Saturday, January 30, 2016

UNH & Tirone Smother #4 Providence 3-1

Sophomore Goalie Danny Tirone
31 Saves
Senior Kyle Smith
Scores 2 Goals
Senior Dan Correale
Game Winning Goal

The UNH Wildcats snapped their seven-game losing steak with a full-effort, convincing 3-1 win over the #4 Providence Friars. They played perhaps their most complete game of the season winning puck battles against PC in all three zones.

Sophomore goalie Danny Tirone, who has always played exceptionally well against Providence, both at home and especially in Schneider Arena, was on top of his game. Tirone surrendered only one goal and made 31 saves. Last Spring, Tirone backstopped a Hockey East Quarterfinal Series win over PC. He allowed only 4 goals in the three-game series. Last night, except for a miscue playing the puck behind the net on Providence's first goal, Tirone was solid in the net and allowed two goals (PC also scored an ENG).

Two UNH senior forwards - Kyle Smith and Dan Correale - came up big with Smith scoring his 4th and 5th goals of the season and Correale burying his 15th. Correale is now tied for 7th place in NCAA Division I goals. High-scoring linemates Andrew Poturalski and Tyler Kelleher assisted on his goal. Poturalski (19G, 22A) is the 2nd leading scorer in the nation. Kelleher (7G, 30A) is only 2 points behind in 4th place and he leads the nation in assists.

In a total team effort, the forward line of Maxim Gaudreault at left wing, Kyle Smith at center, and freshman Marcus Vela stood out with their tight checking and scoring. Smith scored 2 goals on 6 shots on goal. Gaudreault dished out an assist and Vela had 2 assists and a +/- rating of +1.

Here are the video highlights of each goal in the UNH victory:

Friday, January 29, 2016

UNH Loses 7th Straight; Providence 3, UNH 1

Tyler Kelleher
Notches 7th Goal, 36th Point

UNH Recruits Update: Jan-29-2016

Defenseman Corson Green
Commits to UNH for 2018

Player Spotlight - Corson Green

The last couple months has been a time of excitement and accomplishments for 16-year-old Corson Green (DOB: 3/4/1999). In early December, the 6'3", 207 lbs., left-shot defensemen was promoted to the Northern Cyclones Premiere team, based in Hudson, NH, in the Eastern Hockey League. Green began the 2015-16 season playing for the Northern Cyclones 16U National team in the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League. Over the first 10 games with the 16U team, he scored 10 goals and 5 assists.

On December 9th, in his debut with the Cyclones Premiere team, Corson Green dished out 3 assists then scored his first EHL goal against the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs a few days later. Since then, he's been playing for both the Cyclones 16U and Premiere teams, sometimes on the same day. The two leagues present a stark contrast for Corson since the Premiere League is primarily made up of players 3 to 4 years older.

Green's second EHL goal may be one of the most exciting of his young career. On January 18th, the Northern Cyclones and Philadelphia Jr. Flyers were knotted up 2-2 at the end of regulation. A few minutes into overtime, Corson gathered the puck behind the Cyclones' net, carried it down the right side of all three zones, and snapped a backhander over the goalie's glove. Here's the video highlight of the overtime game-winner courtesy of the Eastern Hockey League:

Last Saturday, Corson Green's on-ice accomplishments were rewarded with an opportunity to play college hockey for the University of New Hampshire. Corson verbally committed to enroll at UNH in the Fall of 2018. In April, the native of Potsdam, New York was drafted by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 5th Round of the Ontario Hockey League Draft. Over the summer, Corson decided to play junior hockey in the United States with the hopes of earning an offer to play NCAA Division I hockey.

So far this season, Green has scored 12 goals and 5 assists in 17 games with the Northern Cyclones 16U team. The physical defenseman has also accumulated 55 penalty minutes. Green is currently the second-leading scorer among all EJEPL defensemen. The 16U team has 2 more regular season games and the EJEPL Playoffs will be played from February 5-7. In 11 games with the Northern Cyclones Premiere team, Corson has notched 2 goals and 5 assists and been penalized for 18 minutes. The Premiere team has 9 more regular season games and the EHL Playoffs begin in March.

The statistics for the recruits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2016 Recruits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2016. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the recruit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the recruit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The recruit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2016 Recruits
Liam Blackburn*  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 46 23 34 57 41
Justin Fregona*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 38 22 18 40 31
Patrick Grasso*  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 36 10 14 24 8
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 30 15 31 46 22
Nick Nonis  (D) Powell River Kings BCHL 43 1 6 7 40
Brendan van Riemsdyk*   (F) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 34 18 22 40 42
Mike Robinson*  (G) Junior Bruins USPHL 7 4W 3L 3.02 .909
2016 or '17 Recruits
Joe Cipollone  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL 28 5 3 8 10
Vernon Vipers BCHL 12 4 3 7 2
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 26 1 9 10 2
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Chilliwack Chiefs BCHL 13 4 0 4 6
Tri-City Storm USHL 8 0 1 1 2
2017 Recruits
Eric MacAdams  (F) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 31 5 6 11 62
2017 or '18 Recruits
Eric Esposito  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 35 1 5 6 32
Jason O'Neill  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 35 5 12 17 2
2018 Recruits
Corson Green  (D) Northern Cyclones EHL 11 2 5 7 18
Northern Cyclones 16U EJEPL 17 12 5 17 55
* = Signed National
Letter of Intent

News & Notes

United States Premiere Hockey League:

~ 2016 UNH Commit Brendan van Riemsdyk has been on a goal-scoring tear. Over the Islander's Hockey Club's last 4 games, BvR has notched 6 goals and is now tied for 6th in USPHL goals. Van Riemsdyk has been particularly productive on the power play this season with 7 goals (tied 2nd in USPHL) and 10 assists (tied 3rd). He has tallied 4 game-winning goals (tied 3rd) and he potted a goal in the recent USPHL Premiere Division All Star Game.

~ Charlie Kelleher has also been scoring goals at a steady clip. Over the first three weeks in January, he notched a goal-a-game in 6 consecutive, Junior Bruin games. He is now the 4th leading scorer in the USPHL and tied for 3rd in assists (31).

