Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With UMass Forward P.J. Fenton

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, January 8 at 1:00 p.m. ET, UMass forward P.J. Fenton pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The Minutemen see their first action of 2008 this weekend in a home-and-home series with New Hampshire.

Don Cahoon

Now in his second season as an assistant captain for UMass, P.J. Fenton is helping the Minutemen to another standout season in his final year in Amherst.

The senior from Longmeadow, Mass. is currently tied for third on the team in points with 12 (3g, 9a). This comes on the heels of a junior campaign that saw him tie for third on the team in both goals and points, a key contributor for a Minutemen team that made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament. It was the second season in his UMass career that saw him record 25 points, as he posted 13 goals and 12 assists as a freshman, earning a spot on the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. Going into this weekend's series, Fenton has 79 career points.

A fifth-round pick of the San Jose Sharks in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, P.J. is the son of Paul and Nola Fenton. His father played eight seasons in the NHL and is currently the assistant general manager of the Nashville Predators. P.J. is a business major at UMass

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: P.J, won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 8th, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Good afternoon, and welcome to another "Tuesday @ the Rink," sponsored by CSTV.com and USCHO. We have two great guests this afternoon for our first chats of 2008, so let's get started. We're joined now by UMass forward P.J. Fenton.
P.J. Fenton: Good to be here, looking forward to your questions.

Mark (Hull, MA): P.J., Congrats on a couple of thrilling wins down in Tampa. Was the team motivated at all going into the season by the common theme in the media that UMass would be unable to duplicate last season's success without Jon Quick? He had an incredible season, but did you guys feel that maybe the returning players' efforts during the NCAA run were being overlooked? Thanks and good luck against the Wildcats.
P.J. Fenton: Sure that's something any team will use as motivation, when people think that you are going to have a down year, but the team believed in ourselves and what we think we are capable of. Obviously losing Jon was a big thing going into the season, but we knew we had two capable goalies that were going to be here in Paul Dainton, and Dan Meyers. We also knew we had a good core of guys coming back and another shot at the NCAA tournament was not out of the question.

Monson: In your 4 years the program seems to have elevated it's play? Is this becauise your class is special with character and talent?

Monson: In your 4 years the program seems to have elevated it's play? Is this becauise your class is special with character and talent?
P.J. Fenton: I think it's not necessarily our class, but the team's confidence in ourselves to be able to compete with anyone. Our class has a bunch of character guys, but overall our team is a character team that thinks we can compete with anyone on any given night.

Dave (Chicopee): P.J., Keep up the good work. Is it true that the biggest improvement to your game was the summer league game that you played with Mastronios? Did this game (or player)teach you anything about making your teamates better players by setting an example with hard work?
P.J. Fenton: Those guys on that team obviously have a ton of experience playing the game, and I always have a good time when playing with them. Rick Mastroianni and Dave Fenton really hold that team together especially Rick who carries that team on his back, I learned a lot from him.

Paul (San Jose): Can you talk briefly about your team's rise to its first top-5 ranking in school history? What does it mean for UMass and can you compete with perennial power houses like DU, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan? Go Sharks.
P.J. Fenton: It took a lot of hard work along with an overall attitude that coaches have instilled in us. It's all about US as we say around here, and I hope into the future this program can sustain the success we have had over the past few years, it's a great place to play.

Monson2: Congrats on Tampa. Did the media shun your program again with no All Stars on the team? Great for Burto for MVP but no one recognized with 3 CC, 2 ND, and 1 RPI?
P.J. Fenton: We were all happy for Matty B. getting the MVP award. He has worked really hard over these past few months, and it was nice to see him get rewarded. No one was really concerned with the individual awards because we won as a team, and that was what we went down there for.

West Springfield: I know you from your days at Cathedral as a Lacrosse goalie . You are the only player from their school to Be named All-American in Lacrosse. Did you ever consider playing in college since UMass has such a great program?
P.J. Fenton: It crossed my mind, but I had surgery after the hockey season my freshman year. It would have been great to play, but it would have been a big-time commitment. They are a great team here, and we wish them all the luck for their upcoming year.

Brewster: It seems since you arrived as a Freshman, you have excelled in all areas. What do you attribute your success to?
P.J. Fenton: I think the coaching here is one of the best parts of our program. The coaches really work with you everyday, and we are constantly trying to better ourselves. Coach Cahoon, Coach Gendron, and Coach Quesnelle are all really committed to making you into the best player you can be. I would attribute most of my success to them.

pewaukee: You have some hard games in the 2nd half. What will Umass do to stay on track? Best of luck would love to see you guys at the Garden in March and win!! :)
P.J. Fenton: We are going to stay focused on the little things that help you win. Coaches are constantly talking about the little things, and it has worked out well for us. The second half of the season is always when the best hockey is played, and I think we will be ready for the task at hand.

Orleans: What is your favorite "Game Day" food ?
P.J. Fenton: Chicken and Pasta, I think that is pretty much what everyone here eats on game day.

Springfield: Who is your favorite NHL Player?
P.J. Fenton: J.P. Dumont from Nashville. I like watching him, and Nashville play.

orleans: Your Father is obviously athletic, Is your Mother ?
P.J. Fenton: My mom's side of the family is pretty athletic, and she runs all the time so I'd say she is.

Ben (Long Island): Why did you pick UMass? Did you have any other choices?
P.J. Fenton: UMass is a great school, and when I came to visit I liked everything I saw. I committed during my junior year in high school, and had a few other schools talking to me at that point, but UMass came to me early. I liked the Mullins Center -it is one of the best rinks in the country - and the coaching staff here is great, so it was a no brainer. UMass offered a great business school, and also offers a variety of other great majors. Playing in Hockey East was also something that I was looking to do. It was an easy choice, and one I am very happy with looking back now as a senior ready to graduate in the spring.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all the time we have with P.J. this afternoon.
P.J. Fenton: Thanks for having me at Tuesday @ The Rink. Glad to talk to the UMass fans.
CSTV.com Moderator: That's it for the first of our "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats today, presented by CSTV.com and USCHO. Check out CSTV.com's Power Plays blog - http://slog.cstv.com/powerplay - on Friday for updates from the Mullins Center when UMass takes on New Hampshire, and come back at the top of the hour when we'll be joined by Miami head coach Enrico Blasi.