2000-01 UMass-Lowell Recruits

By Monty Rodrigues
The UMass Lowell 2000/2001 recruiting class was finalized over the last
couple of weeks, and includes a couple of potential big name players. The
Hawks losses from last year include the four seniors, forwards Chris Bell
(9-21-30), John Campbell (7-11-18) and Craig Brown (4-5-9) along with
defender Kevin Bertram (10-8-18). Two players that would have been
sophomores this year, defenseman Andy Wozniewski and goalkeeper Dan
Weinrieb
will return to junior hockey for the 2000-2001 year.

So with six spots to fill, the Hawks recruited well to restock each of the
positions that were lost. The big name of this years incoming class is
forward Laurent Meunier, a freshman from Echirolles, France and former
teammate of River Hawk junior forward Yorick Treille. Meunier, 5’11”, 180
pounds, is described by Coach Tim Whitehead as a “very well-rounded
forward.” Meunier, born 1/16/79, spent the last year as a member of the
Leon Lions in the French Elite League. He might have made a name for
himself though at the 2000 World Hockey Championship in St. Petersburg,
Russia this past year. Meunier was the 11th leading scorer in the
Tournament, with a 4-3-7 line in 6 games, even though he was one of the
younger players participating. “Laurent is a top-notch player,” Whitehead
said. “He skates well and is very smart with the puck. I can see him doing
a
lot of things for us.”

Forward Peter Hay (Weyburn, SJHL) was the first player signed by Lowell for
the upcoming year. Hay, at 6’5″, 200 pounds, will add some weight to the
Lowell front lines. In 50 games, Hay showed his scoring touch with 36
goals
and 42 assists. According to Whitehead, Hay, a 21 year old from
Abbotsford,
BC, “skates real well for a big guy and he has great hands and an excellent
scoring touch. He put up real good numbers in a real good league.” Hay was
presented the Weyburn Security Award for outstanding ability as well as the
Weyburn Co-op Award, presented to the top scorer, this past year.

The third forward added onto the roster this year, is 18 year old Anders
Strome, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Strome last played for the Winnipeg South
Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), the same club which
produced former River Hawk Craig Brown. At 6’2, 190, Strome will also add
some girth up front, as well as a shot that netted him 24 goals in 63 games
last year, along with 47 assists. Strome showed his worth in the playoffs
for the Blues though, putting up 14-9-23 in just 16 games. “Anders has
improved at every level which he has played,” Whitehead noted. “He is very
athletic, has a good scoring touch and he’ll keep getting better and
better.”

Lowell’s two incoming defenseman, Darryl Green and Jerremie Domish, both
signed prior to the 1999 season but had to sit out last year. Green, a LD
at Chatham (WOJHL) was not eligible for the 99/00 season because he played
five games for the S.S. Marie Greyhounds in the 1995-96 season. He almost
became a River Hawk one year earlier, but according to reports it was
decided he would be better off going to the juniors for one more year.
Green
is the oldest of Lowell’s incoming class (born 4/9/78), and at 6’0″, 188,
will be able to handle himself well in Hockey East. Green, was the captain
of the Maroons, and is a high scoring defenseman (52 games, 15 goals, 38
assists) averaging over a point per game and also averaging just under 4
PIM
a game with 179 total penalty minutes. His 53 points made him the sixth
highest scorer on his Maroons’ team. Green is also a force on the power
play, with eight of his fifteen goals coming on the man advantage. Green
was voted the top defensive player in the Western Ontario Junior Hockey
League (WOJHL) during the 1997-98 season. He helped the Chatham Maroons
advance to the Ontario Junior ‘B’ championship in 1998 and 1999. “Darryl
has
great hands and makes very good decisions with the puck,” Whitehead said.
“He plays smart defensively.”

Domish, 5-10, 200 pounds, is a tough, physical player who adds bulk to the
River Hawk blue line. Domish played for the Tecumseh Bulldogs of the WOJHL
in 1998-99. “Jerremie is a very mobile, physical defenseman who has real
potential,” said Whitehead. Domish, from Pottstown, PA, was born in 1979,
and in his last year with the Bulldogs put up 9-32-41 line in 47 games,
with
104 penalty minutes.

The final recruit is goaltender Chris Davidson (Hudson, QUE), who was
signed
following a great season with the Cambridge Winter Hawks of the Mid-Western
Junior Hockey League (MWJHL) This was the same team that produced former
River Hawk great and Hockey East Rookie of the Year Greg Bullock. Davidson
led the Winter Hawks to the Sutherland Cup (Championship of Ontario), while
leading the league with a 2.29 goals against average over 1,491 minutes and
compiled an 18-6-1 record. “Chris has consistently improved at every level,
and he played his best hockey in the playoffs last season with Cambridge,”
Whitehead noted. “He moves well, controls his rebounds, and he is a real
competitor.”

This class has some potential for the Hawks. The two defensemen will be
expected to contribute immediately, and with the offense sputtering through
the majority of the season, the forwards will have a great shot to play
often. With two junior goaltenders in front of him, Davidson might have a
hard time getting between the pipes, but if one of the returning netminders
gets injured, Coach Whitehead will not worry about throwing Davidson on the
ice, especially with a talented and deep defensive corp in front of him.

Of course … this is all just conjecture … we’ll find out the truth
beginning on October 13, when the regular season starts for Lowell at home
against the UConn Huskies.