The Mack Report

Mack’s Mailbag for Nov. 11, 2012

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Why has the goaltending pattern been Marotta first on a Friday, then Tirronen on a Saturday? Is there a reason why the coach doesn’t switch the order and play Tirronen first?
My guess is that Marotta was the senior member, so he got the first nod of the season at Union. From there, they’ve kept things at a regular rotation.

Let’s stipulate that the NCAA goes to 3/4 visors. How do you keep fisticuffs at a minimum? Something like a 5 game suspension?
Interesting question. You’ll have players playing with less recklessness in other areas of the game (the sticks would be down a bit more, etc.). I was just having a conversation with a former Merrimack player over the weekend who was talking about the change going from the college full cage to his first pro games and playing with a visor. The NCAA will NEVER allow it, but I think fisticuffs helps clean up the game, believe it or not. A lot of players would have a lot less courage if they thought there was a chance a big brawler on the other side could drop gloves and pound them. Right now, a fighting major is a game DQ, meaning a one-game suspension (for the first fight). I think that would stick. I don’t have a rulebook in front of me but I believe the suspension increases with the amount of DQ’s you get in a particular season.

What do you think the chances are that the TD Garden will host some Hockey East games since the NHL will be in lockout mode for the forseeable future?
Slim to none. The Garden isn’t in the business of opening the building for free, and the cost of renting the building for games that aren’t the HE Championship or the Beanpot makes little financial sense for the league or any of its member schools. A nice idea, I agree, it just wouldn’t be cost-effective for anyone.

How does Brandon Shea go from two years in the QMJHL to the EJHL? Is he really NCAA eligible now?
It’s a strange step. He played two seasons in the Q, so I can’t see a way the NCAA clears him to play college hockey. But going from MJ back to the EJ is a weird step. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s going on there.

I have a son in high school who wants to try MMA. We live in Methuen. I know you’re into it and was wondering if you knew of a good gym that’s local?
Merrimack Valley Martial Arts Academy in North Andover is great. He’ll want to take some sort of martial arts class before he’ll be allowed to jump into MMA. They also have a fight team called “Warriors Pride.” There’s also Intenze in Lawrence which is a good gym. If he has no experience in any discipline, I’d recommend MVMAA.

Is Bigos close to setting any PIM records in NCAA, Hockey East or Merrimack?
He’s 28 minutes, I believe, from the Merrimack career mark. I’m not sure what the NCAA or Hockey East records are, they aren’t tracked in public stats.