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Friday Recap

Mike Marcou (photo by Karen Winger)

This is what happens when this team plays 60 full minutes of hockey.  UMass was able to match arguably the deepest team in Hockey East line for line, overcome a strong goaltending performance by Nevin Hamilton, and frankly just out hustled Lowell for the win tonight.  I’m not going to get into too much detail because to be honest I’m pretty tired from driving the two hours home from the Mullins, but I was happy to see the complete team effort shown in the Northeastern game last weekend carried over to this crucial series against Lowell.

Just a few things I wanted to note.  First off, Paul Dainton played very well tonight and made some tough saves, especially during some scrums in front of the crease, at key points in the game.  All four lines had quality shifts.  The radio guys went out of their way to mention how well the fourth line of Kevin Czepiel, Eddie Olczyk, and Shawn Saunders played and I would like to as well.  For the second game in a row the penalty kill was stellar as Lowell went 0 for 5.  My only critique from tonight, PLEASE do not hang back and try to sit on a one goal lead for most of the third.  If UMass attacks the net like they did for the first two periods Lowell likely does not get that third goal.

Tomorrow (or tonight if you’re smart enough to be sleeping already) is a huge opportunity for the Minutemen.  I’ll be honest, the odds are against them.  Lowell is still a good team and showed it tonight despite the loss.  The Hawks will have the advantage of being at home and likely will have their better goaltender in net.  Let’s remember that last month UMass jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the Tsongas only to end up losing 5-3.  But if UMass can play like they have the last two games they’ll have a chance to take two more Hockey East points, put some distance between themselves and the other teams in the standings, and take the tiebreaker from a team that likely will be battling for home ice to the end.  They’re certainly capable of accomplishing all that, let’s see how much the team wants it.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Mike Marcou
Given how well the entire defensive corps played tonight I’m very glad to give this to a defenseman.  Credit to Mike for having the wherewithal to step up into the play and put home the game winning goal.

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Here’s how Dick Baker of the Republican saw things.

The USCHO recap talks about how evenly matched these two teams are.

The Gazette recap mentions that Mike Marcou’s last goal also came against Lowell.

Kudos to the Herald for sending someone all the way out to Amherst to cover the game.  I was under the impression they thought the Earth dropped off somewhere around Auburn.

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Unfortunately I was already out in Amherst when I caught this and couldn’t add it to yesterday’s preview, but former Collegian writer Joe Meloni has this feature story on the Minutemen for College Hockey News.  I found Brett Watson’s reaction to Toot’s comments following the UNH debacle to be interesting:

“[Cahoon’s comments] motivated us for sure. It was embarrassing to hear our coach say that,” senior captain Brett Watson said. “We have to grow and mature as a team to the point where we’re coming to the rink every day, whether it’s a practice or a game, trying to be the best we can be. That’s the only way we can get to where we want to be at the end of the year.”

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2 Comments

  1. Adam

     /  January 16, 2010

    Boy, Last night was fun. even with the lack of a huge student section. The team really showed up.
    I agree with your player of the game, but some serious credit must go to T.J. Syner. His speed drew another huge penalty for the minutemen. He seems to play hard and smart almost every game. Gritty hockey player. The only way to slow him down is to do something illegal.

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  2. Agreed. I was little worried about his size when I first saw him in juniors but he’s probably the fastest player to ever put on the maroon and white.

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