Ps....are you referring to Mike Ayers as York's 'right hand man' and that he (if that is indeed him you are referring to) will be a future UNH HC?
Last edited by HockeyRef; 03-23-2019 at 11:01 AM.
Let's Go SouzaCats!
Mike Ayers is not coming to UNH
Here is a list of Souza, Stewart Or Jeff G recruits thus far since Souza came back to UNH
2 + non scholarship athletes
We lost multiple recruits to Mike Souza when he was the recruiter for UConn. Most of you know the stars 4 years ago at UConn would have come to UNH if Souza was not their recruiter.
Stop the nonsense
Recruiting has been very good over the past 3 + years
The real question is; could BC take out UMASS in a best of three? Maybe. Maybe not. UMASS is in uncharted waters and that showed last night. They could be a one and done in the NCAA's too!
FYI, this is basically the same BC team plus a handful of top recruits that went 18-6 in HE last year and won the regular season championship, Talent is not their problem - even if they're not a BC of the past type team. And despite their years of experience they too choked in last year's semi-finals - and with a lot to play for...
If the season ended today UMass would likely face Notre Dame or Harvard in the first round of the NCAAs - two very good, very talented teams capable of beating anyone in the county. If UMass loses in the first round or fails to make it to the FF it will say nothing of their team and everything of the playoff formats in college hockey...
Call me a skeptic, but I'd argue that Chuck's up roar about UNH last weekend and his eager claim that UMass would come up short in the playoffs - not because of the one and done format but because they're mentally weak - is nothing more than a last-ditch attempt to cling to his season-long prognostication that UMass is a pretender (who would certainly fail to even make the HE playoffs)...
28-8 has to be the fluke - definitely couldn't be the 0-1...
Here are team finishes from Souza's arrival to four-years after his tenure ended (to account for his recruits, if applicable) - which seems like a better way to judge his recruiting than a few big gets...
Brown - 12th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 11th, 12th
UConn (HE Only) - 9th, 8th, 9th, 5th, 9th
UNH - 10th, 10th, 11th, 8th
There have been exactly TWO stars at UConn since Souza arrived. That would be Maxine Letunov and Tage Thompson, and Souza certainly wasn't involved in recruiting Letunov since he was already at UNH when the big Russian committed to UConn after not getting into BU. In Letunov's own words - UConn was not a conservation the first time around, so we can scrap that idea as well. Thompson was a Connecticut native - without doing any research Ill assume Souza was the primary recruiter - it's still a huge stretch to believe that Thompson committing to the struggling school up the street (over a number of powers) would translate to joining the struggling school he had zero attachment two a few states away...
UConn's best get after those two may be Joseph Masonious. How'd they get him again...?
There is reason to be optimistic (even if I don't share that entirely) that things are changing for UNH and Souza the recruiter. However, the argument that he has always been an elite recruiter (which has been the song UNH has sung) is entirely full of holes. He has not been. In fact on-ice results would indicate he has really struggled much of his career...
Again, it's fair to be optimistic with the last couple of classes - even with a number of question marks surrounding the future - without blowing smoke up our asses as if we're seeing someone transcendent operate right before our eyes. That, while well intentioned, does Souza very little favor...
He has done a better job at UNH - thanks to a few key late grabs - than he has in either of the two previous stops and that still leaves a lot to prove. But it also leaves room to grow. I'll get to that in my next post...
Last edited by Dan; 03-23-2019 at 02:11 PM.
Souza and staff @ UNH
Great Gets -
Very Good Gets -
Depth or Legit Question Marks
What Souza has accomplished so far at UNH has been a slight to notable upgrade over the last recruiting regime - largely due to his willingness to grab last minute decommits and wade into Europe. The last few years of Borek netted Poturalski, Kelleher, Kelleher, Blackburn, Foegele, Grasso, Pesce, Robinson and Vela/Eiserman/Marks were big get at the time - and we were told by a few recruiting was going great. It didn't add up to much on the ice for UNH. A lot more needs to happen to ensure it does this time and this isn't more of the same - a handful of difference makers and no depth of talent...
The biggest key to his upgrade so far - for me - is to date his ability to do better at the back-end of the rosters. UNH had plenty of high-end talent under Borek, but they truly lacked depth even past the additional high-end talent they needed...
Players like MacAdams represent a big improvement in the bottom half of the roster over those recently departed. That is one critical piece that I think we can count on Souza to continue. Where as Borek chased guys who proved unable to score at this level and incabale of playing a different type of game - Guys like Wazny who don't appear they will live up to a scorers roll should be able to add a lot to the bottom six...
But UNH still needs to do a lot more damage in the high-end ranks to really show me Souza is a difference maker in recruiting. Otherwise they'll end up very similar to the last few Borek/Umile teams - some talent, not enough - finishing 7-9, instead of 10-12. Here's how I'd break down future recruiting...
Next Year's Class
Eriksson - he's the most interesting player in the class for me with a lot of variability. It wouldn't surprise me if he reached true top-pair status but there are question marks too. Anything between a Verrier - Cleland type career is possible...