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2017 or '18 UNH Commit Jason O'Neill has scored a goal and 2 assists over the Langley Rivermen's last 3 games. So far in his rookie season, O'Neill has posted 5 goals and 12 assists.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

UNH Captain's Corner: Looking for a Win

UNH Captain Collin MacDonald

Over the weekend, the Notre Dame hockey team arrived in Durham ranked #13 in the nation. They were riding a ten-game streak without a loss having won 7, including a victory against Boston College, and tied 3. The previous weekend, they had swept Merrimack in two games at Lawler Arena. The Fighting Irish are big - 9 players are 6'2" or taller - and skilled - 9 are NHL draft picks. Their sophomore goalie Cal Petersen, a 5th round pick of the Buffalo Sabres, sported the second lowest goals against average in Hockey East (a little over 1.5 goals per game).

Notre Dame left town with two more wins in the bank and are now ranked #9 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and #10 in the Poll. The Fighting Irish are also tied for 2nd in the Hockey East standings (22 points) just one point behind UMass Lowell.

Meanwhile, the UNH Wildcats are in the midst of a six-game losing streak and are stuck near the bottom of Hockey East. They have earned 8 conference points and are tied for next to last place with UMass Amherst.

On Friday night, Notre Dame used it's size, strength and speed to dominate UNH in all phases of the game. They built up a 4-0 lead midway through the second period and eventually won 5-1. The Fighting Irish outshot the Wildcats 40-25.

One of the very few high points for UNH was their lone goal. With just 24 seconds left in the 2nd period, freshman Ara Nazarian hopped over the boards on a line change. He blocked a shot just inside the UNH blueline, gathered the loose puck, and sped past the Notre Dame back checkers on a clean breakaway. Just as he got a shot away deep in the Notre Dame slot, he was hooked to the ice leading to a penalty shot. Here's a video of Nazarian's penalty shot goal:

Another positive for UNH was the play of backup senior goalie Jamie Regan. After Notre Dame's scored it's 4th goal on just 20 shots, sophomore goalie Danny Tirone was replaced by Regan. He stopped 19 out of 20 shots on goal over the final period and one half. Following the game, Coach Umile praised Regan's play:
"Great for Jamie Regan, he really competed. He works hard every day. Tonight, it was just that quick. ‘Jamie, you’re in.’ And he competed, played great."
Here's a link to Parker Wheeler's game report of the 5-1 loss from our blog: "#13 Notre Dame Takes Down UNH With Ease"

After the game, Coach Umile called Jamie Regan and told him he earned the start for Saturday's game against Notre Dame. It was the first time he had ever started in an NCAA game and his play was solid indeed. The Fighting Irish scored a power play goal in the 1st period and another in the 2nd. Andrew Poturalski, the nation's leading scorer and goal scorer, answered with this remarkable power play goal with just under 7 minutes remaining in the 2nd period:

Senior defenseman Harry Quast tied the game in the last minute of the second period. Sophomore Jason Salvaggio set up the goal as he dove and poked the puck to Quast.

Notre Dame's Mario Lucia scored the game-winner on a one-on-one battle with Regan. Two of Lucia's shots were turned away by Regan but the third trickled under his pad. For the second night in a row, Coach Umile was impressed by Jamie Regan:
"He did a great job. Proud of him. He made a great save there at the end. It’s too bad we had to lose the game and didn’t win it for him because he deserved it."
Here's Parker Wheeler's game report: "UNH Falls in Close Contest to Notre Dame"

I had an opportunity to interview UNH Captain Collin MacDonald about the Notre Dame games and what lies ahead for the Wildcats:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): It's been a story of feast or famine for the team over the past two months. After riding high on a record of 5-0-1 in December, UNH has lost 6 games in a row. Have you seen any signs that the team is on the verge of turning it around?

Collin MacDonald: Yeah I know we lost the game Saturday night, but it was a nice showing by us to bounce back and play the way we did after Friday night. We’ve talked about how we’re ultimately beating ourselves with mistakes we’re making. We’re getting out of town for a couple weekends and are looking to get some big wins against a few of the top teams in the country. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, our team won’t quit.

Mike Lowry: In our interview a week ago, I asked you to describe senior backup goalie Jamie Regan's style and strengths. You said he is "one of the most athletic guys" you've ever played with and that "the boys trust him back there". As luck would have it, Regan got his first NCAA start against Notre Dame on Saturday. Would you describe Regan's performance in the one-goal loss to the Fighting Irish and what it means for the team?

Collin MacDonald: I was really happy for Jamie and proud of the way he played this past weekend. He showed everyone, including himself, how capable he is of playing at this level. It’s inevitable, in the position he’s been in for 3 ½ years, for self-doubt to creep in, but he stepped up and really rid any doubt he or anyone else had in his ability. Saturday he made some big saves; their second goal was just an unfortunate bounce from what I saw. I think an underrated part of his performance was the way he handled the puck; he handled it nicely behind our net and made it easier on our defensemen.

Lowry: With 10 Hockey East games left in the regular season, UNH is tied for next-to-last place in the conference. The top four teams earn a first-round bye in the Hockey East Playoffs and teams 5-8 earn home-ice for the best-of-three opening round series. Aside from the obvious goal of winning one game at a time, what are the team's goals for the remainder of the regular season?

MacDonald: Yeah like you said we just need to take one game at a time. It’s always a goal to have home ice in the playoffs. Home ice in the best-of-three opening series is still a very realistic goal for sure. So getting some wins and moving up to eighth place or better would make that first round easier. I haven’t exactly studied the standings at this point, and don’t know how high we can finish. All I know is that we have 10 regular season games left, and right now we’re focused on our weekend at Providence College.

Lowry: How is the recovery/rehabilitation from your shoulder injury coming along?

MacDonald: It’s a really frustrating injury because of the waiting game that comes along with it. I should know a lot more about my future in the next week or so. I’m just itching to get back out there, I feel like everyday I'm getting a step closer. This has been such a mental challenge, along with a physical one, over the past eight weeks.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

UNH Falls in Close Contest to Notre Dame

Andrew Poturalski
Pots 19th Goal
Senior Goalie Jamie Regan
26 Saves, 1st NCAA Start
Senior Harry Quast
1st Goal of Season

DURHAM, NH - UNH battled back in the second period, but would fall one goal short against #13 Notre Dame. It was the Wildcats' sixth loss in a row.

