Hockey East Column: Nov. 9, 2000

Okay, Six. No, Five. No, Four.

Last week’s column made note of Northeastern potentially joining Hockey East’s four perennial powerhouses — Boston College, Boston University, Maine and New Hampshire — to form a Big Five. Then, on Friday night, Providence stated its case for inclusion with a 5-3 win over Maine to run the Friar record to 4-0-1. A Big Six in a nine-team league?

The Poll might argue for that. All six earned berths in the Top 15.

One might also argue, however, that if the Sweet Six continue their current performances, it’ll be back to a Big Four after all. It will include Northeastern and Providence, but BU and Maine will find themselves on the outside looking in.

The Black Bears (2-3-2) and Terriers (2-2-1) are holding onto the number 10 and 11 positions in the poll, respectively. But their well-earned reputations will count for only so much if they continue to play .500 hockey.

Northeastern is playing a killer schedule and Providence followed up its win over Maine with a shocking 5-1 loss to Brown, so it may be too early to count those two teams in. And it certainly is much too early to count Maine and BU out.

Nonetheless, it’s a fascinating mix of teams duking it out for Hockey East supremacy. With UNH dropping two games last weekend while BC took wins on Friday and Saturday, the Eagles looked like the clear-cut top team in the conference.

“BC may be the exception,” said Northeastern coach Bruce Crowder on Saturday. “BC looks like it’s on top. Everybody [else] is thrown into the blender and we’ll see who’s going to come out.”

Then, of course, Yale upset BC, 4-3, on Tuesday. So perhaps you can throw the Eagles into the blender, too.

Who’s That Tied For First Place?

Many people had high hopes that UMass-Amherst coach Don “Toot” Cahoon could export the success he had at Princeton to the Mullins Center. But not even the wildest optimist would have expected the Minutemen to be tied for first place in Hockey East with a 3-1-0 league record.

After opening the season with two losses and a tie in nonconference play, they defeated Merrimack, 3-0, before losing to Boston College, 9-5, two weeks ago.

An okay start, but nothing spectacular. Last weekend, however, they really raised some eyebrows. On Friday, the Minutemen traveled to Lowell and won 5-4 in overtime. One night later, they stunned then-third-ranked New Hampshire, 3-0.

“We’re like a chameleon,” said Cahoon, “because as well as we thought we played on Saturday night, we were as bad on Friday night. We were just lucky as all can be to get out of Lowell with a win.”

That evening, they scored on their first four shots to go ahead, 4-0, but the River Hawks rallied and sent the game into overtime. With 14 seconds remaining, Tim Turner scored to pull the win out of the fire.

“The funny thing is that at the end of the first period, we were winning, 4-0, and I’m all over my players about how poorly they’ve played,” said Cahoon. “There was a lot of irony there, but we were lucky to be up at all, never mind up by four. We could have been losing.

“Whether it be half luck or whatever got us through it, we did settle down when they tied it. We didn’t lose our composure completely.”

And a win is a win is a win.

That said, shutting out UNH was a Win with a capital “W”.

“We played a little bit better as the game went along,” said Cahoon. “In the first period, [goaltender] Markus [Helanen] gave us the chance to stay in there and we came off the ice with a one-goal lead after one.

“The only reason for that was because Markus was so solid in the net. It was a good first period, a well-played first period, but they had plenty of chances and he was the difference.

“Then as the game went on our guys developed a little bit of confidence and played with more poise than they had at any other time in the year. That allowed us to have a good second and third period.”

Despite the 3-1 league record and the upset of UNH, Cahoon isn’t jumping to any overly optimistic conclusions.

“We’re a long ways away from developing into a program or a team that can be depended on to compete at that level night in and night out,” he said. “We’re at the same stage [as we were when losing to BC].

“We just got through a weekend, we survived and we can move forward. We have a little bit of footing to move forward. But this is still a long ongoing process. This isn’t something that we’re going to solve here in the short run.

“We’ve just got a bunch of kids who hopefully enjoy what they’re doing and are going to get better as a result of that.”

This weekend, the Minutemen will have their work cut out for them to keep the momentum going. They travel to Nebraska-Omaha for two games against one of the CCHA’s best teams.

“They’re going to be real tough,” said Cahoon. “I went out there a couple years ago when the program had just been created. We got out of there and survived on that trip with a good Princeton team.

“But this is going to be a little different because in a short time they’ve put together a program that can play with anybody. It’s a great environment to play in. People there are fanatical about the sport.

