Sunday, April 23, 2006

2005-2006 Pinhead Nation All-Milk Carton Team

Alas, your superiors lament the end of another college hockey season. Though America's Team put more fear in the hearts of Wisconsin residents than the threat of "Mad Cow Disease", the young Eagles fell to the Badgers to complete another collar-up hockey season on Chestnut Hill. While America's Team loaned the Hockey East crown to the ugly end of Commonwealth Avenue for the summer, the sight of BC in the NCAA final was about as welcome on the BU campus as Jenny Craig.

With the season over, its time the people you wish you were gave out our prestigious hardware: The Pinhead Nation Milk Carton Awards. These awards recognize the pinnacle of athletic underachievement and those who succesfully turned chicken salad into chicken crap. Without further adieu, we present the 2005-2006 Pinhead Nation Milk Carton Award Winners in Hockey East.

Elias Godoy, F, UML

Elias Godoy, the senior forward for UMass-Lowell, reminds Pinhead Nation of the story from Billy Madison - "The Puppy Who Lost His Way". Only for Godoy, we'd rename it "The Mediocre Player Who Lost His Stud Linemate." Like Sonny without Cher, Siegfried without Roy, or Shawn Walsh without Beelzebub, Godoy's production sans Walter disappeared faster than a tray of brownies at the John Hancock Student Center.

Typically, you expect a player to get better as he gets older and more experienced. Unfortunately for Lowell, star forward Ben Walter signed a professional contract and gave up his senior season, Godoy saw his chance for success go right down the drain. Without Walter's coattails to ride, Godoy saw a once promising season get flushed right down the toilet like BU hockey in the NCAA tournament. After scoring 7 goals his first season, Godoy put up 18 as a sophomore, yet decreased his goal scoring to 12 goals as a junior, then 5 goals as a senior without Walter.

Similarly, his points dropped from his sophomore year to his senior year, posting 41, 39, and 27, respectively. Failing to meet expectations, Godoy constantly got frustrated and found himself, like most Lowell residents, "incarcerated" for a total of 78 minutes (3 misconducts and 2 major penalties). With Godoy failing to shoulder the load, UMass-Lowell finished in 7th place in a season where they were picked by the coaches to finish in 3rd place (tied with Maine).

Brian Swiniarski, F, NU

Hockey East fans seem to always forget about Northeastern. Unlike Merrimack, unforgettable because of the disgusting behavior of their hockey thugs, Northeastern typically manages to stay out of the path of criticism from Hockey East fans despite their similarly pathetic performance on the ice. But we couldn't lay off NU senior forward Brian Swiniarski. Despite never scoring 20 points in a season (which seems to be an almost impossible number to eclipse at Northeastern), Swiniarski showed some promise to all 14 NU hockey fans when he posted double digits in goals in his sophomore and junior seasons, netting 13 and 10 goals, respectively.

Sadly, his senior season proved to be as wretched as a Huntington Avenue homeless man, falling short of even matching his commiserable freshman totals of 5g, 3 assists for 8 pts. Like a NU student trying in vain to flip a car following a Patriots championship parade, Swiniarski simply couldn't get over the hump. In the end, Swiniarski showed as much life as former Husky Reggie Lewis, "Crosbying" the nets with 2 goals, 4 assists for 6 points and a team worst -15. The good news for NU fans is "Swinny" is finally graduating, the bad news is the offseason cannot last forever and another group of underachieving hockey players will be taking the ice at Matthews Arena next October.

Kevin Jarman, F, Massachusetts

Kevin Jarman, the second most physically repulsive hockey player after Wisconsin's Robbie Earl, continues to disappoint. The junior forward for the Minutemen, compared to Joe Thornton by many of the UMass faithful, was perhaps the biggest waste of a scholarship in Hockey East history outside of John Sabo. Though Jarman has yet to kick someone's face in outside of a bar like Sabo, he remains to show why he is deserving of a roster spot on a Division 1 team (assuming UMass would qualify as such).

After a decent start to his career by UMass standards, 10 points (4 goals) as a freshman and 21 points (7 goals) as a sophomore, Jarman's production dropped like a stock chart for Enron. His final totals for the season, 1 goal, 6 assists, 7 points and a -5. And just for good measure, he added in 40 minutes of penalty minutes (including two 10-minutes misconducts) to his final scoring line. The good news for UMass' fans is college hockey still requires full facemasks, protecting the Amherst faithful from Jarman's haglike appearance.

