Thursday, September 29, 2016

Why Your Team Sucks: UNH

This is Part 3 of an 11 part series on the bad teams in Hockey East (Part 1, Part 2)

Your team: UNH Wildcats
Your 2015-2016 Record: 11-20-6(4-12-6)
Your outlook: Not any better than last year. The Wildcats, who finished 10th last year, were picked to finish 10th in the conference again this year. If not for Maine and UMass just being garbage programs, they could easily have finished even worse. UNH was 6th in the conference in scoring offense before losing 3 out of their 5 20+ point scorers including leading scorer Andrew Poturalski. The problem with losing that much offense and not having the incoming class to replace it is that the defensive corps ranked 10th in the league and aren't gaining any playmakers. The best incoming freshman for UNH are forwards Liam Blackburn and another Van Riemsdyk who I just assume will be good since his two older brothers were. The defense will continue to struggle leaving junior goalies Adam Clark and Danny Tirone out to dry.

UNH had the best powerplay in the conference last year mostly due to Andrew Poturalski and Tyler Kelleher being very tough to stop. With Poturalski gone, I would expect the unit to take a step back which doesn't bode well for UNH. Unless they can either cut down on their penalties or be better than a 78% penalty kill, I don't see how they improve as a team this year. Besides that though, things are looking up in Durham.

Your coach: Dick Umile(571-333-103)- Umile had his worst winning percentage of his coaching career last year at .378 and it is tough to see how he will turn the program around in his two remaining years as coach but  aslong as they stay ahead of Maine I guess UNH fans can be happy enough. Maybe I will be wrong(for the first time ever) and he will turn it around this year and set up a defensive system that actually works but if not it could be another long year in Durham.

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