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Sunday Recap

Unlike Saturday’s high-energy, exciting game Sunday’s matinee was everything that can make hockey downright boring.  Two tired teams, a listless crowd, and two officials who decided they would do their best to get Barry Melrose to announce their names on ESPNU by calling each and every penalty in the book.  In the end Vermont was able to make the most of their chances and shutout the Minutemen 3-0 to gain the weekend split.

This game had the feel of the Bentley game all over again.  UMass had a good amount of shots on net but only had a handful of true quality chances and when they did they were unable to finish.  A missed pass, a shot wide, a linemate turns the wrong way.  UMass was just one step behind all game long and in the end had another disappointing performance on national television.

With nine (yes, nine) power play opportunities UMass should have found a way to win this game.  Instead they were only able to muster five total shots on the man advantage.  This is completely unacceptable considering UMass has one of the better power plays in the country.  I was also unhappy to see a number of players trying to do everything themselves and not involving their teammates.  That’s not what has gotten the team to this point.

A split on the weekend isn’t the end of the world, but given the tough road ahead for the team another point or two would’ve come in handy in the long run.  It’s good that they find themselves in second place in the conference but a better effort today would’ve put them ahead of BC and given them a little more breathing room in front of Lowell and Maine.  With ten games left on the season they simply cannot take games off like they did today.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Matt Irwin
It’s tough to pick a POTG when no one scores and the overall effort of the team is sub par.  However I thought Irwin did pretty well on both ends of the ice and was doing what he could right up until the end to try to get the Minutemen on the scoreboard.

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The Republican game story mentions that UVM goaltender Rob Madore played very well this weekend despite losing a family member earlier in the week.  His performance given those conditions is admirable.

Kevin Sneddon credited Madore and his team’s forecheck for the win in the Burlington Free Press’ recap.

Here’s the Collegian’s game story.

From Saturday is an article by Matt Vautour gauging the season so far.

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14 Comments

  1. justin

     /  January 25, 2010

    Really disappointing.

    This team had some good momentum and a chance to really put a stranglehold on home ice. Now they have two tough road games this weekend, with 6th place Vermont only 6 points back with 2 games in hand. I really don’t like the idea of playing @ BU right now (who had been playing pretty well until they ran into UHN), and PC can always steal a game, especially if the other team decides to sleepwalk.

    I wonder if all the kids had a good nights sleep on saturday after the win?

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    • They must win Saturday, no excuses. You can’t give up points to the last place team. Anything they get from Friday will be a bonus. There seems to be something about Agganis that gets into their heads, even when the BU teams are beatable as this year’s squad is.

      On Sunday the team seemed mentally tired not physically tired. They were still buzzing around the net at times but things just weren’t as crisp as they usually are. They would do everything they needed to score except for getting the puck in the net.

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  2. transrapide

     /  January 25, 2010

    Glad to hear it was as boring there as it seemed to be on TV. What a flat game. It would really make my year if they can win one at BU, seeing how much affection I have for Jack Pahker.

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  3. ganderson

     /  January 25, 2010

    Dunno- I thought it was an OK game- I think the Minutemen were slightly outplayed but not excessively so- and they just didn’t get the bounces; and Madore did play great. I assume all the student were back in their rooms studying….

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    • True, they didn’t get a lot of bounces in their favor but generating only 5 shots in 9 power play opportunities shows that it was m ore than that.

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  4. Adam

     /  January 25, 2010

    Just a note from a student: I was there and I was dissapointed with the fan showing, however, totally understand why they were not there. On Sundays, most kids around here wake up between 1 and 2 to begin with, so a three pm start time automatically cuts out a good chunk. But also, everyone wants to see their team on national tv. It makes us fans feel important. That little clip of Melrose breaking down the highlights of the Northeastern game made my heart swell with pride. By the way, everyone who is typically at the games were there. It was more the people who just use it as something to do before they get wasted. And pardon me if i sound defensive (because I am) but the crowd was a lot less dead than the play was.

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    • Yeah, I did notice that I saw most of the familiar student faces. I don’t understand what you mean by saying everyone wants to see their team on national tv. Are you telling me students hung back in their dorm room so they could watch it there? “Hey dude, see that empty seat right there on tv? That’s where I always sit!”

      I was hoping the allure of getting your face ON national tv would get students into the arena. A sunday afternoon is always going to hurt numbers and energy, but it’s too bad. Toot sounded diappointed when he saw the crowd during warmups. Judging by how they play in front of quiet or winter break crowds I think the team really looks forward to big turnouts and feed off the energy the students bring.

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  5. massattack

     /  January 25, 2010

    Did I just correctly read that UMass jumped all the way to 5th in the pairwise?

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    • Yes, they jumped up to 6th from 12th after Saturday. Though they lost yesterday the fact that it benefitted UVM made St Cloud slip a spot in the convoluted system and put them in a 5th place tie with us.

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  6. hatsoff

     /  January 25, 2010

    The paradox that is the PWR is rewarding UMass for losses to bad teams. Losses to TUC teams impact at least 2 portions of the PWR calculation whereas Losses to bad teams usually impact the record only.

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  7. ganderson

     /  January 25, 2010

    Didn’t St. Cloud sweep (an admittedly struggling) Minnesota this weekend?

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    • Yes, but going into Sunday St Cloud was leading the PWR comparison with VT 2 to 1 (better RPI, better record vs teams under consideration, but losing against common opponents.) When UVM beat us, it raised their win % against TUC to .5357, barely better than St Cloud and thus flipping the comparison and SCSU lost a pwr point.

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  8. ganderson

     /  January 25, 2010

    Also- an article in the Star-Trib this AM on former UMASS grad assistant Shep Harder.
    http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/82562782.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUUULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

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