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Thread: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Season?

  1. #921
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    I am going for 6th, too, but alsooooo ...... another upset first round win over PC for the long-awaited return to da Gahden! :-)
    Ah yes...any time we beat PC esp. in a HE playoff works for me! Those wins are the best I have right now in my fandom to lean on..the rest of youse are spoiled
    Let's Go SouzaCats!

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    Ah yes...any time we beat PC esp. in a HE playoff works for me! Those wins are the best I have right now in my fandom to lean on..the rest of youse are spoiled
    Ref i need to help you with your perspective on shared "Greatest memories". I have witnessed many of those that are high on everyone's list, Frozen 4s, the Maine game, Minni, Mich, and my personal favorite the North Dakota game. But I was at that PC series you started your journey of great memories with. It was an incredible series, was it 2 OT wins? We all had to stay and find sunday entertainment waiting for that 3rd game. Trust me, to take out the eventual N C holds high position in my mind. So you are in! Just not as deep but that will come.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by After the Whistle View Post
    Ref i need to help you with your perspective on shared "Greatest memories". I have witnessed many of those that are high on everyone's list, Frozen 4s, the Maine game, Minni, Mich, and my personal favorite the North Dakota game. But I was at that PC series you started your journey of great memories with. It was an incredible series, was it 2 OT wins? We all had to stay and find sunday entertainment waiting for that 3rd game. Trust me, to take out the eventual N C holds high position in my mind. So you are in! Just not as deep but that will come.
    I didn't stay Sunday but of course, watched the game on tv...pacing the length of the living room the entire OT...sure it might seem like a small victory in terms of what PC went on to do (which is a great accomplishment in it self) but it was still a fun win. Also enjoyed the UNH win over PC the season before at the Gahden with Kevin G potting 2 wrap around goals against the great Jon Gilles. So, hoping to attend more games like that in the very near future. I'd settle for a trip to Boston initially..and back to the Regionals which really ignited my fandom. "Those were the days" ha! (we all know how it went the next night but, we'll take memorable wins when we can get 'em, even if they have been somewhat few and far between as of late WHICH I believe (hope?) that will be changing). Loved this team:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Bb3JyQlqO8
    Let's Go SouzaCats!

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Season begins in a mere 28 days.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    Season begins in a mere 28 days.
    I know...so very exciting! That much closer to the Ireland trip toooooo! Glad to see we are having an exhibition game this season...wonder if our start of last season prompted MS7 to have one this season? At any rate, counting down the days to puck drop!
    Let's Go SouzaCats!

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    'Watcher, Dan, 1932, what's our line up gonna look like?
    Let's Go SouzaCats!

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    I just learned this evening that Hanaway Rink in the Plymouth State University Arena has ice year-round. Apparently, there are several curling teams in the area that compete on the ice throughout the hockey off-season. How many months is Lake Whitt ice-free?

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    I just learned this evening that Hanaway Rink in the Plymouth State University Arena has ice year-round. Apparently, there are several curling teams in the area that compete on the ice throughout the hockey off-season. How many months is Lake Whitt ice-free?
    I'm not 100% certain on this, but I do know they host a large "home show" type event at The Whitt in early April every year, and I'm 99.9% sure that the ice, boards, etc. are all gone for the season by then.

    I have no idea when the ice goes back in before the season, but I'm guessing that time is pretty close to now (or already)? So I'm fairly confident The Whitt's ice surface is absent for about 4-5 months total.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    I'm not 100% certain on this, but I do know they host a large "home show" type event at The Whitt in early April every year, and I'm 99.9% sure that the ice, boards, etc. are all gone for the season by then.

    I have no idea when the ice goes back in before the season, but I'm guessing that time is pretty close to now (or already)? So I'm fairly confident The Whitt's ice surface is absent for about 4-5 months total.
    That sounds about right, thanks. And, which off-season was it that the rink was "dug up" to repair the chilling pipes or whatever? I recall a long discussion on a thread at the time whether that digging should include a narrowing (to 85 ft) and lowering (5 ft?) of the ice surface, but apparently a shallow depth to the Exetergranodiotite bedrock would have required a lot of dynamite blasting, which must have scuttled the lowering piece (necessary to add 2-3 rows of seats on each side).

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    The Mullins Arena ice is only absent for 2 weeks and that was about a month ago.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    I feel like I have seen chatter about the Whitt ice being removed in mid-late April and the last few years they usually post images or video of the ice going in around late July to early August.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltabravo62 View Post
    I feel like I have seen chatter about the Whitt ice being removed in mid-late April and the last few years they usually post images or video of the ice going in around late July to early August.
    No curling teams in the Durham area?