“It’ll be a good test for our guys and it will be another good experience for the younger players. It’s all part of trying to create a schedule that will force us to improve. If we can keep doing that year in and year out, with good recruiting and with a committed effort, the kids will finally get up to speed.”

Life Ain’t Fair

Even some veteran media types were surprised at the wins and losses that were handed out to goaltenders in recent action.

In the Oct. 29 game between Boston College and UMass-Amherst, both goaltenders were pulled. The Eagles eventually won, 9-5. Nobody questioned BC “closer” Scott Clemmensen getting the win. However, UMass netminder Markus Helanen got the hook midway through the second period, trailing 5-3, and the Minutemen never evened the score. Therefore, shouldn’t he get the loss?

No. His reliever, Mike Johnson, got the decision instead.

On Friday, Maine goaltender Matt Yeats yielded to Mike Morrison after one period with the Black Bears trailing, 3-0. They never tied the game, losing 5-3. So wouldn’t Yeats be the goalie of record?

No. Morrison got the hard-luck loss.

What’s going on here? The answer is that hockey doesn’t hand out wins and losses like baseball does. In that sport, if you leave the game trailing and your team never ties it, you get the loss. And if you exit with the lead — assuming you pitched long enough (five innings) — and your team holds that lead, you get the “W.”

Not so in hockey at either the NCAA or professional level. The goaltenders at the time of the game-winning goal are the goalies of record. So Johnson’s surrendering of the sixth BC goal — the game-winner — affixed the “L” to his record even though he took over a losing cause. Morrison’s situation was identical. Even though he played much better than Yeats, he gave up the fourth and game-winning goal, so it was tough luck, Mike.

Such decisions seem unfair because they are unfair. This writer greatly prefers the baseball approach. However, the hockey rule does have its advantages. There is no ambiguity. No one has to make a discretionary decision about who performed better as must happen sometimes in baseball, such as when a starting pitcher leaves with a lead but doesn’t last five innings.

While you ponder the inequities of both approaches, here’s one final example of how sometimes life just ain’t fair.

While Morrison was getting tagged with his hard-luck loss on Friday, UMass-Lowell starting goaltender Cam McCormick unfairly dodged a bullet that got deflected to Jimi St. John.

After one period, the River Hawks had outshot UMass-Amherst, 11-4. Unfortunately for them, all four shots went in and they trailed, 4-0. McCormick, who lasted all of 14:32, failed to stop a single shot and allowed all four goals.

In relief, St. John shut out the Minutemen for 50 minutes while his teammates crawled back into the game and evened the score. With 14 seconds remaining in overtime, however, St. John finally let one past him and UMass-Amherst got the win over its sister school in Lowell. St. John, a hero to that point, got the loss.

Life ain’t fair.

Worth the Wait

Northeastern’s Brian Tudrick might have been excused if he gave up hope. As a freshman last year, he failed to break into the lineup for a single contest. Last Friday night’s game against Boston College was the sixth of this season for the Huskies and the sixth time he’d been on the sidelines.

Tudrick’s name hadn’t been called once in 42 contests. Was it time to wake up and smell the coffee?

Not exactly.

After the Huskies played poorly against BC on Friday, coach Bruce Crowder opted for some lineup changes. One was to put Tudrick on the left wing alongside Eric Ortlip and Leon Hayward.

Although Tudrick’s tip in front and shot from the slot fell into the close-but-no-cigar category, the redshirt freshman out of Lawrence Academy played well enough to earn Crowder’s praise. Listing encouraging things about the 1-1 tie with Maine, he led the list with, “We got some nice play out of Brian Tudrick in his first college hockey game…. That’s a big plus for us.”

After the game, Tudrick was all smiles. Sore muscles and fatigue were what he’d been hoping for since October of last year.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I was so excited — so excited to play. At first I was nervous, but then I was, like, why be nervous? I’ve been waiting for more than a year for this.

“I felt great. I could have had a goal. I couldn’t wait to get out there and I’m so happy that everything turned out alright.”

Tudrick’s positive attitude and work ethic had finally paid off.

“He’s a kid who is very well liked on the team,” said Crowder. “He’s a kid that works hard. He’s never said boo.”

Plus, it never hurts to make a good impression in the coaches’ game.

“He played in a three-on-three game with [assistant coach] Paul Cannata and myself last week,” said Crowder. “He impressed me that he was doing some little things well and he’s been doing little things well in practice.”