The start of this game for UNH was much stronger than the previous night. The Wildcats looked competitive throughout the first period and played closely with the Fighting Irish.

Senior goalie Jamie Regan saw his first collegiate start for the Wildcats after coming in for almost half the game Friday night in relief of Danny Tirone.

Despite Notre Dame having much more offensive possession in the first period, UNH still hung tight and looked much better than their poor performance last night.

Watching the Fighting Irish, it’s easy to tell why they are a top 15 team in the nation. They dominate in size and speed and they gave the Wildcats fits all weekend.

Notre Dame again struck first Saturday night, for the 21st time in their 25 games, to give them a 1-0 lead on the power play at 11:46. Thomas DiPauli tucked a backhanded shot past the glove of Regan after coming off the goal line and gave Notre Dame the lead.

Through the first four periods of the weekend, UNH’s power play was held scoreless through five opportunities.

UNH would see the deficit grow further, just 25 seconds into the second period, when Jake Evans scored on the power play and brought the Fighting Irish lead to 2-0. Despite playing more competitive, it looked like a similar result was inevitable for the struggling Wildcats.

At 13:43 of the second period, many Wildcat prayers were answered. Sophomore Andrew Poturalski ended his four game scoreless streak on a breakaway while on the power play and cut the lead in half, 2-1. Poturalski continues to lead the nation in goals (19) and points (39).

The Wildcats' offense struck again at 19:01 of the second on a wrist shot from the point by Harry Quast. The game-tying goal was Quast's first goal of the season and second of his career.

A good deal of the credit for the goal goes to the man who got the assist. Jason Salvaggio dove to poke the puck toward Quast before a Notre Dame player could clear the zone. It was a perfect example of great effort the Wildcats had been lacking in recent games. The teams headed to the third period tied at two.

A highly contested third went back and forth and the teams looked as evenly matched as they had all weekend long.

At 11:45 Mario Lucia was able to get his own rebound off an incredible save by Regan and get the game winner to make it 3-2.

Late pushes by UNH were unsuccessful, but all around it was a better effort for the Wildcats.

Here are the game highlights courtesy of UNH Athletics:

UNH's record fell to 8-12-4 overall and 2-6-4 in Hockey East. Notre Dame improved to 14-4-7 overall and now holds a 10-1-2 record in conference play. They are currently tied for 2nd place in Hockey East with Boston College. Both are 1 point behind 1st place UMass Lowell.

It doesn’t get easier from here on out as UNH is in the midst of facing seven nationally-ranked opponents in nine games. The Wildcats travel to #3 Providence for two games next weekend.

Box Score

#13 Notre Dame Takes Down UNH With Ease

Freshman Ara Nazarian
Penalty Shot Goal
Senior Goalie Jamie Regan
1 Goal Against, #3 Star

DURHAM, NH - It was another dismal effort for the Wildcats as they fell to the Fighting Irish by a score of 5-1.

Early on in the game it was evident UNH was outmanned and out battled by Notre Dame and it carried through the entire game.

The Fighting Irish pocketed two goals in the first seven minutes of the game. Danny Tirone allowed the first two goals on only four shots, including a soft goal by Connor Hurley at 3:12 of the first and UNH was stuck in a hole.

The Wildcats had roughly two minutes of solid offensive possession through the entire first period. Other than that, they played on their heels and were overshadowed by the strength of Notre Dame.

In the second period Notre Dame struck again on the power play at 8:39 as Anders Bjork scored his tenth of the season and gave the Fighting Irish a 3-0 lead.

Mario Lucia would add his second of the night at 11:47 of the second as he placed a shot top shelf over the blocker side shoulder of Tirone to extend the lead to 4-0.

That would be the end of the night for Tirone who gave way to senior Jamie Regan, who would come in and play a great game in relief. Regan made 18 saves on 19 shots.

The only exciting moment of the night for UNH was in the final second of the second period when Ara Nazarian scored on a penalty shot to cut the lead to 4-1. This was the first successful UNH penalty shot since 2006. Here's a video of Nazarian's goal courtesy of Mike Lowry:

From there, Notre Dame would add one more at 7:29 off the stick of Sam Herr who was left all alone in front on the power play and buried a rebound shot past Regan to make it 5-1.

In the end, not much went the right way for UNH all night. Goaltending, defense and offense were absent from roughly every minute of the game.

The Wildcats play host to Notre Dame again tomorrow night at 5:00 PM and have a multitude of adjustments to make if they want to be competitive. Overall, figuring out how to get the powerful line of Andrew Poturalski, Tyler Kelleher and Dan Correale back on track may be most important.

Poturalski, who is still the leading scorer in NCAA Division I hockey, has been held scoreless for four straight games and has been stifled by opposing defenses the past few weeks.

The interesting development may be the goaltending situation for UNH. With the struggles of Danny Tirone continuing and a great performance by Jamie Regan, one has to wonder if there may be a switch in starter for tomorrows tilt.

Box Score

Monday, January 18, 2016

UNH Captain's Corner: Back-to-Back Loses

UNH Captain Collin MacDonald

A little over a week ago, UNH faced the #1 team in Hockey East and #10 team in the nation - UMass Lowell. The River Hawks also boasted the 4th best defense in the nation. It was the beginning of a final stretch of 15 Hockey East matchups for the Wildcats. Although UNH entered the game 7 points behind Lowell in the Hockey East standings, it had played 4 fewer conference games. Equipped with the 6th most potent offense in NCAA Division I hockey, the Wildcats were looking to begin a move up the HE rankings.

