3 UMass Lowell hockey players transferring
By Barry Scanlon
LOWELL — The 2018-19 UMass Lowell men’s hockey roster will feature lots of new faces.
Tommy Panico, Chris Forney, Tyler Mueller, Jake Kamrass and John Edwardh all played professional hockey after their senior seasons ended. Asixth senior, Ryan Collins, is also set to graduate.
And head coach Norm Bazin confirms three players with eligibility left have decided to transfer — junior goaltender Sean Cleary, sophomore forward James Winkler and freshman defenseman Jonathan Waring.
Cleary saw action in one game for the River Hawks. During the 2016-17 season, he stopped 25 of 30 shots.
Christoffer Hernberg, who will be a senior in the fall, Tyler Wall, who will be a junior, and incoming freshman Eric Green were all expected to be ahead of Cleary on the depth chart. “Sean is one of the nicest kids I’ve ever met and a great teammate, but I couldn’t guarantee him any playing time with Hernberg, Wall and an incoming freshman who I think has upside,” Bazin said. Cleary, a native of Centerville, Mass., plans to transfer to Salem State. He will be eligible to play in the 2018-19 season. “It’s in the best interest for him,”
Bazin said. Also leaving the program are Winkler, a native of York, Maine, and Waring, a native of Farmington Hills, Mich.
Winkler played in six games as a freshman and then five games last season as a sophomore.
He was held without a point. Waring saw action in one game as a freshman this past season and did not record a point. “Both are good kids and both are going to have the opportunity to play where they want to,” Bazin said. Winkler is expected to play at Endicott College in Beverly. Waring’s plans are unclear, according to Bazin. Bazin said UML’s incoming freshman class is still being determined and no announcement is expected any time soon.
The Hockey East athletic directors have voted and a major change to the playoffs is coming for the upcoming season. No longer will all 11 teams make the playoffs.
Starting with the 2018-19 season, only the top eight teams will make it. The first-round best-of-three series will feature the No. 8 seed at No. 1, No. 7 at No. 2, No. 6 at No. 3, and No. 5 at No. 4.
“They feel it adds to the excitement,” Bazin said of the athletic directors. “I understand the mindset.”
The four winners will advance to the TD Garden in Boston for the semifinals.
Dylan Zink, the only defenseman in UML’s Division 1 history to score at least 10 goals in three seasons, will play for the Norwegian team Sparta Sarpsborg next season. ...
Two UML recruits are still playing. Defenseman Jonathan McDonald is playing in the United States Hockey League finals for Fargo. Defenseman Nolan Sawchuk is playing in the North American Hockey League championship for Minot.
Sawchuk lifted Minot in the finals when he scored in double overtime to defeat Austin, 2-1, last Saturday. ... UML’s 2018-19 schedule has yet to be released, but River Hawk fans can expect national power Denver to make a visit to the Tsongas Center.