Crowder, never at a loss for a quip, made clear the key to ice time: “Play good in the coaches’ game and feed me.”

Knowing which side his bread is buttered on, Tudrick agreed with a big grin. “Every time he came near me, I just gave it to him.”

Of Sharp Objects and Impressive Upsets

“I was on a suicide watch last week,” said Merrimack coach Chris Serino.

The Warriors had opened the season in promising fashion, playing well against the consensus top two teams in the CCHA, Michigan and Michigan State, albeit getting only one point for their efforts. Two wins followed over Connecticut.

However, losses at UMass-Amherst and Union prompted the need for Serino to stay away from sharp objects.

“We just got [lousy] goaltending both nights,” he said. “Our goalies — [Tom Welby and Joe Exter] — didn’t make one big save. Not one.

“But I was disappointed that we couldn’t overcome that and still win the game. It was the first time since I’ve been here that I thought we took a step backwards.”

Last weekend against BU, however, was a different story. The Warriors upset the Terriers, 5-4, at home on Friday before losing on the road, 3-0, one night later.

“We played well on Friday night and better on Saturday night,” said Serino. “We just couldn’t get the puck by [BU goaltender Sean Fields] on Saturday night. We had five or six great chances in the third period.

“I like the way we skated. I like the way we competed. I like the way we hung in there until the end. We almost got something out of it.

“We played like what we’re capable of playing. We skated with them. We’re going to make some mistakes. We’ve got seven freshmen in the lineup. But that’s okay.

“I’ve just got to resign myself to the fact that with young kids it’s going to be like that. [It’s okay] as long as we continue to get better. I know we can skate with teams.

“It’s just going to come down to [one key thing.] We’ve got to get goaltending. Not phenomenal goaltending. But we’ve got to get decent goaltending.”

While noting that “Exter did a good job on Saturday night,” Serino still plans to open this weekend with Welby in the nets at Maine and then play it by ear back home against Lowell.

“Welby has the experience and I want to bring Exter along [gradually],” said Serino. “But the better he plays when he gets chances, the more chances he’ll get.”

Three freshmen in particular have caught Serino’s eye. Not surprisingly, two of them are on defense where five rookies are vying to fill holes left by graduation.

“Tony Johnson and Jeff State are playing real well for us right now on defense,” said Serino. “And I think Marco Rosa is doing a real nice job for us up front, too.”

This weekend will be a tough one for the Warriors in terms of scheduling. They travel to Maine for a Friday night matchup. Their bus will return to North Andover on Saturday afternoon. One day later, they’ll host a physical UMass-Lowell team.

“They’ll both be battles,” said Serino.

Which means one of two possibilities for Sunday night. Sharp objects or champagne.

No Excuses

After opening the season with nonconference wins over Connecticut and Rensselaer, UMass-Lowell has encountered tough times in the games that matter most, those against other Hockey East teams. The River Hawks have opened their league schedule with four losses.

“We’ve had a little trouble getting out of the gate in the first period and that’s hurt us,” said coach Tim Whitehead. “We’re giving up too many odd-man rushes. And our penalty kill has been struggling.”

In the four Hockey East games, the River Hawks have killed off only 65.4 percent of their penalties, the low mark in the league.

Whitehead sees two other key factors needed for his team to be successful.

“We are getting physically stronger this year and we’re working on our mental toughness,” he said. “The physical side has made a huge jump. The mental side is improving, but it’s not where it needs to be for us to win those close games. That has to improve because it’s not going to come easy for us.”

This past weekend, the River Hawks lost to UMass-Amherst in overtime, 5-4, and to Boston College, 6-1.

“The games were easy to explain,” said Whitehead. “The game against UMass-Amherst, we spotted them four goals. Yeah, it was a valiant effort to come back, but we don’t need any more moral victories. We need some real victories at this point.

“The difference in the game was the odd-man rushes. They scored on three of them.

“In the BC game, the difference was the power play. We had five penalties called against us in the span of a minute and a half at the end of the second period. Against Boston College, you’re only going to hold the fort so long with that. They scored three times over that span and that was the end of the game.

“The guys played hard in the third, but the game was over by that time.”

The River Hawk goaltending has also had its ups and downs. Lowell outshot UMass-Amherst, 11-4, in the first period, but trailed 4-0 because all four Minutemen shots went in.