Stevenson - He's less than two years younger than Marcus Vela, so I wouldn't expect his numbers this season in the BCHL to necessarily translate. Vela was mostly 17 in his last year in the BCHL when he scored 20 goals and nearly a PPG and his offense never translated at this level. Stevenson didn't approach those BCHL numbers until age 20 and with a similar style to Vela (and MacAdams/Esposito) I'd expect a similar role and production.
McElhaney - I still think an actual USHL year is best for him, but I'll assume he's comings When he committed he was a big and raw defenseman with some puck-moving, offensive ability out of Cushing - that describes Richard Boyd to a T - and he's barely played since due to injury. For me Boyd is an obvious comparison.
Sweeney - I still think Sweeney is most likely to get the nod, unless they find multiple last minute forwards. He's a bottom six forward for me in the mold of a Sacco. I don't think much changes in his career projection whether he comes next year or waits a year.
Once again UNH is counting on late recruiting for real difference makers. If they can grab a Budy, Macceli or Kalienkielli (or two) than that changes things immensely - if not this is a disappointing follow up to last year's class (however small it may be)...
Curran/Jones - I'll mention these first because they're unlikely candidates to push this year but possibilities since UNH did so last season with their best and most age appropriate top offensive producer available in Pierson. They have graduated and are eligible, but would be best served by heading to the USHL or BCHL to prove they can score at a higher level. The last UNH forwards to dominate the NCDC were BVR, Miller and Cipollone - dominating this level, with a lot of assists proves little for college production. There is some ceiling but a lot more needs to happens to even establish floor...
Stutzle/Margel - these are the only kids I'm especially high on for the future. Stutzle should be a STUD - but he'll be a true freshman stud (that doesn't always translate to dominance ask chickod) who will be at UNH for one or two seasons in all likely hood. He will also get strong CHL overtures this off-season and will be a high-draft pick prone to other NCAA overtures during his year in Sioux Falls. Margel has a real chance to play his way into the great group based on his USHL production beginning next season. The biggest reason I'm so high on Stutzle and Margel - as opposed to other young UNH recruits - is they're doing what you're supposed to be doing as a top-recruit at lower levels. Mainly, annihilating the competition. That is what Pierson did at Culver. That projects VERY well for production as they level up to the USHL and, eventually, college. Few, if any, of the other young Eastern UNH recruits are doing that...
Ardanez - he's behind Stutzle and Margel for me but he's a nice prospect. We'll learn a lot in his first full BCHl year. Is he a marks or a Laleggia. Time will tell and he's probably somewhere in between...
Wazny - he was unable to stick in the USHL and has not lived up to scoring expectations since committing. He currently looks like another real solid bottom six piece.
The Rest - The bulk of the remaining commitments are prep kids having ok to above average seasons. It is FAR to early to tout these kids as home runs for Souza and co. Every school in HE has prep kids - performing at equal or higher levels. The top schools have a number prep-standouts dominating the level with JR plans already set in stone. Everything here depends on where these kids end up and how they produce at the JR level next year. And for the ones who remain at the prep level how much they can dominate while doing so. Lots of questions remain...
Again there is reason to be optimistic about this past season on- and off- the ice for UNH. They did well and they have some nice pieces coming. But let's also be objective there is a lot of work to do on the ice and in recruiting - I count three true high-end kids committed for the future and a lot of unknown variables.
We can hope that Pierson, Stutzle, Margel, etc, represent a new ability for Souza and company, but dismissing his track record out-right is foolish (a track record that also includes a number of early recruits not living up to expectations - Green, Bahn, etc though give him credit for moving on from those two to better players when clear he needed to)...
All that can change in an off-season and this is the one to do it. Grab two more forwards for this year and hit the ground running on the future in a BIG way and then we can start to look at this year's UNH current FR as a real trend and not a possible outlier. Until then questions remain 100% fair...
And no, Ayers won't be coming to UNH - because UNH is very unlikely to have an opening no matter what happens at BC...
Last edited by Dan; 03-23-2019 at 04:04 PM.
And in other news DMan Rich Boyd will suit up for the Maine Mariners it was announced today congrats and good luck Richey!
Last edited by HockeyRef; 03-23-2019 at 03:24 PM.
Chuck, the thing is that you didnít respond to my central point, that UMass was way better than UNH and had proven it in their two meetings. You conveniently did not respond to the fact that Robinsonís performance against the two most prolific offenses in the league was half as good as it was against everyone else. And while I certainly donít want Mike Souzaís legacy to be defined as the inability to close out games, I will remind you of the obvious that UNH teams under Holt and Umile that gagged were a heck of a lot better than what we had this year. Holt had teams populated with the likes of Clark, Cliff Cox, Hislop, Miller, Lumley, etc. that twice lost at home in the ECAC quarterfinals. Umile was coaching Mowers, Krog, Bekar, Nickulas, and the like when they lost the HE quarterfinals at home to Maine in 1998. He was coaching Souza, Haydar and Conklin when they flopped in the first round of the NCAA regionals against Niagara. He had four All Americans on the ice when they lost as a #1 seed to Notre Dame.
