Mack’s Mailbag – 1/7/13

To participate in the mailbag, please email your questions to mmcmahon@collegehockeynews.com, or send Mike a question on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

Who do you see as a breakout performer in the second half? Any player that you really see turning it on that might be unexpected, or at least not someone like Collins who everyone would say?

Rhett Bly isn’t asked to fill a large offensive role, but he’s always around the net and he’s a tremendous worker. They had him at the net front on the power play, and I like the potential there. He’s not big like Kyle Bigos, where he’ll provide a big screen, but he’ll battle for those second chances in front. Also, some of the freshmen who have had half a season to get used to the speed of the game up front — Chris LeBlanc and Hampus Gustafsson — those are two guys who I think could have a big second half, especially playing with Brian Christie in the middle.

Fenway was a cool experience once, but I’m not sure I’d like to do it again. It was really cold and I couldn’t see. Great for the college, but isn’t it enough with all of these outdoor games?

I’ll probably have a column on CHN soon on this very topic. So stay tuned!

Is Ras the goalie from now on? He definitely has earned it!

The upcoming schedule is still conducive to both guys getting some time. They have four non-conference games coming up here before getting back into league play, and I honestly would not be surprised to see both goaltenders split the next two weekends. At the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tirronen start all four games. He’s definitely the hot hand right now, and riding that hot hand is important, at least at that position. It’s the same thing they did with Marotta last season.

I really like the new jerseys the team debuted during Frozen Fenway. Are those going to be the official jerseys going forward or was that a one-time thing?

I believe the idea is to make them part of the rotation, but I’m not sure. I also really liked them. In fact, I prefer them over the current gold home jerseys. Not that I dislike the latter, but I thought the new jerseys debuted at Fenway were really sharp. I liked the gold – it seemed to be a darker shade – with the MC logo on the shoulder. The striping was great and the added touch of the flag representing the player’s home country above the nameplate was the best.

Who has been the biggest surprise for you in HEA this year?

Northeastern. I thought they would be better than most were giving them credit for, but no one outside of their locker room probably expected the start they’ve had. No one.

Do you think Milano or Hanafin ever touch the ice at BC? Seems like many consider them to be gone, either via NHL or CHL.

Good chance they will, but CHL certainly still in play here.

Do you think former Merrimack star and Pinkerton Academy coach Casey Kesselring can turn New Hampton into a prep power?

Absolutely. Look at what he did with Pinkerton: Was a doormat when he got there, and turned it into a state power pretty quickly.

What is the time period for recruits for 2014-15 to sign their NLI? Or would most have already signed?

Early period was Nov.13 through Nov. 20. After that, signing opens again on April 16, 2014.

Give me your pick to win the Super 8?

I like Austin Prep’s team. Carpenter’s a good player and Harris, though smaller, is the real deal between the pipes.

Did that Nazarian kid from Malden Catholic commit anywhere for college yet?

UNH

Best college hockey player of all time?

Hard to compare eras, but probably Paul Kariya.

What’s the penalty if a NCAA player fails a steroid test?

They lose one full year of eligibility and have to sit out an entire season.

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