    If not, missed $$ opportunity for BS35+8.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Maybe start a curling program, since Football no longer seems to be the U's calling card. After blowing the librarian's million on a scoreboard to assist in recruiting, the team is 9-5, 4-7 and now 0-2.

    Great call siphoning off and allocating the "donation". At least the fans can enjoy the highlights.

    Critics raised eyebrows at how the school decided to spend the gift: $100,000 to the library, as Morin requested, and $1 million to a video scoreboard for the newly renovated football stadium, which has already set UNH back $25 million.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NCAA watcher View Post
    Maybe start a curling program, since Football no longer seems to be the U's calling card. After blowing the librarian's million on a scoreboard to assist in recruiting, the team is 9-5, 4-7 and now 0-2.

    Great call siphoning off and allocating the "donation". At least the fans can enjoy the highlights.
    But, my understanding is that Morin developed a fondness for football in his last few days living in a nursing home.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    This blog used to be interesting when you'll talked about hockey but lately reading this blog you would never know a hockey team existed at UNH. In reading about the new recruits it looks like this years team could be the best one in years. Several of the new players on paper have the possibility of being better than the graduating seniors yet the talk is about football score boards. What's up guys.....is there still a D1 team at UNH?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachD View Post
    This blog used to be interesting when you'll talked about hockey but lately reading this blog you would never know a hockey team existed at UNH. In reading about the new recruits it looks like this years team could be the best one in years. Several of the new players on paper have the possibility of being better than the graduating seniors yet the talk is about football score boards. What's up guys.....is there still a D1 team at UNH?
    What is the evidence that this season's new recruits are "the best ones in years"? Do we not hear this same statement every year? Details?

    Otherwise, just trying to keep this off-season thread alive during the, umm, off season. :-)
    Last edited by Snively65; 09-17-2019 at 07:11 AM.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by CoachD View Post
    This blog used to be interesting when you'll talked about hockey but lately reading this blog you would never know a hockey team existed at UNH. In reading about the new recruits it looks like this years team could be the best one in years. Several of the new players on paper have the possibility of being better than the graduating seniors yet the talk is about football score boards. What's up guys.....is there still a D1 team at UNH?
    Snively65 pretty much handled the low hanging fruit approach to a response here.

    Let me turn the tables a little bit and ask you … what has UNH Hockey done to get the masses excited to the levels of past years? Yes, not too long ago, UNH had one of the best D-1 programs in the country, year in and year out. And the interest level hummed in anticipation of "next year" with the school itself doing relatively little to stoke that interest - they took it for granted, allowed the local media to boost the program to the hockey-loving hordes. Coach Umile wasn't a publicist's dream, he was a hockey coach, and he relied on the on-ice results to keep the buzz on the program, which in turn helped him immeasurably with the other stuff he really didn't enjoy about his job - that whole recruiting thing. That was what McCloskey, Serino, Borek and Tortorella were for.

    The AD was (still is) asleep at the wheel when it comes to publicizing and romancing the NH hockey base, ceding it without even a fight when the Monarchs arrived in Manch during the good ol' days. "Doesn't matter, all is fine" as the AD pointed to a waiting list of over a thousand folks patiently waiting for season ticketholder interest to wane so they could step in and keep the house full.

    Eventually, guys like McCloskey and Serino wanted to do other things, and guys like Borek and Tortorella weren't quite as good at what they did as their predecessors were. Eventually they wanted to do other things, and guys like Souza and Stewart haven't yet established themselves at the levels of Borek or Tortorella, much less McCloskey and Serino. Coach Umile was the same coach, but the quality of "groceries" was slipping, and he himself couldn't be bothered to do something he always relied on others to do.

    The AD still can't be bothered, he's put his latest plan (MS7) in play, and he's just hoping it works out (as do the rest of us). I'm not seeing him doing anything to promote UNH Hockey, now that they're back to being the only game in town (state) by default.

    The fans - the long-term fans - have been entirely taken for granted. MS7 might turn out to be a heck of a hockey coach, but it's early days, and frankly he is showing the same talent for PR as his mentor/predecessor. Which is to say, next to nothing. If you got every hockey fan in the state in a single arena, and asked them "Who is the UNH Men's Hockey head coach?" my guess is one third would know it's Souza, another third would still think it's Coach Umile, and the final third wouldn't know at all.

    This is not made better in any way by the current state of the modern media, which doesn't provide the in-depth coverage they used to, don't ask pressing questions, and just copy and paste press releases to pass for "beat coverage" for the program. It's sad.

