in the offensive zone. If he and Sorkin play this well all season UNH may get the secondary scoring they need. A

27. Goumas: Looked really good with Moses and created a ton of chances. Should have finished a couple of chances, but looked dangerous overall. Would like to see him and Moses have a more naturally gifted offensive player between them. B+

28. Downing: Tough when you're rolling 5 lines but the few times he was on the puck he showed great instincts and generated a couple offensive chances. Showed good hockey sense and used his body well to create space several times. Was hoping he'd get some PP time...seems like a very cerebral player...definitely the real deal as he was advertised to be. Will be very disappointed if he spends most of the year on a line with McCarey and Pavelski because he has the offensive skill level to help make Goumas/Moses or Burke/Sorkin more dangerous. B+

30. DiGirolamo: Made some big saves when called upon, but UNB also squandered some pretty good chances with shots off target. He get's some credit for that because he was rarely if ever out of position. Needs to be very good this season and he was tonight. A

Gusforhobey
10-02-2011, 12:25 PM
was UNB a chippy/dirty team?

WIrinkrat
10-02-2011, 12:27 PM
was UNB a chippy/dirty team?

nothing out of the ordinary

C-H-C
10-02-2011, 02:09 PM
was UNB a chippy/dirty team?
UNB's entire roster are veterans of semiprofessional (Canadian Major Junior) and, in a few cases, professional hockey (AHL, ECHL). As such, physical intimidation in the form of full-speed body checks and in-your-face verbal threats are as integral to their game as skating and passing. The risk of injury resulting from higher frequency and intensity "clean" hits is a concern.

Greg Ambrose
10-02-2011, 08:24 PM
UNB's entire roster are veterans of semiprofessional (Canadian Major Junior) and, in a few cases, professional hockey (AHL, EJHL). As such, physical intimidation in the form of full-speed body checks and in-your-face verbal threats are as integral to their game as skating and passing. The risk of injury resulting from higher frequency and intensity "clean" hits is a concern.

Actually that's the AHL and the ECHL. There was one guy who was born about six weeks after my daughter who graduated from college in 2007, and he was listed as a freshman! I'd have to say that the average age differential between the two teams was about three years. Let's face it, most of these guys are grizzled vets who flamed out in juniors and are now taking advantage of the college eligibility rules that they have in Canada. More power to them if they stick it out and get a degree.

This leads me to wonder about how College Hockey, Inc. attacks this issue. As most of you know, College Hockey, Inc.'s task is to convince Canadian kids (and American kids) that that the US college option is the better way to pursue not only your athletic career, but your academic career as well. Most of the guys on the UNB roster were at least 21 if not more. Assuming that the average age of a non-hockey student at UNB is in line with American colleges, how many of these guys who fail to go beyond major juniors really take their clubs up on the offer to go back to school. I'd have to think that, when your life long dream was to make it in the NHL, to all of a sudden go back to school has to be a daunting task. I wonder what the graduation rate is for these guys.

Carmine Scarpaglia
10-02-2011, 11:31 PM
So you guys played a team of overaged goons from Canada the other night?

That will bode well for your games vs. Merrimack this season.

Good luck this year BTW.

WIrinkrat
10-03-2011, 12:13 AM
WIrinkrat - bustin on 5 in an exhibition? bush league.

Bush league? No I spoke honestly about what I observed and ended up "bustin" on a handful of players. I didn't know we were only allowed to do that in regular season games. If anything I figure a player on the bubble would be showing up bigtime in an exhibition game to try and show the coaching staff they were worthy of a regular lineup spot, so I wouldn't think the fact that it was only an exhibition should matter.

I do apologize if I hurt your son's feelings, or those of his mother, grandparents, etc.

FreddyFoyle
10-03-2011, 10:16 AM
Actually that's the AHL and the ECHL. There was one guy who was born about six weeks after my daughter who graduated from college in 2007, and he was listed as a freshman! I'd have to say that the average age differential between the two teams was about three years. Let's face it, most of these guys are grizzled vets who flamed out in juniors and are now taking advantage of the college eligibility rules that they have in Canada. More power to them if they stick it out and get a degree.

