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VIP Insider Post #104: The Future of Merrimack’s Goalies, BC Close to Hire, Lowell Keying on Goal

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Exclusively for our VIP supporters, TMR editor Mike McMahon brings you these “insider” posts, where he’ll discuss the news and give some insight and perspective on the stories we’re covering here at The Mack Report as well other insider info from stories around the country …

— Merrimack has made some steps to lock up their goaltending for the foreseeable future with Christian Stoever and Jere Huhtamaa both committing over the last week. I’m told that Stoever will arrive first, most likely in 2019 after Merrimack graduates both Drew Vogler and Craig Pantano. Huhtamaa will likely arrive in either 2020 or possibly even 2021, after Logan Halladay graduates. The Warriors are also bringing in James Corcoran, who was one of the best goalies in Massachusetts as a high school player two years ago and continued to play well at the prep level last season. Corcoran, who has had some family graduate from Merrimack, is headed to the NAHL next season and could push both Stoever and Huhtamaa. If nothing else, he’ll be arguably one of the best third goalies in all of college hockey, with the definite chance to see playing time.

— BC is getting close to hiring Brendan Buckley to replace Greg Brown as an assistant coach, according to sources. The search to replace Brown has been rather quick, but that’s because Jerry York has known for some time that Brown was likely to join Quinn’s staff and some of the groundwork on vetting candidates was already being taken care of. Buckley was up for the job along with a handful of other candidates, including former Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy. I’m not sure how serious a contender Dennehy was, where he only recently took a job with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization in the ECHL (Wheeling Nailers), but I do know that York has a tremendous amount of respect for Dennehy and wanted to consider him for the job. Whether or not it ever got serious? I’m not sure. But York was reaching out to former Merrimack players to gauge Dennehy as a coach, so he was at least vetting Dennehy as a potential for the job.

Buckley is a former BC defenseman who has been an assistant at UConn for the last three years. The carousel will continue, with Mike Cavanaugh now facing an opening on his staff.

— UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin is looking to add someone to the coaching staff with goaltending experience, according to sources. UML lost Cam Ellsworth last week to Norwich (D-III), where he accepted a job as the program’s head coach. Ellsworth was a goalie at Michigan Tech, and long with helping head up UML’s recruiting, was also known as a “goalie guru” of sorts. One candidate Bazin is keying on is Union associate head coach Jason Tapp, who is a former goalie at Boston University. Tapp had conversations with Merrimack about their opening in the spring and was also in the running to take a job on Albie O’Connell’s staff at BU — that ultimately went to Paul Pearl.

— It seems more and more likely that Jim Tortorella will be named an assistant coach at Harvard. Merrimack is already working towards finding a replacement for him in the operations/video role, and has some midwest candidates interested in the job. Harvard has been moving slowly with the hire because, I’m told by several candidates, HR is muddying the process.

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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