“I’m confident that the goaltending will improve, but I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t an issue for us,” said Whitehead. “Obviously, it has to improve. Four goals on four shots. But I think we have to be careful that we don’t blow things out of proportion and blame everything on the goaltending because that’s not the case.

“If we start making excuses and saying that the goaltending is losing all these games for us, then we’re never going to turn the corner. Sure the goaltending has to improve, but we’ve also got to cut down on our odd-man rushes and we have to improve our penalty killing.

“We’re being realistic, but we’re addressing other issues that are going to help our goaltending improve. If we cut down on our odd-man rushes and improve how we penalty kill, then our goaltending will improve.

“And the goaltenders are working on their own things while we’re doing that.”

Of course, success breeds more success and too many losses, even of the one-goal variety, eat away at a team’s confidence. Whitehead sees one overriding solution to that potential problem.

“We don’t make any excuses,” he said. “We don’t say that maybe we outplayed Amherst and start feeling sorry for ourselves. That’s a formula for continuing to lose the close ones.

“The biggest thing we can do right now is not make any excuses, stick together and work to improve. If we do that, we will. We’re making progress in a lot of areas.”

Friends Forever?

If you saw the big hit, the resulting stickwork and the yapping at center ice in last Saturday’s Maine-Northeastern game, you might not have instinctively thought “best buddies.”

The two antagonists were Willie Levesque and Doug Janik, who played together in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the U.S. National Development Team before moving on to collegiate hockey. As freshmen, they also competed for the USA squad in the World Junior Tournament.

“Doug used to be my best friend out at Ann Arbor so we always play each other hard,” said Levesque with a grin. “He’s a great competitor, a great defenseman and I love playing against him.

“I get a stick in every now and then and if he can, he does it, too.”

Brings a lump to your throat, doesn’t it?

Quip of the Week

Merrimack forward Anthony Aquino gained a lot of attention last year as a freshman who not only was good enough to be named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, but did so as a 17 year old. And a young 17-year old, to boot. His birthday is August 1.

At a recent post-game press conference, Merrimack coach Chris Serino walked in with a young boy, clearly of elementary-school age.

“This is Anthony Aquino,” said Serino. “They told me you wanted him.”

After the laughter died down, USCHO game reporter Scott Weighart asked Serino who the boy was. Serino told him that it was his nine-year old son, Tony Serino.

Chris Serino then added, “He’s already committed [to Merrimack]. If I have to cut him, his mother’s going to kill me.”

Around the Arenas

Boston College moved its Hockey East record to 3-0-0 with wins over Northeastern and UMass-Lowell on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The latter win gave coach Jerry York his 600th career victory. (Look for an upcoming feature on York reaching that milestone.)

As the number two team in the country — just inches away from No. 1 Minnesota — the Eagles seemed to be making a strong case as the league’s top team. Then Yale upended them, 4-3, on Tuesday, dropping their overall record to 7-2-0.

“We’ve got a good club, but we’ve got a ways to go to become a very good club,” said York. “Right now we’re banged up with J.D. [Forrest] and Ben [Eaves] and Brooks [Orpik] not playing the last couple games. That’s hurt our balance and our depth.

“When they’re back from their injuries, we have a chance to be a very good team. But we’re not there just yet. We’re a good solid team, but we’re striving to be a very good team. It’s a process you go through.”

Boston University remained stuck at .500 after losing at Merrimack, 5-4, and then winning the back half of the home-and-home, 3-0.

Defenseman Freddie Meyer returned to the lineup, seeing his first action since offseason back surgery. He didn’t log his usual amount of ice time because he isn’t yet in game shape. Even so, this gives the Terriers one of the most talented and deepest blue lines in the league.

Goaltending continues to be a hot topic for Terrier fans and with good reason. Jason Tapp struggled in the loss and doubters might wonder if the BU coaching staff is whistling past the graveyard when professing its faith in him. On the plus side, however, freshman Sean Fields played splendidly in shutting out Merrimack on Saturday.

“We wanted to give Jason a few games to start the season and then get Sean going,” said coach Jack Parker. “We were very, very pleased with his effort. He looked real sharp, especially in the third period.

“He’s a typical Canadian goaltender. He’s not as intense in practice as we’d like him to be, but he looks like he moves real well laterally. He stays on the puck, and he obviously saw the puck.

“The thing that I was really happy about is that he looks like he has a real quick glove; he made a couple of great glove saves. … He gave us a good goaltending game when we needed one.”

Ironically, Parker feels that Fields’s strong game will help Tapp.

