Tag: Don Cahoon

UMass’ Micheletto Is Impressed With Men’s Hockey Speed And Work Ethic

UMass head coach John Micheletto was named the program’s 13th head coach on July 16, 2012! (Photo Credit: CollegeHockeyNews.com)

By Matt Noonan 

The UMass Minutemen concluded their season last March with two back-to-back losses to Boston College in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs.

After the Eagles dislodged the Minutemen, former head coach Don “Toot” Cahoon resigned a few months later, which paved the way for the former University of Vermont associate head coach John Micheletto to be named the program’s 13th head coach.

Once officially introduced on July 16, 2012, Micheletto began crafting his goals and objectives for the upcoming season, which he highlighted below in an interview that was conducted last Tuesday at the Hockey East Media Day.

Here is the transcript from his conversation with reporters:

On prior knowledge of the team: “The three games we played them [when I was an assistant coach at University of Vermont] – well, I know they beat us at Fenway [Park]. Like I say, I think the biggest thing that I was all impressed with is their speed and their work ethic and those are things that we’re going to try and capitalize even further this year. Again, in the early going just being on the ice a couple of times with the guys – their commitment level and willingness to try things and their ability to pick up information and assimilate it pretty quickly has been pretty impressive.”

On the team’s goaltending: “Well, I think the good thing from my perspective is that yet three guys prior to coming to UMass were all starting goaltenders and were all highly regarded, so it’s going to create a pretty impressive competition between the three of them. Kevin [Boyle] maybe saw a bit more of the work later in the season last year, but as with all of our guys I have encouraged the goaltenders that this is a clean slate for everybody and we’re making decisions moving forward. It’s not just I know about the guys from the past, [but] it’s about what you do from day one until we get on the ice against UConn on [Oct. 6] that will determine who will get in the lineup.”

On the team’s commitment this offseason: “I don’t know that I could say there was a change not really having a personal knowledge of the inner-workings, [but] I will say that I was impressed with their commitment level through the transition, what good of shape they came in [to camp], so that really indicated to me the dedication to the offseason program. I think where a lot of guys could have gotten a jaded view or lost their motivation or maybe not have committed as well [it’s] quite the opposite [because it] seemed to kind of bond the guys together and even more, and so it became even easier then once I took over because that base was already there.”

On the team’s veteran presence: “I think going being from what’s considered a young team being considered a veteran team or a more veteran team, you’re certainly hopeful that guys take that step forward in terms of their mental approach, in terms of their consistency, so like I say, 17 or 18 juniors and seniors is certainly a better equation for a coach than to have 17 or 18 freshmen and sophomores.”

On the team’s defensive unit: “I’ve been really impressed with our [defense] because they’ve got the ability to play at both ends of the ice. You’ve got Joel Hanley, you’ve got Conor Allen, you’ve got Adam Phillips, you’ve got Colin Shea, Oleg Yevenko, Darren Rowe, you’ve got freshmen added to the mix, [so] those are all guys that can get around the sheet pretty well, they can defend pretty well, we’re certainly going to ask them turn more pucks over for us this year, but they’ve also proven especially two years ago to be able to contribute offensively quite a bit. So from the style of play that we want to have an attacking style of play you need to activate your defensemen and have them be able to – don’t need them to lug the puck like Bobby Orr used to do, [but] you need them to be involved and I think all those guys regardless of how “offensive defensemen” they are they all have the capability of doing that and contributing a little bit.”

On the team’s offensive unit: “We’ve got the great majority of our top five scorers back from last year just losing T.J. Syner from last year to graduation, so the guys who were up near the top last year – the Conor Sheary’s, the Mike Pereira’s, the Steve Guzzo’s, the Troy Power’s – I would imagine those guys are going to be near the top again, but having said that we need to get more productivity out of maybe that middle tier to close the gap and get more 20 point scorers, more guys that are in that range because our depth is certainly going to be a strength of ours up front

Cahoon Resigns From UMass Men’s Ice Hockey

Don “Toot” Cahoon officially resigned on Tuesday as the head coach of the UMass men’s ice hockey team. (Photo Credit: Daily Collegian)

By NoontimeSports.com 

As noted in Wednesday’s Boston Herald, UMass men’s ice hockey head coach Don “Toot” Cahoon resigned from his post with the Minutemen.

