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VIP Flashback (4 Yrs. Ago): Hockey East Confirms 12-Team Playoff

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Exclusively for our VIP supporters, The Mack Report will bring you bi-weekly Flashback posts, where we take a trip in Doc Brown’s time machine and see what we were covering here at TMR four and eight years ago.

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Mack’s Mailbag – 5/1/14

To send a question to the mailbag, use the contact link at the top of this page to send Mike an email. Or, you can ask him a question on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

And, as you will be able to tell with some of these, I will answer them all.

Question: Are you as surprised as I am to see two prominent juniors not coming back for their senior years? Does this signal a program in disarray? (Jarrett)

McMahon: No. I don’t think it’s uncommon, coming of a season like Merrimack just had, to see some changeover in the roster that isn’t just due to graduation. In Myers’ case, he is graduating. He has the chance to get his degree a year early – I’m guessing he was taking classes while playing junior hockey and they transferred in – so I’m not sure he counts as  “not coming back,” as you’ve said.

Toomey was in and out of the lineup as a junior. He played in 24 games total, but had trouble sticking. Perhaps he just wants a better opportunity to play? I don’t want to speculate, because I don’t think that’s fair, and I’m not aware of any details other than that he is likely to transfer.

Q: Why wouldn’t Toomey transfer to another D-I program? (Jarrett)

M: I’m guessing it has to do with the year in residency. If he transfer to a Division III program, he doesn’t have to sit out a season. If he transferred to another D-I team, he would have to sit out a season in residency and would essentially be a senior two years in a row. I’m sure he wants to get his degree and graduate, and then move on to the next chapter in his life, so transferring to a D-III program actually makes perfect sense for him. He’s also likely going to be a big part of whichever program he chooses.

Q: Do you have a pick for the NHL second round? (Tony)

M: Bruins in 5. Rangers in 7.

Q: Is Brett Seney coming in next season? On the OJHL website, it lists him as a 2013 or a 2014. We could use him! (Bob in Andover)

M: It’s possible. I’m not positive a decision has been made, but I believe he could if he wanted to (meaning academically, he’s completed his senior year of high school).

Q: Do you think Hockey East will ever take Quinnipiac? I bet that they would be a much better fit for the league than UConn, who is going to struggle for a long time. (Matthew in Connecticut)

M: Hockey East won’t even consider Quinnipiac, at this point, unless another program leaves. I don’t see HE going about 12 schools, at least not in the near future. And to be honest, I think UConn makes much more sense than Quinnipiac. Sure, the Bobcats are the better program on the ice, but HE acquired a brand name in UConn.

Q: Have you been to UConn’s rink? It’s a joke. (Matthew)

M: Yes, and it’s not that bad, actually. It’s not a good Hockey East rink, but the facilities aren’t terrible (locker rooms, among other things). Besides, UConn will play all of its home Hockey East games at the XL Center in Hartford.

Q: Did you ask Wade Murphy why he de-committed from Merrimack when you were at the Frozen Four? (???)

M: Um, no. Also, he didn’t play.

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Sources: Hockey East Finalizes 12-Team Playoff Format

According to three sources, Hockey East has finalized details for its 12-team playoff format, which will begin this upcoming season.

The league’s 12 athletic directors vote on the format, which will be similar to last season with some exceptions:

– Each of the league’s 12 teams will earn a berth in the Hockey East playoffs

– The top-4 teams will receive first-round byes, with the remaining seeds playing as follows, with the higher seed hosting: 5 vs 12; 6 vs 11; 7 vs. 10; 8 vs 9.

– The first round will be a best-of-3 series (it was a single-elimination game this past season).

. The quarterfinal round will be a best-of-3 series.

– The semifinal and final will both be single elimination, and will continue to take place at TD Garden in Boston.

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Kramer, Drevitch Go in USHL Draft

Merrimack College recruits Patrick Kramer and Tyler Drevitch were selected on Tuesday in Phase II of the United States Hockey League’s draft. Kramer was selected by the Youngstown Phantoms while Drevitch was picked by the Des Moines Buccaneers.