In a classic defensive battle, UNH and Lowell were scoreless with a little less than three minutes left in regulation. In the midst of a mad scramble in the crease, with goalie Danny Tirone and forward Chris Miller laid out on the ice trying to freeze the puck, it trickled across the goal line for a UMass Lowell win. Despite the loss, the team had reason to feel positive about their effort. Head Coach Dick Umile summed it up in the post-game news conference:
"It's as good a defensive game as we've played. I thought we played very hard in the defensive zone and did a really good job there. We had our chances. We had a chance to even tie it up there on the rush. But it was unfortunate the way the goal went in."
Next up for the Wildcats was a home-and-home series against Northeastern University. The Huskies were a bit of an enigma. NU was winless in 11 Hockey East games. They had managed to tie Boston College, Notre Dame, and Vermont but had lost 8 conference games. The Huskies were playing better as of late with a win over Michigan State, a tie with highly-ranked Quinnipiac, and two wins against Saint Lawrence.

On Friday night down at historic Matthews Arena, UNH was thumped by Northeastern 4-2. As Alternate Captain Dan Correale said:
"We didn't play the game we're capable of playing. We haven't played like that in a long time."
On Saturday night, with the students away on semester break and many UNH fans home watching the Patriot's playoff game, the Wildcats did not fare any better. Northeastern dominated the game, start to finish, and easily won 6-2. Here's a link to Parker Wheeler's game report from our blog:

"UNH Gets Smoked At Home in 6-2 Loss to Northeastern"

Tyler Kelleher, the #2 scorer in the nation, summed up the loss:
"Pretty embarrassing for us I think. We all didn't play great at all. It will just get harder as the season goes on. We have Notre Dame next weekend, and then we have BC, Lowell, and Providence, so we've got to figure it out."
I had an opportunity to interview UNH Captain Collin MacDonald about the twin loses to UMass Lowell:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Last weekend, the team played it's best defensive game of the season against UMass Lowell, the top team in Hockey East. Needless to say, the team must be disappointed with its play in the back-to-back losses against Northeastern University. Is there anything the team can learn from those losses moving forward?

Collin MacDonald: We’re very disappointed with the weekend. It was tough, but with 12 games left there’s no time to dwell on it, and we’re certainly not going to quit. There’s too much character in our locker room to just roll over. Since I’ve been here at UNH, we’ve always played our best with our backs up against the wall. We’re going into the toughest part of our season, this past weekend puts us in a tougher spot, but I think we’ll use it as a wake up call.

Mike Lowry: Although the Poturalski-Kelleher-Correale line continues to be "First-in-the-Nation" in scoring (92 points), they have scored just 2 goals and 7 assists in the last 4 games. What did Vermont, UMass Lowell, and Northeastern do to minimize their offensive impact?

Collin MacDonald: What these guys have done for us offensively this season is something special. So right now it’s not going the way it has been for them, that’s going to happen. They’ll get back to their ways with hard work. They are clearly no secret to other teams so it’s going to get harder as we go down the stretch, but these three are up for it.

Lowry: Freshman Marcus Vela potted 3 goals in the 2 games against Northeastern and has scored 4 goals in his last 5 games. As a fellow power forward, what strengths do you see in Marcus' game?

MacDonald: Marcus is a big, strong kid that has stayed true to his game all year. He plays the body well and is great at protecting the puck when it’s on his stick. He’s a true freshman that is playing like an older guy out there. He’s getting to the net and it’s nice to see him getting rewarded.

Lowry: UNH fans got a chance to see backup goalie Jamie Regan play against Northeastern on Saturday. Regan was an All-Star goalie in the Eastern Junior Hockey League before coming to UNH. Would you describe his style and strengths?

MacDonald: Reags is one of the most athletic guys I’ve ever played with. He uses his athleticism in net. He’s garnered confidence by working in practice over his career here and in this year especially. He might not have the most game experience, but when he’s put in the net, the boys trust him back there; he’s here for a reason.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

UNH Gets Smoked At Home In 6-2 Loss To Northeastern

UNH Freshman Marcus Vela
3 Goals in 2 Games

DURHAM, NH - UNH was trying to snap a three game losing streak as they made their way back home Saturday night to play the Huskies after falling 4-2 the night before at Northeastern University.

Meanwhile, the Huskies were looking to win on back-to-back days against UNH for the first time since 1998 as they stepped into enemy territory.

The first period was as back and forth as it gets in hockey. Both teams had strong opportunities and some good looks, but the goalies stood tall and kept it scoreless through 20 minutes.

As opposed to the norm for the Wildcats, the strong play early on was the defensive presence for UNH. The team was tight defensively and didn’t allow the Huskies many grade A chances in the first period. Sticks were active and players were in the right spots, but there wasn’t much to show offensively.

In the second period, defensive presence was forgotten. Northeastern scored five goals on eight shots against Danny Tirone and the Wildcat defense.

Sam Kurker opened up the scoring for the Huskies just 2:32 into the second period.

Senior forward Dan Correale responded with a wrap around goal as he tucked the puck beside the pad of Ryan Ruck to even up the score 1-1 at 11:29 of the second.

Then things got out of hand for UNH. Northeastern pocketed three goals in just over three minutes of play, including a power play and shorthanded goal.

Northeastern’s offense was clicking, especially on odd man rushes. The scoring plays ranged from perfectly executed 3 on 2’s to a shorthanded breakaway goal for Kurker (his second goal of the game). Northeastern built up a 4-1 lead with 3:34 remaining in the second period and never looked back.

Tirone was hung out to dry multiple times by his defenders, who looked like they forgot how to do everything they were doing right in the first period. Players were caught up ice, defenders were losing coverage and the Northeastern forwards were capitalizing with quick and crisp passes.

Freshman Marcus Vela responded just 14 seconds later on a power play goal and it looked like UNH would hold on to some hope heading into the third period.

But Northeastern’s Dylan Sikura added another NU goal just 1:06 later to make it 5-2 at 17:46 of the second.

UNH would head to the second intermission trailing 5-2 and with what had to be a terrible taste in their mouth.

It didn’t get any better for the ‘Cats in the third, as Northeastern junior Mike Jamieson scored his first collegiate goal to put the Huskies up 6-2 at 9:04 of the third to finish the scoring. Backup UNH goalie Jamie Regan played the final 7 minutes of the game.

