by Tim Rosenthal/Staff Writer
Head Coach: Don Cahoon
2006-07 record: 21-13-5 (15-9-3 Hockey East) Key Returnees: P.J. Fenton F SR., Mike Kotska D SR., David Leaderer D SR., Cory Quirk F JR., Alex Berry F JR., Chris Davis F JR., John Wessbecker D JR., Will Ortiz F SO., Justin Braun D SO., Martin Nolet D SO.
Key Losses: Jon Quick (underclassman), Matt Anderson, Mark Matheson, Chris Capraro, Kevin Jarman
"It was a change in the program's history," said head coach Don Cahoon about the historic season in 2006-07. "There were good positives, including Quick's impact and the efforts from the senior class."
The season would not have gone anywhere had Quinnipiac won the ECAC tournament — the Minutemen would have been the last team out of the NCAAs. However, thanks to Clarkson's come-from-behind win in the ECACs, the Minutemen made their first NCAA appearance, where they ironically defeated Clarkson 1-0 in overtime.
"It was a goal since the season began," said Cahoon. "Our goal is to sustain now and in the future."
Now that last season is under the belt, UMass will look ahead to 2007-08. They will begin the season with an open spot in net, as Jon Quick decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility and sign with the Los Angeles Kings.
About the competition in net, Cahoon seemed very pleased with his goaltenders.
"They all have athleticism. Danny Meyers played a little bit last year but and gained some experience, but he still has a lot to learn," Cahoon said. "He right now has the bigger slice of the pie."
Also in competition are freshmen Paul Dainton and Matt Gerkin. Dainton lost the opener last weekend, but Meyers came back and won Saturday against St. Lawrence.
Gerkin and Dainton are two of 11 players in this year's recruiting class.
"I am really pleased," said Cahoon about the class of 2011. "We have skilled players, however a lot remains to be seen. There will be more this year waiting to make an impact."
This year the Minutemen will be captained by senior defensemen Mike Kostka, who Cahoon said "is a good all-around performer."
Seniors P.J. Fenton, David Leaderer and junior Cory Quirk will be the three assistants next season.
"Our goal is to continue to improve," Cahoon said. "The league is improving as well. As proved last year, it was a season full of competitive games. BC, BU, Maine and UNH are still the teams to beat. Our goal is to sustain the success from 2006-07."
With Quick, BC's Cory Schneider and BU's John Curry all gone, the league is wide open this year. A lot of teams had other significant losses, including Vermont with Torrey Mitchell, Trevor Smith of UNH, and Teddy Purcell from Maine.