“I think Jason has felt a lot of pressure on him and hasn’t played up to his capabilities at times,” said Parker. “He’s played very well at other times. So we’d like to get him more consistent.

“I think having Sean step in and play as well as he did on Saturday night against Merrimack will help Jason relax a little bit because he’ll realize that it isn’t all on him. I think that’ll make us much better off in goal.”

Parker has decided to alter his approach to curbing bad penalties. In the past, a sentence to Mookville — very early morning runs — has been sufficient.

With penalties a problem in both games against Merrimack, however, Parker stepped up the punishment. On Saturday, he benched captain and leading offender Carl Corazzini for the latter part of the first period and all of the second.

“We’re taking stupid penalties,” said Parker. “We usually just put guys in Mookville for that, but that wasn’t working. The ultimate convincer is ice time. We’re trying to stop taking selfish or foolish or multi-penalties. When you bench the captain for that, everybody else might take a little notice.”

Maine came away with only one point on the weekend after losing at Providence, 5-3, and tying Northeastern, 1-1.

The Black Bears continue to struggle in converting their offensive chances. After the Friday night loss, coach Shawn Walsh said in frustration, “Any goalie we play, plays well right now. I think our [opposing goaltenders’ save] percentage is something like .930. We’ve just got to keep working. We’re creating chances, but we’re just not scoring.”

Adding insult to injury was the team’s play in its own zone.

“Our defensive zone play was just atrocious,” he said. “We weren’t in our defensive zone that often, but when we were we were just so loose…. There’s no excuse for poor defensive play.”

One night later, he was much happier, saying, “We cleaned up our five-on-five play from our ridiculous play [on Friday.]”

Between games, Walsh altered the Black Bears’ offensive approach to improve their defensive play.

“Instead of being in their zone for most of the game, but getting some two-on-ones against, we really wanted to limit the odd-man rushes,” he said. “We did that. I wasn’t interested in outshooting them.

“I’m getting sick of us outshooting teams, 2-1, and getting nothing to show for it. Our goalie sits in his end without any shots and then he gets a high-quality one and it’s tough for him.

“So we backed off and didn’t forecheck until the overtime. I thought we limited their real high-quality chances until our defense got a little tired. I liked the way we played.”

Which is not to say that the stylistic changes are cast in stone.

“It’s nice to play both styles,” he said. “If your team can adjust from game to game or during the course of a game, it makes you a better team.”

Mike Morrison has inserted himself into the goaltending picture. Last year’s top netminder, Matt Yeats, got the hook after one period at Providence and Morrison played the rest of the weekend.

“[Yeats] struggled,” said Walsh. “You can’t give up three goals on nine shots and win too many games.”

Yeats will get the start in this weekend’s lone game and then Walsh expects to rotate the two.

“I think we’ve got two goalies who can play really well in this league,” he said. “Mike proved that [against Northeastern.] He gave us the solid goaltending you need.”

Niko Dimitrakos will miss the Merrimack game in hopes that he’ll be ready for the stretch of four games in nine days that begins next Friday.

New Hampshire suffered a stunning two losses last week after opening the season with a 5-0-1 record. The Wildcats fell to Yale, 4-3, and then were shut out by UMass-Amherst, 3-0.

“The difference between being undefeated and losing two is a fine line,” said coach Dick Umile. “We won a couple late in the game, whether it was against Lowell or Lake Superior or Vermont or whether it was tying North Dakota.

“Yale proved the parity in college hockey. They came out and beat UNH and BC. You’ve got to come to play every single night. It’s game by game and every game is a battle. You can easily lose two and it’s very difficult to win two.

“We got off to a good start this year, but very quickly we lost to Yale and UMass, who did a good job against us. It was a miserable weekend.

“But you know what? It can happen. I’m not happy about it. You don’t want it to happen. But that’s college hockey. You can’t dwell on it. You’ve got to battle back.”

Northeastern barely got off the bus in its 6-3 loss to Boston College on Friday night, but rebounded to take a point from Maine on Saturday, 1-1.

“I was very disappointed [after the BC game],” said coach Bruce Crowder. “And then once I watched the video at 7:00 [the next morning] I was a lot disappointed. We did not play our style hockey game.

“When you play BC, they can really hurt you if you don’t play within your system. And they did. They took it to us. I think we had 12 attempts off the video to their 33 or 34. It was disheartening.”

As a result, the Huskies’ play against Maine the following night was critical, not just because they needed to come away from the weekend with at least one point.