Here are the video highlights of the Northeastern game courtesy of UNH Athletics:

UNH has lost four games in a row and their record fell to 8-10-4 overall and 2-4-4 in Hockey East. Northeastern improved to 7-12-4 overall and now holds a 2-8-3 record in conference play. With the weekend sweep over UNH, the Huskies move out of last place in Hockey East. UNH has earned one more point than NU and is tied for 8th in the conference. UNH returns to action next weekend with a two home games against Notre Dame.

Box Score

Friday, January 15, 2016

UNH Recruits Update: Jan-15-2016

Mike Robinson
First 2 USPHL Wins
Charlie Kelleher
Goal-a-Game Last 4 Games
Brendan van Riemsdyk
5 Points Last 3 Games

Player Spotlight - Mike Robinson

Last June, 6'4", 200 lbs. Mike Robinson was sitting on top of the world. On June 27th, the San Jose Sharks selected Robinson in the 3rd round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He was the 86th overall pick and the 7th goalie selected. A week later, Robinson participated in the Sharks' Player Development Camp. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury during the camp which required surgery to his right wrist.

Robinson's recovery kept him out of the Boston Junior Bruins' lineup from September through December. On January 2nd, Mike played in his first USPHL Premiere Division game. After a couple of losses, Robinson got back on track in the USPHL Winter Showcase at the Jr. Bruins' home rink, the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, MA. Last Saturday, Robinson made 24 saves as the Jr. Bruins downed the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in overtime. On Sunday, he faced 40 shots from the Jersey Hitmen and turned away 38 of them. The Jr. Bruins won 9-2.

Although Robinson surrendered 4 goals on 34 shots on Monday against the P.A.L. Junior Islanders, his Goals Against Average has improved to 3.07 and his Save Percentage is up to .909. His won-loss record has improved to 2-3-0. In November, Mike Robinson signed a National Letter of Intent with UNH and is on track to enroll next Fall.

Player Spotlight - Charlie Kelleher

Charlie Kelleher has potted a goal in each of the Junior Bruins' last 4 games. In the three games played at the USPHL Winter Showcase, Kelleher registered 3 goals and 3 assists. Although Charlie has played in 9 fewer games, he is only 10 points behind the USPHL's leading scorer William Vizzo. Kelleher is tied for 4th in USPHL scoring (42 points) and assists (29).

For the second consecutive season, Charlie Kelleher has been selected to the USPHL Premiere Division All Star Team. The USPHL All Star game will be played on Monday at Lawler Arena on the campus of Merrimack College.

Player Spotlight - Brendan van Riemsdyk

2016 UNH Commit Brendan van Riemsdyk also had an outstanding performance at the USPHL Winter Showcase last weekend. In three games, BVR scored a goal and dished out 4 assists. Three of his assists came on the Islanders Hockey Club's power play. In 30 games this season, van Riemsdyk has registered 10 power play assists, the second highest in the USPHL. In fact, BvR is tied for 2nd for the most special team points in the USPHL. He has compiled 4 power play goals and 10 PPA.

Brendan van Riemsdyk has also been named to the USPHL Premiere Division All Star Team for the second consecutive year. His game will begin at 12:30 on Monday at Lawler Arena.

The statistics for the recruits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2016 Recruits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2016. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the recruit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the recruit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The recruit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2016 Recruits
Liam Blackburn*  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 41 22 31 53 32
Justin Fregona*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 34 21 16 37 31
Patrick Grasso*  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 31 10 13 23 6
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 27 13 29 42 20
Nick Nonis  (D) Powell River Kings BCHL 39 1 4 5 38
Brendan van Riemsdyk*   (F) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 30 12 20 32 30
Mike Robinson*  (G) Junior Bruins USPHL 5 2W 3L 3.07 .909
2016 or '17 Recruits
Joe Cipollone  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL 24 4 2 6 8
Vernon Vipers BCHL 12 4 3 7 2
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 22 1 7 8 0
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Chilliwack Chiefs BCHL 9 4 0 4 2
Tri-City Storm USHL 8 0 1 1 2
2017 Recruits
Eric MacAdams  (F) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 27 5 4 9 60
2017 or '18 Recruits
Eric Esposito  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 30 1 4 5 26
Jason O'Neill  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 30 4 10 14 2
* = Signed National
Letter of Intent

News & Notes

United States Hockey League:

~ 2017 or '18 UNH Commit Eric Esposito scored his first USHL goal last Saturday in a 5-3 win by the Youngstown Phantoms. At the time, the Madison Capitals were leading 3-2 so Esposito's was the game-tying goal. The 17-year-old, right-shot winger has tallied a goal and 4 assists in his rookie season. Here's a video clip of Eric Esposito's first USHL goal:

Sunday, January 10, 2016

UNH Captain's Corner: Defensive Showdown with Lowell

UNH Captain Collin MacDonald

On paper, the first matchup between UNH and UMass Lowell shaped up to be a classic battle between a high-powered offense and a stifling defense. The Wildcats entered the contest with the:
~ 6th highest goals per game average (3.95) in NCAA Division I hockey
~ 5th best power play (27.5%)
~ Top-scoring line (First-in-the-Nation: UNH's Poturalski-Kelleher-Correale Line)
~ #1 scorer in the nation - Andrew Poturalski (18G, 18A)
~ #2 scorer - Tyler Kelleher (6G, 28A)
~ Top power play goal scorer - Dan Correale (8 PPG).
~ #6 scoring defenseman - Matias Cleland (3G, 13A).

The UMass Lowell River Hawks came to Durham sporting the 4th best defense in the nation. They had given up an average of only 1.84 goals per game. Senior goalie Kevin Boyle had the 11th best goals against average (1.83) and had 4 shutouts to his credit. The River Hawks were ranked #10 in the country and sat atop the Hockey East standings.

Start to finish, the two teams played tight defense and the shots on goal were relatively even throughout the game. Andrew Poturalski generated perhaps the best opportunity for a UNH goal with 7 minutes left in the first period. He accelerated down the wing to the right of goalie Boyle, swooped around behind the net, and just missed the open net with a backhander. UNH goalie Danny Tirone and Boyle made a number of glittering saves and the game came down to a single, chaotic play with three minutes left in the game.

