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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With UMass Head Coach Don "Toot" Cahoon

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, November 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET, UMass Head Coach "Toot" Cahoon pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. Following the chat, Cahoon leads the Minutemen into Burlington to face Vermont in a Hockey East contest.

Don Cahoon

Don "Toot" Cahoon enters his sixth season at the helm of the University of Massachusetts hockey program, and his 19th overall. His career coaching record stands at 247-267-51 (.482). Perhaps the most impressive statistic in Cahoon's five years have been the 26 Hockey East Academic All-Conference performers that have played under him.

The 2004-05 Minutemen dealt with injury and youth en route to a 13-23-2 record. Two rookies - P.J. Fenton and David Leaderer - were honored as members of the Hockey East Superskills All-Rookie Team. In the two season's prior, the Minutemen registered a 38-29-7 overall record. They were ranked for most of the 2003-04 season and reached the Hockey East title game, falling in an epic three-overtime battle against Maine.

Cahoon came to UMass from Princeton, where he rebuilt the Tigers struggling hockey program. He led the Tigers to their first-ever ECAC Tournament title, as well as the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1998. Prior to Princeton, Cahoon had three different stints as an assistant under Jack Parker at Boston University (1974-79, 1987-88, 1990-91). He began his coaching career as the head coach at Lehigh University (1973-74).

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: "Toot" won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 22th, 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: Welcome to another edition of "Tuesday @ The Rink". We have an exciting doubelheader for you today. Kicking things off is UMass Head Coach Don "Toot" Cahoon.
Coach Cahoon: Hi, hockey fans. I am excited to be here and am ready to take your questions.

Kevin Boston: There are almost 30 players on your roster. How do you keep the players that are not playing confident and happy.
Coach Cahoon: I don't know if you can keep them happy when they aren't playing because they are so competitive. You certainly can work towards giving them cause that they are working towards something in the future. You can help identify their shortcomings and work on those by giving them a program to help them overcome the shortcomings. So, their confidence is heightened by knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel and there is a plan in place to work towards getting them into the lineup. Continual communication with these players is pivotal.

Matt (Washington, DC): How do you feel your team is benefiting from the play of freshman like Jon Quick and Chris Davis?
Coach Cahoon: Both of them have had an impact on the team. They have both been in the lineup regularly and have had success early on. It is clear to us that both Jon and Chris have prepared for this level of play. They have good strength and a training base that has enabled them to step up to this level of play. It is clear that playing on championship teams at Avon Old Farms has prepared them well as far as winning and performance. They both exhibit a great will to compete.

Phoenix: Hi Coach Cahoon, A snow bird in AZ from MA. I got to see alot of Cory Quirk over the last couple years at junior/all star games and he was the best forward I saw. Amazing on faceoffs, played both ends of the ice equally as well. How is he meshing with the team this year? Thank you, G
Coach Cahoon: For those exact reasons, he has done extremely well. He is an important player in our lineup. He has played in every game. He has been one of our better faceoff guys and is very much a three zone player. He is another player that came from a program (Catholic Memorial) where the art of winning was understood and that is an essential attitude within the locker room. He is the consummate competitor.

dggoddard (Houston): What are you expecting from Denver this weekend? What differences in the "style of play" do you see in WCHA teams vs. Hockey East teams.
Coach Cahoon: I'm expecting from Denver a high skill level and a confident group of guys that has become accustomed to winning. They have real good special teams. All of this is a result of a well prepared team. I don't see as much difference in the style of play in recent years as I used to. We all recruit from the same leagues and are looking for players at the same level of play. They all have had the same coaches. Some teams get more of the high profile players, so their skill level is higher. But as far as league style, I don't see a difference the way I used to. From team to team, you see a difference, but that is the same in any league.

John Cavanaugh (Colorado Springs): Hi Coach, You've got a good challenge this coming weekend, with Colorado College and the University of Denver heading east. How difficult is it to prepare your guys to play back-to-back games against a speed team like CC, who play on an Olympic sheet, and a bigger, more grind-it-out team like DU, whose home ice is NHL size?
Coach Cahoon: Normally, the preparation with the players is greater for the first game than the second game - we spend more time talking about CC because that is our next game. That makes it difficult for Saturday when Denver shows up and they play a different style. We have less time with the players to get ready for them. I think this creates problems for all coaching staffs when they have two different opponents on the same weekend that play different styles. For the most part, we are more concerned with the system we play and our own performance, which will allow us to minimize the adjustments we make regarding our opponent.
Coach Cahoon: Thus, we are going to have to play at a very high level to be able to compete against both of these teams.

Kevin D. Crowley MD.: Toot: Saw your picture on the USCHO and just wanted say hell and wish you luck against the Catamounts. I have always wondered about a coaches perspective on a peanalty that carries over into the next period. Do you feel it is better to be on the power play after the team has had a chance to rest or does the advantage go back to the team on defense. Hey happy Thannks giving.
Coach Cahoon: I think the team on defense has the advantage simply because it has the best players to kill the penalty rested and possibly more prepared to kill off the challenge. There is always the condition of the ice - the ice might be a little wet, so the puck gets a bit sticky. I always thought new ice wasn't always the greatest for a power play situation and puck movement. People might argue fresh ice is perfect, but I always thought ice that has set for five minutes or so is better. So, if there is ever an advantage for a man down, it would be then.
CSTV.com Moderator: Coach has to get ready for tonight's game against Vermont, so he has to run.
Coach Cahoon: I appreciate the opportunity to participate. It is interesting that we talked about this weekend's opponents when we are playing Vermont tonight. They are a great team and our primary focus right now is on them.
CSTV.com Moderator: Don't forget to join us for the second half of our doubleheader at the top of the hour, when we are joined by Michigan forward T.J. Hensick. See you at 2:00.

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