This leads me to wonder about how College Hockey, Inc. attacks this issue. As most of you know, College Hockey, Inc.'s task is to convince Canadian kids (and American kids) that that the US college option is the better way to pursue not only your athletic career, but your academic career as well. Most of the guys on the UNB roster were at least 21 if not more. Assuming that the average age of a non-hockey student at UNB is in line with American colleges, how many of these guys who fail to go beyond major juniors really take their clubs up on the offer to go back to school. I'd have to think that, when your life long dream was to make it in the NHL, to all of a sudden go back to school has to be a daunting task. I wonder what the graduation rate is for these guys.

You've got some misconceptions. The average GPA on UNB's hockey team is between 3.0 and 3.5. Last season nine or ten of their players were Academic All-Canadians (3.5 GPA or higher). The CIS is a complement/partner to Major Junior - guys usually play their overage year (20) in Junior, then take their scholarship packages and arrive on campus as a 20 or 21 year old. Almost all of UNB's varsity athletes graduate (sorry, don't have the % for you). For every year of Major Junior hockey players get a year's tuition paid. Guaranteed. They don't even have to play hockey after Junior - still get the scholarship. Most former Juniors therefore have four years of scholarships. In addition to that the hockey program can give a certain number of Athletic Financial Awards up to the cost of tuition, and some players' Junior teams top up their education package to entice them to go the Major Junior route instead of CIS.

No one in Canada considers Major Junior to be pro or semi-pro hockey. The players get a little more meal or gas money than Junior A, really, that's the only real difference. So amateur to every governing body EXCEPT the NCAA. Sure, there may be some players who have signed NHL contracts and received signing bonuses playing along side the rest of the players, but they are the exception, not the rule.

The CIS, yes, is more flexible when it comes to true pros. UNB's Josh Kidd (who is hurt) did play in the AHL as a 20-year-old when he was still eligible to play Junior. He was cut the next season as a 21 year old. The CIS has a kind of "second-chance" rule for guys who turn pro right out of Junior -if you play say in the CHL or ECHL or AHL right out of Junior, and then a few months later by Christmas are regretting your decision, as long as you haven't turned 21 you can join a CIS team after Christmas, not have to sit out, and can still get your education package from Major Junior.

However, play a year or more of pro as a 21 year old or older and you have to sit out a year to regain your amateur status and lose a year of your five years of CIS eligibility. Since Josh Kidd played in the AHL as a 20-year old he didn't lose any eligibility.

As soon as you play a season and a half of minor pro after Junior you lose your entire education package from Major Junior. This is to encourage the Junior alum to actually go to school, and get the team and league off the hook for the financial obligation.

But yes, the CIS players are normally older than NCAA players. Apples and oranges.

Btw, UNB started the game with only 5 d-men (only 4 of whom are regulars), and had one tossed in the first period with that weird "facemask" call that doesn't exist in the CIS. That would have been a minor or double-minor for roughing in the CIS, and no game ejection. UNB is missing 8 forwards off their championship team, and a top recruit was concussed with a blindside hit in their first exhibition game, so up front they are very much a work in progress. Last season they were strong up front with only one rookie.

FreddyFoyle
10-03-2011, 10:30 AM
I thought UNH played well. The wide Olympic ice was tough on UNB's defence. That early shorthanded goal came as Moses has a wide lane to roar up the middle. I talked to one of UNB's d-men after the game and he said they never really got used to the wide ice and the space it created for UNH's quicker players.

NCAA teams are always quicker than CIS teams. The CIS is not a development league for the NHL, so you don't see prospects on the teams. It is a "second-chance" league when it comes to development - guys who have been passed over, or drafted and not signed. A few late bloomers will make the NHL from the CIS. There were only four former CIS players in the NHL last season: Joel Ward (UPEI), Mathieu Darche (McGill), Darryl Boyce (UNB) and Jody Shelley (Dalhousie).