The scoring play began with A.J. White threading a pass between UNH defenders Harry Quast and John Furgele to Dylan Zink skating down the left wing. Zink carried the puck behind the UNH net and tried a wraparound shot which was deflected by Furgele. Zink gathered the loose puck a flicked a shot which was stopped by freshman forward Chris Miller who was on his knees in the goal crease. Tirone dove in an attempt to cover the puck but it was stuck between Miller's legs. Ryan Collins, playing in only his fifth game of the season, poked at the puck twice and it trickle across the goal line.

Final score 1-0. Both UNH and Lowell generated 27 shots on goal. UNH was 0 for 2 on the power play while UMass was 0 for 3. Here's a link to Parker Wheeler's game report from our blog:

"UNH Falters Late; Can’t Muster Up a Goal in Loss to UMass Lowell"

UNH's record in Hockey East fell to 2-2-4. The Wildcats are in a three-way tie for 7th place with Vermont and Massachusetts. Lowell improved to 7-2-3 and maintained their 1 point lead at the top of Hockey East. The Wildcats' overall record is now 8-8-4. The River Hawks are 12-4-4.

I had an opportunity to interview UNH Captain Collin MacDonald about the tightly contested game against UMass Lowell:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Umass Lowell brought the 4th stingiest defense in NCAA Division I hockey to the Whittemore Center to face UNH's 6th best offense in the nation. The game turned into a tight, defensive battle with only a single goal scored. After the game, Coach Umile said UNH played "as good a defensive game as we've played". As a team, what did the guys do particularly well in the defensive side of the game?

Collin MacDonald: Clearly we have scoring ability on our team, and we’ve put ourselves in positions to win games with our offense throughout the season. It was nice to see our team put ourselves in a position to win with our defense on Friday night. We’re very upset with the outcome of the game, but we’ve talked as a team about the positives to take from it. We competed hard in our own end. Our defensemen did a nice job with getting us out of our zone. We had patience in our neutral zone play and it was clear that it helped us on offensive zone entry.

Mike Lowry: What individual defensive efforts stood out?

Collin MacDonald: Danny Tirone had another strong showing for us. He did a great job getting whistles when we needed them, especially on the penalty kill. The rest was more of a team effort. I really liked our patience on the breakout and regroups. Our defensemen had poise throughout the night. Our forwards did a nice job of getting open to become options. Everybody had great sticks without the puck, and we created a lot of turnovers.

Lowry: The nation's #1 and #2 scorers, Andrew Poturalski and Tyler Kelleher, have acknowledged the goal of improving their defensive play. I noticed that they played substantial minutes on the penalty kill against Lowell and helped shut out the River Hawks' power play. Are there individual skills, which make each of them potent offensive players, that will help make them outstanding defensive players?

MacDonald: Pots and Kells want to play offense, we all want them to play offense; it’s a big part of success. With the amount they play every night, they know they have to commit to defense as well. Their confidence with the puck and ability to make plays helps us get of our own zone. They both have good sticks, which help them create turnovers. They are always two of the best players on the ice; knowing that and just staying committed to winning hockey games will allow them to become great defensive players as well.

Lowry: You got another opportunity to be behind the bench in the Lowell game. What kinds of input do you provide during the game and in between periods?

MacDonald: The coaches do the coaching; I just tell guys individually anything I can to help them out. Sometimes it’s just complimenting a nice play they made, or trying to give them a tip on something I saw from the bench that’s hard to see on the ice at the speed of the game. I’m in a tough position; I’m just trying to make the most of it. I appreciate the guys accepting the role I’m in while I can’t play, they really are an unreal group.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

UNH Falters Late; Can’t Muster Up a Goal in Loss to UMass Lowell

UNH Goalie Danny Tirone
26 Saves vs Lowell

DURHAM, NH - #10 in the nation UMass Lowell made the short trip to Durham Friday night to face a Wildcat team that was looking to stay above .500 on the season.

UNH had not beaten UMass Lowell in six consecutive games dating back to 2012 and looked for revenge to start off the home games in 2016.

It was a clash between two polar opposites in Hockey East. The Wildcats offense came in sixth in the nation in scoring (3.95 GPG), while the lockdown River Hawk defense came in with the fourth best defense in the nation (1.84 GAA).

With such strengths on opposite sides of the puck, it was difficult to predict what type of game would unfold. Like so many games between these two teams in the recent past, this game did not disappoint.

It was a defensive battle throughout, as both goaltenders made spectacular saves for each side and kept their teams in the game.

UNH sophomore goalie Danny Tirone looked as good as ever between the pipes with aggressive and unorthodox saves. UNH fans may remember seeing exciting performances like this from him in the second half of last season. The Wildcats will need him to continue to play this well as they steamroll through Hockey East play.

Meanwhile, across the lake, senior goalie Kevin Boyle had a dominant game against the high-powered UNH offense. Lowell's trademark stingy defense kept the ‘Cats to the perimeter for a large majority of the game.

Through more than 57 minutes of hockey, the two teams remained scoreless, until a scrum in front of the net of Tirone ensued. The River Hawks batted away at the puck. Tirone attempted to crawl back towards the loose puck, but was unable to reach it due to the multitude of bodies, mostly UNH defenders, diving to keep the puck out. It finally crossed the goal line off the stick of sophomore Ryan Collins. Tirone could only watch as the puck trickled across the goal line. The goal gave UMass Lowell a 1-0 lead with only 2:44 left in regulation.

UNH Head Coach Dick Umile summed the game up in the post game press conference by saying, “It was a tough one to take because I thought the guys played hard and it was an unfortunate loss”.

Umile was also happy with the team's defensive effort: “It was as good of a defensive game as we’ve played,” he said.

The 1-0 loss to Lowell is only the second time this season the Wildcats have been shutout. The first time came back on November 6th against Michigan State.

Here are the video highlights of the UMass Lowell game courtesy of UNH Athletics:

UNH fell to 8-8-4 overall and 2-2-4 in Hockey East. UMass Lowell improved to 12-4-4 overall and now holds a 7-2-3 record in conference play. They are in 1st place in Hockey East with 17 points. UNH returns to action next weekend with a home-and-home series against Northeastern University.