Just tell me Chuck, was there anybody out on the Mullins Center ice last Friday who was the equivalent in ability to any of the players mentioned above? UNH finished eighth in a decidedly watered down Hockey East. They were playing not just the #1 team in the league, but the #2 team nationally and doing so without anyone who is a potential UNH Hall of Famer or All American. I think you need to get a grip and at least wait until UNH has a team worthy of being labeled choke artists.
Lots to address here just in the last several hours. The post-mortem of Souza's first full season as HC ... but before we get to that, there's this nagging thing hanging out there I need to clear up ...
I'm sure we've got other things to debate later, but let me move on to two other pressing inquiries ...
For what it's worth Ö I'm not a big fan of the (over)use of the term "resilient" in sports these days. But to be "resilient" you basically need to recover from a difficult situation (I think that's the definition of the term?). I'm not sure what difficult setting UNH recovered from this postseason? Nazarian's poorly-timed injury is the closest thing I can come up with Ö and I didn't see any "recovery" from it, so I didn't see any "resilient" behavior by UNH. Unless going down 4-0 within 15 minutes of the opening faceoff constitutes a recovery?
In response to the P.S. Ö yes, Ayers was who I was referring to. I'm still behind MS7 being "the man" for the foreseeable future but I'm not wedded too the concept for the long term if he can't get things pointed in the right direction soon. Dan has done a nice job of outlining MS7's coaching results at this level to date. Unless he's going to be able to break out of it and do what Coach McDonnell did after a slow start with UNH Football, then I'd like to think Ayers is a potential Plan B down the road. Even if '32 doesn't see it happening Ö it's not like the current AD is going to be around forever, Ayers is still young, so we'll see.
For what it's worth, I don't think I ever used the word "choke", and I think we can all agree UNH's talent level isn't anywhere near UMass this season. But if they're SO terrible, then how does a team like UMass fall into a 3-0 hole that deep into a game? And you never answered just what game conditions - time, score, etc. - you would have felt UNH would have had to find themselves in before you expected them to win what was a non-elimination game? Others on this thread have pointed out better than I did, that neither UMass nor UNH was going to be eliminated with a loss in Game One, so it's not like it was even going to be the end of the world if UMass lost it.
But still, UNH couldn't hold a three goal lead under even those circumstances. If you're good with that, ignore my concerns. And if you're not troubled by the Game Two no-show, hey, good for you. You have a bigger tolerance for mediocrity than I do.
Open question for UNH posters engaged or not engaged in the debate so far Ö what are your reactions to the fact that UNH's nearly-by-consensus best player Max Gildon didn't even warrant All-HE honorable mention this season? I have to admit, I'm surprised he didn't at least make the 3rd team. Discuss ...
Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
Montreal Expos Forever ...
The Gildon question is easy...
First and foremost there are other good players in the league and their success takes nothing away from Gildon. Second, all-conference selections are always going to be dominated by the teams that win - of the seven defenseman that made an All-HE team five played for a top-three finisher (including three from UMass). Third, defensive nods are always going to revolve heavily around offensive numbers produced - UNH (Gildon included) stopped scoring once the HE portion of the second half arrived (and only HE stats are used for HE awards) - hard to expect a defender to rack up points on a team that can't score. Finally, UNH as a team finished terribly down the stretch getting beat up by two of the better teams in the league - bad timing that's not going to reflect well on anyone up for an award...
Basically, UNH was a bad team and likely a forgotten one in the minds of the voters, Gildon didn't rack up points in the second half and there were other good options from winning teams...
Makar, Davies, Bryson and Fabbro were easy choices. I'd take Gildon over the three third team members but they also had very good years in their own right...
Del Gaizo is a future star - but he clearly benefited from playing for a high-scoring, always possessing the puck UMass team and playing on a pair with Makar. Imagine Gildon in that role.
Ferraro entered the year with a big reputation and is a great player. Still, He was better last year - but UMass blew away the league.
Keeper was real solid for Maine this year - and a great story. A Sophomore like, Max, Keeper is three full years older.
Gildon is still a baby by HE standards and UNH, as a team, needs to improve a lot before anyone is going to get any awards opportunities. Throw Crookshank on NU or UM and he probably makes the All-FR team with his bigger numbers, but...
It's like a power hitter on a bad baseball team - they're easy to pitch around and they don't hit with enough guys on base, while the award winners usually have the line-up protection and lots of RBI opportunities. Doesn't mean the first guy can't hit...
You could make a real case that one of the best F's in HE the last few years was MC's Brett Seney - but on bad teams, he didn't make an All-HE team until he got a nod for the third group as a senior. One year later, he's already an NHL Regular...
Thankfully, he's decided to come back. UNH should be better and Gildon should be a monster...
It does also touch on one other point, however - in recruiting a team to compete for championships it's not just about getting good players. It's about getting good players RELATIVE to the competition and enough of them...
Last edited by Dan; 03-23-2019 at 07:04 PM.
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