“That’s important, but it wasn’t as important in my eyes as how well we had to play compared to [the night before,]” said Crowder. “If we put another game together like [that], you might have to worry a little bit.”

Instead of a second straight disaster, Crowder was pleased with his team’s play against Maine.

“For us, it was a 180 degree [turnaround] from the team that showed up [against BC],” he said. “The only negative is that we didn’t get two points; we only got one.”

Particularly encouraging was the play between the pipes in both games. Jason Braun looked good despite being left on his own to absorb the six goals against BC. And Mike Gilhooly had his best game of the year in the 1-1 tie with Maine.

“I’ve been fighting it a little bit here in the beginning of the year,” said Gilhooly. “That one felt really good to get under my belt. I’ve been getting better and better each game and this was probably the best one so far. Hopefully, I’ll continue the trend and keep her going.”

Providence defeated Maine, 5-3, on Friday night to run its record to 4-0-1. Visions of zooming up from its number 15 position in the national rankings to single digits had to dance through the heads of Friars fans.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” cautioned coach Paul Pooley, who would prove prophetic. “Defensively, we’ve got to improve. Offensively, we’re doing some good things, but we’ve got to play smarter hockey to be the club we want to be.

“It’s nice to win. Then you can almost be harder on the guys. Because if you lose that game, your emotions are down. So we’re up and we’ve learned from it. Now we’ve got to get better. That’s the bottom line. But it’s nice to win.”

Looming after the big win was the Mayor’s Cup matchup against cross-town rival Brown. In recent years, the Friars have been the superior club, but have often seen that game become their team’s Waterloo.

Could history repeat itself? Pooley had already anticipated the question.

“Is there any concern after a big win like this…”


“… that you might have a letdown…


… tomorrow?”

“No,” said Pooley. “No.”

He paused and said with a smile, “I hope I’m right.”

Unfortunately for the Friars, he wasn’t. it was Waterloo once again. Brown nailed them between the eyes, 5-1.

Nonetheless, opening with a 4-1-1 record has been a pleasant surprise, as has been the play of several key Friars.

Nolan Schaefer has been exceptional between the pipes. He has won all three games he’s played, posting a 1.33 goals against average and a stunning .962 save percentage.

The top line of Devin Rask, Jon DiSalvatore and Peter Fregoe has also been a force even though all three were Hockey East rookies last year. (Fregoe is considered a junior this season because it is his next-to-last year of eligibility.)

“I don’t look at Devin and DiSalvatore as sophomores,” said Pooley. “They’re men on the ice. If they can command that respect and go and get it done, they don’t think they’re sophomores.”

The feisty Rask netted a hat trick against Maine and leads the team with six goals. He also has at least the words of a leader.

“We can compete with any team,” he said. “We don’t want to come into a game saying [maybe] we can play with these guys. We want to be a team where they come into the rink and they’re scared of us. We want to be the team to reckon with. With our hard work and skill, hopefully we can be that team.”

UMass-Lowell has signed 6-foot-1, 190-pound forward Gerry Hickey to a letter of intent.  Hickey, a Xaverian graduate who is currently the captain for the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders (USHL), posted a 19-13–32 scoring line last year in 56 games.
“Gerry is a fast, physical player, a true two-way player,” said Whitehead. “He is a leader and plays the type of hockey we need to play to be successful in Hockey East, which is a tough hard-nosed game.”
Cedar Rapids head coach Mark Carlson, a former Lowell assistant coach and player, added, “Gerry is a prototype UMass-Lowell player.  I have a good feeling he’ll fit right in. He is a very good leader, likes to play physical and he can score.  Other teams in Hockey East won’t like to play against him.”

Trivia Contest

Last week’s contest concerned four players from outside of the league who had competed against Hockey East teams the previous weekend. They were: two brothers, someone whose last name is also a city in Massachusetts and someone whose last name is a vegetable.

The brothers were Union’s Kris and Kurt Goodjohn, the “city” player was Wisconsin’s Brad Winchester and the “vegetable” one was Ohio State’s Peter Broccoli.

The first reader to get all four was Adam Kulczyk, who selected the following cheer:

Beware of the DAWGS!!!

This week’s question asks which Hockey East player has not scored a five-on-five goal in over a year, but still has a hat trick to his credit?

Send your answer to Dave Hendrickson.

Thanks to Scott Weighart, Josh Gibney and Jim Connelly for their assistance.