Box Score

Thursday, January 07, 2016

UNH Recruits Update: Jan-8-2016

Justin Fregona
Gold at WJAC
Liam Blackburn
12 Special Team Goals
Jason O'Neill

Player Spotlight - Justin Fregona

Just prior to the Christmas Holiday, 2016 UNH Commit Justin Fregona and Team Canada West won the gold medal at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge. Canada West won all 4 games including the 2-1 victory over Russia in the gold medal game. In an exhibition game just prior to the tournament, Canada West downed Russia 6-1 and Justin Fregona scored a goal and an assist. In the opening round, Fregona scored a goal in a 7-3 win over the Czech Republic. Here's a video clip of his goal:

Since the World Junior A Challenge was first played in 2006, 9 players, who would later play for UNH, have participated (see table below). Current UNH players Marcus Vela and Shane Eiserman played in the 2014 and 2013 tournaments respectively. The leading scorer among UNH players who have played in the World Junior A Challenge was Blake Kessel who scored 2 goals and 5 assists in the 2007 Tournament.

UNH Player Year Team Medal GP Goals Asst Pts
Justin Fregona 2015 Canada West Gold 4 1 0 1
Marcus Vela 2014 Canada West - 4 0 2 2
Shane Eiserman 2013 USA Gold 4 2 0 2
Grayson Downing 2010 Canada West - 5 2 2 4
2009 Canada West Silver 5 0 0 0
Casey DeSmith 2010 USA Gold 2/3 1W 0L -
Nick Sorkin 2009 USA Gold 5 0 1 1
Greg Burke 2008 USA Gold 5 1 1 2
Blake Kessel 2007 USA Bronze 4 2 5 7
Damon Kipp 2007 Canada West Gold 5 0 2 2
2006 Canada West Gold 4 - - -

Justin Fregona returned to action with the Langley Rivermen on December 30th. Since his return, Fregona has scored 2 goals and 2 assists in 3 games. He currently has 21 goals on the season and is tied for 8th in BCHL goal scoring.

Player Spotlight - Liam Blackburn

2016 UNH Commit Liam Blackburn has continued to pot goals for the West Kelowna Warriors. He has scored 4 goals in the last 4 games and 10 goals in the last 12 contests. Last Saturday, Blackburn scored perhaps the most exciting goal in his distinguished three-year career with the Warriors. In the second overtime period against the Merritt Centennials, Blackburn was on a partial breakaway and drew a hooking call. On the ensuing penalty shot, he deked the goalie and buried the puck between his legs for the game-winning goal:

In 39 games this season, Liam Blackburn has scored 21 goals and added 29 assists. Interestingly, after 39 games last season, he had 14 goals and 38 assists - the most assists in the BCHL. At this time, Blackburn is tied for 8th in BCHL goal-scoring and scoring. He has scored 9 power play goals and 3 short-handed goals which is the most, combined special team goals in the league.

Player Spotlight - Jason O'Neill

2017 or '18 UNH Commit Jason O'Neill is in his first season in the BCHL. Over his last 5 games, O'Neill has scored 3 goals and an assist for the Langley Rivermen. On Sunday, he scored this game-winning goal in a 7-1 win over the Prince George Kings:

The statistics for the recruits, presented in the following table, are categorized by the projected year they will enroll in UNH. For example, the "2016 Recruits" are projected to begin playing for UNH in the Fall of 2016. I have based these projections on a number of factors including:
~ If a National Letter of Intent has been signed.
~ The year the recruit and UNH coaches originally targeted for enrollment in UNH.
~ How old the recruit would be upon admission.
~ Number of years in junior hockey prior to admission.
~ The recruit's performance in recent seasons as well as injuries.
~ Anticipated date of high school graduation.
~ Number of UNH players leaving the team at the end of the previous season and the position they played.

Player Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
2016 Recruits
Liam Blackburn*  (F) West Kelowna Warriors BCHL 39 21 29 50 32
Justin Fregona*  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 32 21 16 37 31
Patrick Grasso*  (F) Des Moines Bucs USHL 29 10 11 21 6
Charlie Kelleher  (F) Junior Bruins USPHL 24 10 26 33 16
Nick Nonis  (D) Powell River Kings BCHL 36 1 4 5 38
Brendan van Riemsdyk*   (F) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 27 11 16 27 12
Mike Robinson*  (G) Junior Bruins USPHL 2 0W 2L 3.21 .906
2016 or '17 Recruits
Joe Cipollone  (F) Tri-City Storm USHL 22 4 1 5 8
Vernon Vipers BCHL 12 4 3 7 2
Liam Darcy  (D) Islanders Hockey Club USPHL 19 1 6 7 0
Aaron O'Neill  (F) Chilliwack Chiefs BCHL 7 3 0 3 2
Tri-City Storm USHL 8 0 1 1 2
2017 Recruits
Eric MacAdams  (F) Sioux Falls Stampede USHL 26 5 4 9 60
2017 or '18 Recruits
Eric Esposito  (F) Youngstown Phantoms USHL 28 0 4 4 24
Jason O'Neill  (F) Langley Rivermen BCHL 28 4 9 13 0
* = Signed National
Letter of Intent

News & Notes

British Columbia Hockey League:

~ 2016 or '17 UNH Commit Aaron O'Neill scored 2 goals for the Chilliwack Chiefs in a game last Saturday. Since his debut in the BCHL, O'Neill has scored 3 goals in 7 games.

United States Hockey League:

~ 2016 Commit Patrick Grasso has scored 2 goals and 6 assists in the Des Moines Buccaneers' last 5 games. Among all USHL players, Grasso is tied for 8th in goals and tied for 13th in scoring.

United States Premiere Hockey League:

~ Goalie Mike Robinson, who has signed a National Letter of Intent to enroll at UNH next fall, returned to action on Saturday. Robinson had wrist surgery last September and missed the first half of the Junior Bruins' schedule.

~ Charlie Kelleher has scored 3 goals in the last 4 Junior Bruins' games. Although he has played in 7 fewer games than the USPHL's leading scorer, Kelleher is still tied for 4th in assists and 6th in total points.