Kramer, a ’97-born forward who is scheduled to arrive at Merrimack in 2016, just completed his junior season at BC High, where he led the Eagles in scoring with 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) in 19 games. The Phantoms also selected his teammate, uncommitted defenseman Ryan Shea, who is reportedly being recruited by Merrimack and Boston College, among others.

Youngstown also owns the rights to defenseman Alex Carle, a Merrimack commit who was originally scheduled to arrive in 2014, but after an injured-plagued 2013-14 season, will spend one more year in with the junior club. Alfred Larsson, a recruit arriving at Merrimack this fall, played for the Phantoms this past season as well.

Merrimack assistant coach Curtis Carr is the former head coach of the Phantoms.

Drevitch, also scheduled for a 2016 arrival, was one of the leading scorers for the Boston Bandits of the Eastern Hockey League this past season. In 51 total games, including playoffs, Drevitch totaled 14 goals and 31 assists for 45 points.

Another notable draftee related to the Warriors is Logan Drevitch, who was taken in Monday’s Phase I Draft. Drevitch, the younger brother of Tyler Drevitch, was taken 83rd overall by the Des Moines Buccaneers. The ’98-born forward is uncommitted, and has reportedly visited both Merrimack and Quinnipiac.

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Colin Delia Wins NAHL Community Service Award

Incoming Merrimack College goaltender Colin Delia was awarded the 2013-14 NAHL’s Community Service Award for his work in the Amarillo, Texas community, where Delia was tending goal for the Amarillo Bulls of the North American Hockey League this past season.

From the NAHL:

During this past season, Amarillo Bulls goalie Collin Delia has been working closely with Habitat For Humanity and continuing the Bulls For Habitat tradition. Throughout the year, he has personally organized different events and auctions to help raise money to build a home for those in need within the Amarillo community.

He took the lead in organizing with “Just Between Friends”, a group dedicated to helping underprivileged families afford the items they need for their kids and families. Delia currently has an event with Bahama Bucks set up, where a portion of their sales will be donated to Bulls For Habitat.

On top of that, he has also set up an event where the players will be the waiters and a portion of the sales will be donated to Bulls For Habitat. Delia has currently raised $2,400 for Bulls For Habitat and does not plan on stopping there.

Aside from raising money for Bulls For Habitat, Delia has also volunteered countless hours to the community. He has been a part of the Bulls vs. Bullying program, a program where players go into schools and talk about the harm that bullying can bring and ways to avoid it. He has also spent time helping at the Make A Wish Car Show, doing appearances at the local Discovery Center, El Alamo Park, Wonderland Park. He also spent a considerable amount of time on the ice with the Amarillo Youth Hockey Program, helping to improve the quality and awareness of hockey in Amarillo.

 

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Da Costa Scores Twice, France Beats Canada

Stephane Da Costa scored twice as France upset Canada at the IIHF World Hockey Championships on Friday.

Former Merrimack College forward Stephane Da Costa scored both of France’s regulation goals in Friday’s stunning 3-2 shootout victory over Canada at the IIHF World Hockey Championships on Friday.

It’s just the second time Canada has lost to France in international play, the last coming in 1995.

Da Costa broke through near the end of the period with Canada’s Alex Burrows in the penalty box for tripping. After defenceman Yohann Auvitu’s point shot hit Canada goalie James Reimer in the pads, the puck bounced out to Da Costa, who snapped it in at the 17:03 mark to give France a 1-0 lead.

Canada would score twice to take a 2-1 lead in the third period before Da Costa tied the score at the 13:35 mark, lifting a backhander past a sprawled Reimer.