ClOuD 9
10-03-2011, 11:26 AM
Btw, UNB started the game with only 5 d-men (only 4 of whom are regulars), and had one tossed in the first period with that weird "facemask" call that doesn't exist in the CIS. That would have been a minor or double-minor for roughing in the CIS, and no game ejection.
I think the facemask call was to avoid giving a fighting major so Henrion wouldn't miss the next game.

Was shocked that it was a sell out as UNH has only sold out one exhibition game since 2000-2001 (the earliest season I could find attendance stats for), the US Under-18 team at the beginning of the '03-'04 season, though it looked like a good number of season ticket holders decided to spend the day at home. Rough estimate of the actual attendance would be around 5,000.

Darius
10-03-2011, 02:32 PM
...it looked like a good number of season ticket holders decided to spend the day at home...A few probably showed up at 6:45.

PSW
10-04-2011, 02:18 PM
Surprised there hasn't been much talk about this game, even though it's only an exhibition...

Here are my completely irrelevant observations, comments, and player grades (which are more relative to each player and their own abilities/potential rather than comparing them to each other):

2. Hardowa: Typical Hardowa game...not going to notice him much, which is a good thing. Reminds me of Jamie Fritsch. B

3. Block: Was decent on faceoffs...an area UNH needs to be better in this season. Still not convinced he's a top 6 forward offensively. C+

4. Kipp: His penalty 7 seconds into the game (a pretty marginal call I thought) turned out to be a spark. Would like to see his physical presence a little more consistently. Got beat to the front of the net a few times. C+

5. Knodel: Scary, scary first period. Got caught flatfooted in transition a few times and let guys get behind him for quick outlets. Used his reach to make a nice recovery on one and was bailed out by DiGi on the other. Has a pretty big shot from the point, but was not able to get it on target. Footspeed probably an issue. D+

6. van Riemsdyk: Didn't see much of the offensive upside today, but for his first time out that's something I'm okay with. Didn't see him make too many big mistakes in his own end and he had a few nice plays in transition. B-

9. Willows: Rough debut for him. Definitely quick with speed to burn, but was not playing with any confidence with the puck on his stick. Lots of throwaways and turnovers. Tried to hit everything that moved...which for a skilled scorer is usually a sign that he's pressing to make a contribution knowing that he's lacking confidence in the rest of his game. D

10. Speelman: Picked up a couple helpers but was not a huge factor overall I didn't think. A few bad turnovers and at times tried to beat 1 too many guys in the offensive zone. He needs to be better next weekend. C

11. Pavelski: He is what he is, and was effective in that role. Skated hard but you're not going to get much offensive upside. C+

12. Agosta: I see where the footspeed issues were called into question last season, but this kid was my biggest surprise of the day. Showed a very good stick in the defensive zone breaking up a few shots and passes, and made some nice outlets in transition. Was very good at the offensive blueline and on the PP. Nice ability to take something off his shot and get it through traffic or into a spot where one of his guys could get a stick on it. A-

14. Borisenok: Thought he was so-so. Mishandled a few pucks but was good on PK and had a nice pass to spring Moses. Still not convinced he's the guy I want centering my top line from an offensive standpoint, but regardless he'll be a key piece this year. C+

15. Kostolansky: He's got to be the go to guy on the back end this season with Kessel gone...not necessarily in terms of carrying the load offensively, but just as the leader in general... but he didn't seem to really assert himself that way tonight. Fortunately he didn't stand out for any negative reasons either. A quietly solid game but he's capable of being a top defenseman in the league, so more should be expected. C

16. Henrion: I applaud him for his ability to grasp the facemask a facemaskless player. C

17. Camper: Didnt spend much time on the puck, but had a really nice release on his one opportunity in the first period. Has decent size and speed. A little more upside than I expected given what I had read here and in other places. C+

18. Silengo: Thought he played pretty well. Was excellent on draws and carried the puck well in open ice. Big improvement from where he was this time last season. B