Monday, January 04, 2016

UNH Captain's Corner: Review of First Half of 2015-16 Season

UNH Captain Collin MacDonald

The UNH Wildcats finished off the Fall 2015 portion of the season with three non-conference games against Hockey East rivals Maine and Vermont. The games against Maine in Portland on December 29th and in Manchester on the 30th, both won by UNH, and against Vermont in Burlington on January 2nd, an overtime loss, do not count in the Hockey East standings. They have no impact on who plays who when the Hockey East playoffs begin in March.

The home-and-home series against Maine over the first weekend in December did count and UNH won that Hockey East series. The teams tied 3-3 in Orono and UNH downed Maine 5-2 in "White Out the Whitt" night. The Hockey East contests between UNH and Vermont will come on February 12th and 13th in Durham.

Last Tuesday night, UNH edged Maine 5-4 at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland. Senior Alternate Captain Dan Correale lead the team with 2 goals including the game-winner. Here are some video highlights courtesy of WMUR-TV:

On Wednesday night, UNH trounced Maine 7-0 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. The freshman forward line of Ara Nazarian at left wing, Chris Miller at center, and Marcus Vela at right wing generated 2 quick goals just two minutes into the game. Sophomore Michael McNicholas scored his first NCAA goal midway through the second period to up the lead to 5-0. Sophomore goalie Danny Tirone earned his first shutout of the season and third of his NCAA career. Here are video highlights courtesy of UNH Athletics:

Two nights ago at the Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, UVM got a fortunate pop fly on the first goal of the game. Tirone made a save but the puck flew up toward the rafters and all the players stood around wondering where it had gone. A moment later, the puck landed behind Tirone and bounced into the net. The Catamounts scored their second goal on a deflection late in the first period and shut UNH down with suffocating defense until midway through the third period.

The "First-in-the-Nation" line of sophomore center Andrew Poturalski, junior right winger Tyler Kelleher and senior left winger Dan Correale lead the UNH comeback. With 11 minutes left in regulation, Poturalski lead the line on 3-on-2 rush into the UVM zone, fired a shot on goal, and drew a roughing penalty. On the ensuing power play, Poturalski passed to defenseman Matias Cleland at the top of the faceoff circle. Cleland flipped a pass/shot toward the net as Correale was parked at the side of the goal and Kelleher was streaking toward the crease, and the puck got behind the UVM goalie.

With less than 4 minutes on the clock, Kelleher fed Poturalski just before he rushed across the blueline. Poturalski accelerated past both UVM defensemen, around the back of the net, and stuffed a wrap-around shot into the goal. On the first shift of the overtime period, UNH failed to clear the puck along the boards and Vermont scored on a nice passing play. Here are the game highlights courtesy of UVM Athletics:

Over the first half of the 2015-16 season, UNH has played 7 Hockey East games and 12 non-conference games. The Wildcats' overall record stands at 8-7-4 with a Hockey East record of 2-1-4. UNH has played the second fewest Hockey East games in the conference and their 8 points puts them in a tie for 6th place. First-place UMass Lowell has played 11 Hockey East games and has earned 15 points. UNH faces UMass Lowell on Friday night at the Whittemore Center.

The Poturalski-Kelleher-Correale line has scored the most goals (37) and points (88) in all of NCAA Division I hockey. Andrew Poturalski is the leading goal scorer (18) and scorer (36 points) in the nation. Tyler Kelleher has the most assists (28) of any Division I player and is the second leading scorer with 34 points. Dan Correale has the most power play goals (8) in the country and is tied for 4th in goal scoring with 13 goals.

I had an opportunity to review the first-half of the season with UNH Captain Collin MacDonald. Here is our interview:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): With 15 regular season games remaining, all against Hockey East opponents, I'd like to ask you to reflect on the first part of the 2015-16 season. What are the top three strengths of the team?

Collin MacDonald: Offense is definitely one of our strengths, especially as of late. We have the number one scoring line in the country so that doesn’t hurt. But we’ve started to get scoring throughout the lineup recently and it’s nice to see. Our power play is another strength for sure. I’d say our leadership is second to none. I don’t mean just guys with letters on their chests when I say this. We have a lot of on-ice and off-ice leadership on this team; guys like Kyle Smith and Matias Cleland definitely contribute.

Mike Lowry: UNH has the 4th most productive power play in NCAA Division I hockey with a scoring percentage of 27.5%. What has Coach Souza, who guides the power play, been emphasizing with the power play units?

Collin MacDonald: Coach Souza has done a great job with our power play this year. He preaches that being on the power play is a privilege that must be earned. Quick puck movement and not passing up shots are things that he emphasizes. Hopefully we can keep up our success with it during the back half of the season.

Lowry: What areas does the team need to improve upon in order to mount a successful run into and through the playoffs?

MacDonald: We know that the rest of our games are conference games and each one is extremely important. We need to commit to our defensive zone play. We’re too far into the season now to keep saying it and just have to make the commitment. It’s going to be the difference between being at the top of standings and being an average team in our league.

Lowry: Andrew Poturalski is currently the leading goal scorer (18) and scorer (36 points) in Division I hockey. As this video clip shows, Poturalski has been on the receiving end of two roughing penalties in the last two games - against Maine and Vermont. Do you think this is a coincidence or are there other factors at play?

MacDonald: Pots is no secret to any team we play against. With the amount of scoring him and his line mates have done this year, it’s clear that other teams have a plan to try to shut them down. You can see frustration amongst opponents when they fail to shut Pots down. That being said, it’s no coincidence that some cheap shots will be taken at him. We’re aware of this, and so is Pots. He’s not going to back down because of it; he plays hard and it contributes to his offensive success.

Lowry: Here's a video clip of you getting injured in a game at Maine a month ago. How is your recovery/rehabilitation coming along?

MacDonald: Without getting into too much detail about my shoulder injury, I will say that unfortunately it is a rare one. It’s tough being a senior and being out with this type of injury. But the last thing I’ll do is feel bad for myself, there’s no time for that. I’m still waiting out the healing process, and doing exercises I’m allowed to do, which isn’t much. When I get the news that it’s healed I’ll waste no time getting it strong again and getting back out there with the guys.

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