Cahoon, who walks away after 12 years with the program, guided UMass to a 13-18-5 overall record last season, along with an eighth place finish, which earned the Minutemen a spot in the Hockey East tournament.

“It’s been an honor to coach and work with so many fine student-athletes over the last 12 years here at UMass,” Cahoon said in the college’s press release on Tuesday. “Their efforts and the efforts of the faculty, staff and community members will be fond memories of my time here at Massachusetts. I look forward to the continued growth and development of this program so that it will sustain itself at the most elite level within Hockey East. The privilege has been all mine.”

The Herald confirmed that Cahoon’s decision came about during a meeting with UMass athletic director John McCutcheon last week.

“Actually, the way it went was that Toot and I sat down last week and had some heartfelt discussions and he presented some concerns that he had and I presented some concerns that I had, and at the end of the discussion we felt it was the right time for us to part ways,” McCutcheon said. “We’ve made a lot of progress. We’ve gotten to a good point. There are some good young men in the program. But, unfortunately, our won-loss record wasn’t what we wanted over the last four or five years. We want to get to the next level.”

Cahoon leaves UMass with a record of 166-225-42. His 166 wins are the most in program history.

He’s also compiled a record of 330-380-73, which spans over 25 years of coaching at Lehigh, Norwich and Princeton. He was also the Hockey East Coach of the Year in 2003.

Cahoon began his hockey career as a player with Marblehead High School’s boy’s varsity squad before spending four seasons with Boston University; he helped the Terriers earn back-to-back national titles in 1971-72.

Frozen Fenway: Cahoon On Winning At Fenway Park


By NoontimeSports.com 

BOSTON, MA — UMass (Amherst) men’s ice hockey head coach Don “Toot” Cahoon has many fond memories of Fenway Park, but coaching his team to victory on Saturday afternoon against the University of Vermont Catamounts was certainly something special in his eyes.

Cahoon talked after the game concluded about his favorite memories of Fenway Park, as well as being one of the four teams to take part in the Sun Life Financial Frozen Fenway event, too.

Frozen Fenway: UMass Skates Past Vermont in OT, 3-2

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, MA – For a moment, it appeared Massachusetts and Vermont were going to skate to a tie, and leave the crammed Fenway faithful eager for their series finale in Amherst.

Yet, this is Fenway Park, America’s Most Beloved Ballpark, which means Bostonians can’t go home without late inning drama, right?

So, with 22.3 seconds remaining in overtime, senior Michael Marcou crashed the net, and registered his biggest goal of his college career that helped the Minutemen defeat University of Vermont, 3-2.

“Every time you play a big game like this outdoors in front of a lot of people, you always envision yourself scoring the overtime winner, and [it’s] my first one, ever, so it’s a pretty good experience to have it here at Fenway,” said Macou.

The victory marks UMass’s seventh of the season, and third in the Hockey East conference, too.

“I think I can relate to Big Papi when he hits a walk-off home run in the 11th [inning because] that’s what it felt like,” said UMass head coach Don “Toot” Cahoon.

Despite winning the opening face-off, UMass spent a majority of the first period in the penalty box, which allowed Vermont’s freshman Kyle Reynolds the opportunity to net his seventh goal of the season, as well as his team’s first of the contest.

UMass responded literally 15 second later on the ensuing face-off, as sophomores Patrick Kiley and Colin Shay connected with sophomore third-line center Eric Filiou, who tied the game with his first goal of the season before senior Danny Hobbs (one goal, one assist) scored the team’s second goal to start of the second period.

However, UMass resorted to its careless first period play, and sent three different players to the penalty box, which once again allowed the Catamounts to score, as senior Drew MacKenzie registered the team’s second power play goal that tied the game.

The Minutemen continued their lackluster play during the final frame, and allowed the Catamounts the opportunity to play with a man advantage during the final two minutes of regulation due to sophomore Patrick Kiley’s hit from behind and game misconduct.

Vermont’s freshman Michael Paliotta was also whistled for the same action in overtime, which allowed Massachusetts to score their only power play goal of the game when Hobbs and sophomore Connor Sheary set up Marcou for the game winner.

“I didn’t see [Paliotta’s game misconduct]. I saw him standing over a body, [and] that’s never usually a good sign,” said Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon. “Marcou did a nice job of just finding a little space there and getting it through.”