    I'm not necessarily expecting MS7 to turn into a hockey messiah and get the word out on his own. Guys like that (RIP Walshy) don't seem to exist anymore. Luckily for him, I don't think he has to be that "out there" or even that great to be successful. But he's got to turn this back into a winning program. Then, if he can do that, we can get on the other folks who've parked things in neutral for the better part of the last generation, and shame them into doing their share of the work to get stuff out there.

    I don't think it's incumbent upon guys like 'Watcher, C-H-C, Dan and an unpaid cast of dozens on here to generate the excitement that the folks with paying jobs should be handling. Those who post on here with their insight and knowledge, do so because they love the game, and they love the program. But it's not their "job" to create content for the casual or not-so-casual fans out there like you and me. So welcome aboard, CoachD (it couldn't really be U, right?), and don't hesitate to provide your thoughts and your own content. I've always said, the more, the merrier.
    Last edited by Chuck Murray; 09-17-2019 at 11:19 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    What is the evidence that this season's new recruits are "the best ones in years"? Do we not hear this same statement every year? Details?

    Otherwise, just trying to keep this off-season thread alive during the, umm, off season. :-)
    While I would agree that this UNH team has the potential to be the deepest Wildcat club in years, its very likely that this years recruiting class has the lowest ceiling of the four on the roster. The success of this years UNH season is entirely dependent on the continued development of the returning players like Gildon, Wyse, Crookshank, Pierson, Blackburn, Grasso, Kelleher, Robinson and Taylor...

    Griffin is raw, recently underachieving forward with the potential for a top-6 role in the future and Eriksson is a top-four defenseman. Griffin probably plays regularly but has a lot of feet wetting to get out of the way. Eriksson is probably the best bet to be a real impact type this season, potentially grabbing the fourth slot on D out of the gate. Otherwise this is a solid but unspectacular group with low ceiling for UNH...

    Herrmann and Stevenson are in the MacAdams/Esposito mood for me - solid, strong skating bottom six forwards. The type of forwards who can make a key impact IF a team can score consistently and carry the play within its top-six. McElhaney is a huge question mark after missing all of last season. Boyd still seems like an apt comparison to me.

    -

    If you look at each class at the time of matriculation and note the players with expectation (or high potential) to grow into top-six, top-pair or starting goalie types on a competitive team I see it as follows (obviously not all have panned out yet - which is why you needed consistently recruit a real depth of these types)...

    SR - Grasso, Blackburn, BVR, Fregona, Wyse
    JR - Kelleher, Gildon, Maass, Robinson
    SO - Pierson, Crookshank, MacKinnon, Taylor, Engaras
    FR - Eriksson, Griffin

    -
    To address Refs earlier request - heres what Id guess we might see out of the gate (with no more inside information than anyone else, so who knows)...

    Crookshank - Pierson - Kelleher
    Grasso - Blackburn - Griffin/Fregona
    Stevenson/Herrmann - Engaras - Fregona/Griffin
    Herrmann/Stevenson - Sacco - Esposito/MacAdams
    Cippolone - Sato - Hankinson

    Wyse - Gildon
    Maass - Eriksson
    MacKinnon - Verrier
    McElhaney - Dawson
    Hickey

    Robinson
    Taylor
    Lazzarro

    * Clearly the defense and goaltending appear to be team strengths. I think the bottom six will skate, defend and chip in at a higher level than weve seen in recent years. Success this season comes down to how consistently and productively the top-six forwards can play for UNH. They are short one top-six forward, preferably a left-shot forward and Im concerned they have a lot of good forwards on those lines but no TK/AP type difference makers. They need a couple of those players to take big jumps...

    I might prefer a jumbled Center mix that gets Engaras up into the top-6 - I would probably prefer a forward group like this if it was up to me...

    Pierson - Blackburn - Grasso
    Crookshank - Engaras - Kelleher
    Stevenson - Griffin - Herrmann
    Esposito - Sacco - Fregona
    MacAdams/Cippolone
    Last edited by Dan; 09-17-2019 at 02:06 PM.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by CoachD View Post
    This blog used to be interesting when you'll talked about hockey but lately reading this blog you would never know a hockey team existed at UNH. In reading about the new recruits it looks like this years team could be the best one in years. Several of the new players on paper have the possibility of being better than the graduating seniors yet the talk is about football score boards. What's up guys.....is there still a D1 team at UNH?
    Heck yeah!
    Let's Go SouzaCats!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    Heck yeah!
    Now, there is a pithy reply. :-)

    I like Dan's own choice for lines, although Engaras still must sit on the pine (aka plastic) for a few more games, IIRC? Agreed that our blue line looks deeper and stronger this coming season than it has in a long while. "On to Miami."

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