Cleve Kinley, D, UMass-Lowell

Kinley, thought by some to be better than America's team blueliner Peter Harrold, came into the year with very high expectations. Unfortunatley, the junior defensemen's season proved to be a bigger washout than the 2004 Christmas tsunami. After showing promise as a sophomore, posting 8 goals and 21 assists for 29 points and a +10, Lowell fans rained down high expectations on Kinley - a very rare occurence in Lowell. Despite the accolades, Kinley finished this season with 0 goals, 12 assists in 31 games and a -7.

Like a Lowell grad choosing between a Toyota Corolla or a Chevy Nova, Kinley needs to make a choice that will prove best for his 23 person "family". If he is striving to be a defensive defensemen in the mold of Rob Scuderi, most Lowell fans will call it "muy bien". If Kinley wants to be a defensive liability like former UNH waste Brian Yandle and focus on offense, that's fine. Unfortunately for Kinley, he's neither and his play is leaving Lowell students "muy triste".

Bryan Schmidt, D, Merrimack

Bryan Schmidt, an All-Rookie team selection in 02-03 and a 2005 Hockey East All-First team selection can add All-Milk Carton Team to his resume. The senior defenseman out of Minnesota (i.e. UMinn reject) may have been the biggest disappointment in the entire league this season. After a terrific junior season last year, where he posted 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points, he had the worst statistical year of his 4-year stay at Merrimack as a senior.

He finished off the season with 6 goals, 9 assists and 15 points while a -10 with 57 PIMs. Sadly, this was enough for him to finish 3rd on the team in points scored. We see no need to further kick a man when he's down, after all, in a few month's he'll have a Merrimack "degree" and his future in America's fast food industry will begin.

Peter Vetri, G, UMass-Lowell

Let's face it, most residents of New Orleans had a better year than Peter Vetri. This year 13-20-2, .892, 3.58, no shutouts. Last year - 13-7-2 , .912, 2.52. 2 shutouts. What's left to say about UMass-Lowell that already hasn't been said? Clearly, with 3 selections on the All-Milk Carton team, it is obvious that the Riverhawks had high expectations and clearly underachieved badly.

This was supposed to be Lowell's big year, even with the departure of stud forward Walter to the professional ranks. With Vetri posting 13 wins last year in 22 decisions, coach Blais McDonald looked like he had something that could be built on. But with the departure of all suitable goalies from the program, Vetri stood alone as the man who would backstop the Riverhawks to glory.

Normally a goaltender would relish in the fact that he was the go-to guy with no competition (despite the arrival of UML backup and "all-porno name team" member Vinny Monaco). With a strong 2004-05 season in the books, Vetri's save percentage in 2006 was less than the portly ballgirl's who patrols the third base foul line at Fenway Park. Thanks for Vetri, the postseason dreams of UML's once smarmy fans, amateur meteorologists, and soccer hooligans disappeared faster than the time it takes for a new car to vanish out of the campus parking lot.

Greg Cronin, Head Coach, Northeastern

Typically we would give a first-year coach like Greg Cronin a mulligan. But Cronin, with two seasons under his belt at the University of Maine, succeeded in doing two of the most unimaginable things this season. First, he made Bruce Crowder look like Scotty Bowman by dwarfing Crowder's terrible final season. Second, he hired former UMaine/BU scumbag Brendan Walsh to help bring his brand of hockey to the wretched confines of Matthews Arena.

Following a season in which Crowder posted a .461 winning percentage (including 15 wins), Cronin's inaugural campaign behind the NU bench managed to trump Crowder's failure by posting a .191 winning percentage with only 3 wins to his credit. We can't help but chortle at such a pathetic statistic when we consider that BC won as many games in the NCAA tournament as Cronin managed to win all season. Further scrutiny of the Huskies' record shows that NU did not win a single game outside of Matthews arena and they did not win a single game against Merrimack. With Cronin at the helm along with Walsh, NU fans can expect few wins, but lots of penalties and hangovers.

Rookie Milkman of the Year:Jason Lawrence, Forward, Boston University

Continuing BU's trend of US National Development busts in the mold of former Terriers' John Sabo, Bryan Miller, and Justin Maiser, we bring you Jason Lawrence. Though arriving with tremendous accolades, having tallied 51 points in 59 games for Team USA, Lawrence showed as much talent as Joey Lawrence in his first campaign with the "BU 5-0's" by notching just 8 goals in 40 games.

Well there you have it, the 2005-06 Pinhead Nation All-Milk Carton Team. Your superiors would like to honor the several players who fell short of making this prestigious team. As they say at the University of New Hampshire, "there's always next year".

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