UMass will return to the ice next Friday, Jan. 13 when they host Boston College, while Vermont will host UMass-Lowell.

“Just being in the environment, [and knowing that] the guys obviously on both teams wanted to make a credible showing [by] making sure they left it all on the ice,” said Cahoon. “It was a playoff type of environment, and so that brings out a lot of good in teams, and will help us hopefully down the stretch, so it was a great event from my perspective.”

BU Rallies to Knock Off UMass In OT, 5-4

By Josh Kummins 

BOSTON, MA – It was a back-and-forth affair between Boston University and UMass Amherst at Agganis Arena on Saturday night, as both teams forced their second overtime appearance this season, which resulted in a 5-4 Terries victory.

“The game was similar to last night’s [2-2 game in Amherst], but not to the same effect,” said Terriers head coach Jack Parker. “We got a goal to make it 3-1 and that ignited us.”

“I’m incredibly disappointed with our inability to sustain the level of play that we worked so hard to create,” said UMass head coach Don “Toot” Cahoon. “BU is a fine team with a lot of really good players. We managed to beat ourselves along with them picking it up.”

Following Friday’s game, BU made some adjustments to the starting line-up, including the start of Grant Rollheiser between the pipes, while the head coach also scratched junior Alex Chiasson and placed rookie Evan Rodrigues on the top line – a move that seemed to pay off as the veteran bench boss said that he was “the guy that really jumped out at [him].”

The Minutemen had a strong start in the first period, as they beat Rollheiser for three tallies in his first start of the season. Redshirt freshman Steven Guzzo potted his first-collegiate goal at the 10:39 mark of the opening stanza, crashing the net to beat Rollheiser from the middle of the slot.

At 14:11, Troy Power was the beneficiary of a lucky bounce off the end boards, as he took a carom and beat Rollheiser, who was out of place on the play.

Conor Sheary made it a 3-0 game on a great individual effort along the boards, as he took the puck away from BU defenseman Charlie Coyle and deposited the puck top shelf on Rollheiser with just 30-seconds to play in the period.

“Everything that we did the first period that was so good and so effective…just went out the window,” Cahoon said. “Things that we work on in practice were not even considered, never mind executed.”

The Terriers offense came back to life – as it tends to do on many occasions – scoring two goals in the second period to cut their deficit to one goal.

At the 14:19 mark of the stanza, Garrett Noonan took a cross-zone pass from Corey Trivino and beat UMass’s Jeff Teglia with a pretty one-timer in the left circle for his fifth goal of the season. Then, less than one minute later, Sahir Gill pounced on a rebound to make it 3-2.

BU’s offense eventually tied the game and took the lead in the third period within two minute’s time. At the 9:51 mark, Charlie Coyle scored BU’s nation-best fourth shorthanded goal of the season, as he crashed the net on a 2-on-1 chance with Matt Nieto.

At 11:59, Chris Connolly fed a sliding Corey Trivino on the right side as he beat Teglia for his ninth goal of the season to cap off a lengthy offensive zone sequence.

The Minutemen quickly tied the game at the 14:55 mark of the final stanza as Michael Pereira beat Rollheiser in front of the goal from between the circles for his fourth tally of the season before BU picked up its first overtime victory thanks to Nieto’s shot through a screen to beat Teglia from the top of the right circle.

“He’s a real good player,” Cahoon said. “He took care of business when he had opportunities. Mistakes often lead to those opportunities and we made some crucial mistakes and he capitalized.”

“It was a good competitive night for us as far as coming back from being down 3-0,” Parker said. “But we’ve still got a long way to go to become a good, solid hockey team. I certainly liked what happened after scoring the first goal. I liked how hard we played and how smart we were.”

UMass counted on the play of Teglia at many points throughout the contest, as he totaled 34 saves, including 15 in the second period.

“He certainly was following the puck,” Cahoon added. “He was aggressive and he made some big saves. I can not speak to the last goal…but I thought, in general, he made some big saves and gave us credible goaltending.”

In his inaugural start of the season and first since Dec. 11, 2010, Rollheiser was also strong between the pipes for the Terriers as he stopped 29 shots.

“I really give him high marks for really hanging in there,” said Parker. “Especially when he gave up a goal late in a period like that…”

The Terriers return to action next Saturday night at UMass-Lowell before returning home to Agganis Arena on Nov. 11 against Merrimack.