19. Thrush: Considering he wasn't supposed to even be here, I thought he played very well. Quick, good size, handled the puck in traffic a few times...pretty good offensive upside. B

21. Sorkin: Looked like he took a nice step from last season and was playing with more confidence. A good candidate to step up as a secondary scorer with ~20 points this season. B+

22. Moses: Best UNH player by far. Nearly scored a highlight reel between the legs goal. Created chances nearly every time he touched the puck and probably could have had 5 goals. Still lacking finish around the net...needs to bury his chances this season for UNH to keep pace offensively. A-

23. McCarey: Kind of like Pavelski you know what you're going to get. As long as he brings his lunch pail he's a good 4th liner, but not much else. C

26. Burke: Finally looked healthy and was playing with confidence. One of UNH's best players tonight along with Moses and Goumas. Carried the puck well, played physical, was good down low in the offensive zone. If he and Sorkin play this well all season UNH may get the secondary scoring they need. A

27. Goumas: Looked really good with Moses and created a ton of chances. Should have finished a couple of chances, but looked dangerous overall. Would like to see him and Moses have a more naturally gifted offensive player between them. B+

28. Downing: Tough when you're rolling 5 lines but the few times he was on the puck he showed great instincts and generated a couple offensive chances. Showed good hockey sense and used his body well to create space several times. Was hoping he'd get some PP time...seems like a very cerebral player...definitely the real deal as he was advertised to be. Will be very disappointed if he spends most of the year on a line with McCarey and Pavelski because he has the offensive skill level to help make Goumas/Moses or Burke/Sorkin more dangerous. B+

30. DiGirolamo: Made some big saves when called upon, but UNB also squandered some pretty good chances with shots off target. He get's some credit for that because he was rarely if ever out of position. Needs to be very good this season and he was tonight. A

Overall the team looked good.
Forwards:
GO-BO-MO, thought that line looked good buzzing around. Mose's is a good player, but would be even better if he would skate with his head up when he has the puck. This would even create more opportunities for that line.

Sorkin, I don’t see him at center. He had difficulty handling the puck all night. Think he has upside but on the wing. Slingo,Burke and the rest looked comfortable. Scoring should be spread throughout.

Freshman, line of Willow, Camper and Thrush moved the puck well, were quick and I thought played with a lot of confidence for their first college game. I like the way Willow darts around…stick handling…passing…hits somebody. Downing, showed hands ,some vision and a shot, but I was surprised at the foot speed- looked quite slow. Has the Greg Burke stride. I’m sure he will be a big player in the future but don’t see him as a breakout freshman

Defense:
What the Agosta and Knodle lack in foot speed they make up with “wing span”. Those are big long stick to get around. In general “D” looks solid but not fast..including …Kipp…. Hardowa… We may struggle against quick teams down low in our zone. Like Van Reimsdyk, very poised with the puck for his first game. .

Looking forward to BU…..

Overall the team looked good.
Forwards:
GO-BO-MO, thought that line looked good buzzing around. Mose's is a good player, but would be even better if he would skate with his head up when he has the puck. This would even create more opportunities for that line.

Sorkin, I don’t see him at center. He had difficulty handling the puck all night. Think he has upside but on the wing. Slingo,Burke and the rest looked comfortable. Scoring should be spread throughout.

Freshman, line of Willow, Camper and Thrush moved the puck well, were quick and I thought played with a lot of confidence for their first college game. I like the way Willow darts around…stick handling…passing…hits somebody. Downing, showed hands ,some vision and a shot, but I was surprised at the foot speed- looked quite slow. Has the Greg Burke stride. I’m sure he will be a big player in the future but don’t see him as a breakout freshman

Defense:
What the Agosta and Knodle lack in foot speed they make up with “wing span”. Those are big long stick to get around. In general “D” looks solid but not fast..including …Kipp…. Hardowa… We may struggle against quick teams down low in our zone. Like Van Reimsdyk, very poised with the puck for his first game. .

Looking forward to BU…..