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Lowell Recap

It wasn’t pretty at times but the UMass hockey team continued their unbeaten streak with a solid 5-2 over the Lowell River Hawks.  It was thought this game would be a close one between two similarly freshman-laden teams but in the end UMass looked like they are progressing far ahead of Lowell and dominated for good stretches of time.

It didn’t take long for the Minutemen to get on the board as T.J. Syner streaked down the right side and put a backhander behind former UMass recruiting target Doug Carr.  UMass would get another goal later on when Danny Hobbs tipped home a Conor Allen shot.  You could easily make the case that UMass should have come out of that period with even a greater lead than 2-0, considering they controlled the puck for a huge majority of the time.  Shots favored the Minutemen 11-4 at the end of 1 and two or three of those Lowell shots came in a few second span where Dainton turned them away. 

Unfortunately the second period was one of the worst UMass played in a while.  Their rhythm was disrupted by three successive penalties called on them in the beginning of the period that resulted in over four minutes of Lowell power play time, some of it at the two man advantage, and the first River Hawk goal with on 7 seconds left on the kill.  Overall the penalty kill did very well in this time, only allowing 4 shots total.  UMass did have their lone power play of the game soon after and unfortunately it was another resulting in zero shots on net.  While Lowell did do a very good job on the kill and getting in the shooting lanes, the Minutemen looked too patient.  Whether it was lack of concentration at that point or perhaps just fatigue from being a man down for so long consecutively the Minutemen were out of sorts for the rest of the period and found themselves tied after two.

A quick breather in the locker room in between period was all they needed however as Doug Kublin and Hobbs scored early in the period and the Minutemen would cruise from there.  Eric Filiou added his first career goal to top things off.  The players did a good job of weathering a challenging second to regroup and put away a lesser team in the third.  That’s part of learning how to win and it’s good to see the Minutemen doing it.  Aside from the goalscorers I thought Chase Langeraap had another good game, getting shots on net and also creating some turnovers in the neutral zone.  Hobbs’ second goal was setup with a great feed from Brian Keane.  And Mike Pereira continues to do well, adding three assists on the day.

UMass now has some momentum and is improving in the Hockey East standings.  If not for Northeastern’s upset of Merrimack last night the Minutemen would be tied for 7th.  Instead they find themselves in 8th place but it’s not their place in the standings that’s important at this point but the number of league games played.  UMass has played the least amount of league games with 8.  BC has already played 13.  Lowell, BU, and Merrimack have all played 12.  And directly above UMass in the standings Northeastern and Providence have played 11.  If UMass can get some key points in conference games they have the chance to move up while other teams are idle.  That starts next weekend when UMass and Maine on Sunday are the only league game of the weekend.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Danny Hobbs 
Two goals, a +3 rating, and a team high six shots taken.  Danny Hobbs is playing the best hockey of his UMass career right now.

Beer The Triangle Recap
Well I did enjoy some Boston Beer Works following the basketball game, including a very interesting ginger IPA.  But since it’ll be another month until hockey returns to Amherst I thought I should share the fact that the Hangar currently has the highly rated Ballast Point Sculpin IPA on draft right now.  Quite frankly one of the best IPAs I’ve ever had.  I highly recommend trying it before it’s gone.

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Dick Baker says UMass outsmarted Lowell in the Republican recap.  Hobbs says they’re approaching the Maine game as if it’s a playoff.

Edmonton scout and former Lowell player Craig MacTavish was at yesterday’s game and like what he saw from T.J. Syner.  There was also an Eddie Olczyk Sr. sighting.

Baker also doesn’t like what the time change did to attendance.  I can see his point, I thought the attendance was pathetic as well, but the time change still doesn’t bother me.  The students weren’t absent because they were in Boston.  There was a good student presence in the Garden, but it still didn’t amount to more than a few hundred.  There were still thousands upon thousands of students back on campus in Amherst when the puck dropped at 1:30pm.  What were they doing?  Sleeping?  Eating lunch?  Watching football?  I don’t know but they easily could’ve rolled out of bed and made the faceoff.  They didn’t.  This to me just shows that the students are not coming to the Mullins regularly to watch hockey.  It’s a social thing for them or some extension of their weekend partying.  It’s too bad because except for the hardcore student fans they’ve missed three great games by the hockey team that represents them, the University of Massachusetts.

To correct a few things from Baker’s post, first the crowd at the Garden was not equally distributed.  My estimation is that the UMass fans equalled three or four times the number of BC and Northeastern fans there combined.  This was a UMass home game with an overwhelming amount of the crowd cheering for the Minutemen, no doubt about it.  Secondly, yes BC didn’t change the time and allowed the hockey and hoops games to go at the same time.  This resulted in an embarssing showing of BC fans at the Garden.  I counted perhaps a dozen BC students.  I’m not sure how their administration feels about their program from an elite basketball conference essentially playing a road game in the city that their school is named after against a mid-major program they try to portray as beneath them in all aspects.  Lastly, there were fans who made the trek from Amherst to Boston.  My friends and I were some of them.  We saw others along the Pike on the ride east.  There was the bus that left following the hockey game.  How many people made both games?  I don’t know.  But as someone who supports all UMass athletics and gets in to the rivalries the school has with its opponents I was very thankful to watch hockey take on a rival and basketball take on another in the same day.  I would’ve been disappointed not to have the chance to do so if they hockey game had remained the same starting time.  Frankly, if more people didn’t take advantage of the same opportunity, shame on them.  They missed a great day to be a UMass fan.

Danny Hobbs is mentioned on the Prospect Park blog.

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So much for all the pundits that said Jon Quick was going to lose his starting job to Jonathan Bernier.  The Kings new plan in net, play Quick.

The Globe takes a look at Greg Mauldin’s recent NHL success.

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6 Comments

  1. Andres Castro

     /  December 6, 2010

    This was just posted a few minutes ago on BostonBarstoolSports:

    http://boston.barstoolsports.com/random-thoughts/merrimack-just-became-the-lamest-school-in-new-england/

    Thoughts?

    Like

    • Video got pulled?

      Like

      • Andres Castro

         /  December 6, 2010

        Sadly, they did pull it. I can recap what it was about though:

        The video consisted of about 15-20 MC students standing on the stands at Lawlor Arena. The video would show text of what kinda of chants the students should do while attending the games and then video of said students doing the actual chants would then appear.

        Chants included:

        – “It’s all your fault! It’s all your fault!” (To the opposing goalie when they let up a goal, obv.)
        -“Go Mack Go!”
        -“We are! MC! We are! MC”
        -Jumping up and down screaming “Ooooohhhhh” while trying to kill a penalty (a la an NCAA basketball game)

        Pretty sure those were the only ones unless I missed one

        Like

        • Well I can’t really comment on its overall lameness without seeing it. The “We are MC!” is pretty dumb sounding. And the “OOOOOOOoohhhh” I believe is just stolen from BC. But I don’t really have a problem with their intent. Merrimack, for the first time I remember, is finally getting fans. It’s tough to create traditions, like with cheers, from out of thin air. It’s something UMass ran into where they suddenly had fans but no established cheers or traditions. So now we’re stuck with no real organized cheers, the F word, and an insane amount of techno music.

          Like

  2. anonoymous

     /  December 6, 2010

    hahaa, wow i just came here to repost it.

    brutal.

    Like

  3. Alan

     /  December 6, 2010

    Yeah, “Fuck BC” is way better.

    Like

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