Da Costa will be a restricted free agent in the National Hockey League this summer, with the Ottawa Senators retaining his rights as long as they extend a qualifying offer. If the Senators do not qualify Da Costa, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

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Tyler Drevitch Talks His Commitment to Merrimack, Getting Drafted by Des Moines

This past November, ’95 forward Tyler Drevitch verbally committed to Merrimack College for 2016. This past season with the Boston Bandits of the Eastern Hockey League, Drevitch totaled 45 points (14 goals, 31 assists) in 51 total games, including playoffs, and was named First Team All Star by the league.

Last week, Drevitch was selected by the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL Phase II Entry Draft.

Drevitch recently sat down with The Mack Report to talk about his commitment and his hockey future.

Mike McMahon: First question is one we ask all of the recruits … why Merrimack? What made Merrimack stand out from the other schools you were looking at?

Tyler Drevitch: “I had numerous reasons for Merrimack. From the moment I stepped foot on the campus I was in amazed. I really liked the smaller campus size, everything was within walking distance. Obviously having the Warriors in Hockey East was a huge plus, as a kid I had always dreamed of playing division 1 hockey in the Hockey East. Also, after meeting the coaching staff and getting a feel of what they run at Merrimack, it was definitely a place I could see myself fitting right into. After taking several visits I knew Merrimack was my top choice.”

MM: How was the process for you? Was it at all overwhelming, especially while you’re in school and trying to focus on your game as you make college visits?

TD: “At times it could be a little stressful, but that’s for any high school kid looking to choose a place to live for next four years. Playing hockey and just taking one day at a time was really helpful. I learned quickly there are some things you can control and some things that you cannot. I knew playing my game and keeping my grades up was my main focus. I’d say I balanced it all pretty well.”

MM: Congratulations on getting picked in the USHL Draft (last) Tuesday by Des Moines. I know it’s early, but do you have any idea what the future holds before you get to Merrimack?

TD: “Well its an honor to be drafted by such an established program in the USHL. As for the future, I have two years before Merrimack so I plan on playing in the USHL. Obviously I need to make Des Moines and being drafted doesn’t guarantee a spot, so giving it my all day in day out will be my main focus and if all goes to plan I’ll play there for two years.”

MM: I know you’re brother, Logan, also looks like he’ll be a college hockey player. He was also picked by Des Moines. Have you guys played together before? I know he’s younger, but is there a part of you that hopes he follows your footsteps to Merrimack?

TD: “I think its a great opportunity for Logan and I to be part of the same organization (in Des Moines). I have never played with him on a legit team, however pick up hockey here and there we get to play together. I would love if he follows my footsteps and joins me at Merrimack, but that’s up to him and when the time is right he will know, just like i did, where he wants to play his college hockey.”

MM: Your dad, Scott, played at Lowell. It seems like, in some of the stories I read, hockey runs in your blood with you, your dad, your brother. How much of a role has it played for you?

TD: “I mean, growing up around the rinks was a great experience and I am fortunate to have them growing up. As a kid, I always dreamed of following my father’s footsteps and playing college hockey; Logan I feel is the same way too. Having my dad around all the time and knowing he played his four years of college hockey and his 19 years professional is a real motivation to me and I defiantly look up to him. One day I hope to play professional hockey just like him.”

MM: You really broke out this year for the Boston Bandits. Just talk a little about this season and the jump you made.

TD: “They say hard work pays off, and well I can definitely support that. After working out in the summer and preparing myself for the season ahead, it really paid off. Guys really looked up to me in the locker room and I used it as motivation. Obviously winning the championship would have made this season nearly perfect, but making that jump from the year before to this year was a huge boost in my game.”

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Hockey East Confirms 12-Team Playoff Format

Hockey East issued a press release on Monday, confirming details of the 12-team playoff format The Mack Report and College Hockey News reported last week.

Under the new format, all 12 teams will qualify for the postseason. Teams seeded 1-4 at the conclusion of the regular season will receive first-round byes. Teams seeded 5-8 will host teams seeded 9-12 in a best-of-three opening-round series.

The biggest change from the 2013-14 season is the first round, which will move to a best-of-three format after it was played as a single-elimination round this past season.

About Mike McMahon

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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