Mike Anthony: Mike Cavanaugh Had Decided To Leave Coaching Before Taking On UConn Hockey Challenge

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On the surface it sounds like he is happy here... Mike Anthony: Mike Cavanaugh Had Decided To Leave Coaching Before Taking On UConn Hockey Challenge

>>“A lot of people might not realize that our players love going downtown,” Cavanaugh said. “And as a coach, I like knowing that when we leave campus at 3 o’clock on a Friday for a two-game weekend, I have their full attention for 36 hours.” <<

>>The on-campus arena is expected to be completed within four years. Renovations to the Freitas Ice Forum, expected to be completed in about a year, are as important. The Huskies practice there. Players, as the building now stands, have to stretch in the lobby. They have to walk outside to get to the weight room.

In short, it is an inadequate practice facility for training players, and recruiting them, in any conference. “The one area where we were so far behind the other schools,” Cavanaugh said.

Elite players will choose a program with better facilities if they’re not choosing a program with a better track record. BC, BU and PC all have recent national championships — and nicer buildings — to sell to recruits.

“Two of the top players in the nation are Connecticut kids, and they don’t even look at [UConn],” Cavanaugh said. “Those are kids I want to be able to keep in state. There are a lot of good Connecticut hockey players that we just can’t keep in state.” Goalie Spencer Knight of Darien has committed to BC. Forward Trevor Zegras of Avon Old Farms has committed to BU. UConn landed Orange’s Tage Thompson, but many others have headed to Boston. They want to play in the Beanpot. They want to play in the NCAA Tournament. They want to follow in the footsteps of so many NHL players.

Years of momentum are behind this, but a facility upgrade will help UConn’s sales pitch. So will winning.<<
 

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