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Maine Recap, Polls, and Awards

Yesterday’s 4-1 loss to Maine was unfortunate but not unexpected.  It would’ve been asking a lot for UMass to go up to Orono and beat a very good Maine team that was coming off a crushing late game loss to rival UNH.  But while the outcome is tolerable, how UMass lost is not.

The game started off well enough with UMass gaining a 1-0 lead in the first, outshooting the Black Bears 11-8, and killing Maine’s lone power play of the period.  However in the second Maine came out to play while UMass did not.  Maine outshot UMass 9-1 over the first 6 minutes of the second period and quickly tied up the game on the first of three goals from Brian Flynn.  In fact UMass would get outshot 24-11 over the final two periods.

Defensively UMass seemed to take a step back.  Their seven blocked shots is one of the lowest game totals of the season.  One has to wonder if it hurt the team to have one less defenseman, since coach Cahoon decided to dress only five of them in favor of putting Rocco Carzo out there instead.  Personally I don’t think this was a wise decision.  The defense, with the help of some great goaltending from Paul Dainton, has really played well in the last few weeks.  To put them out of sorts with increased minutes and constant changing of pairings would seem to disrupt the continuity defensively.  One has to wonder if fatigue on the blueline played a factor in the third period when UMass gave up the three Black Bear goals.  And the decision to put Carzo out there in lieu of a Conor Allen got them nothing, as he accounted for just one shot and was 5 for 12 in the faceoff circle.  I’m not sure why he’s struggling so much as a sophomore, but he wasn’t able to regain his form from early last year yesterday.  Offensively UMass doesn’t get off easy in this game either, generating just 22 shots total and averaging less than a shot for each power play opportunity they had (3 shots on 4 opportunities).

I can’t knock the overall outcome, but this was a pretty disappointing effort from a team that said it was treating this game like a playoff game.  It’s very tough to win in Hockey East without playing all sixty minutes and while you can sometimes steal one while playing forty (i.e. against Lowell) you definitely can’t get anywhere by only playing twenty.  Still, it’s nice to get the point where getting points in Maine was actually plausible considering the team’s record to start the year.  Time for the players to work on their finals, spend time with family, and before you know it they (and I) will be off to the land of cheese.

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Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Chase Langeraap
Nice to see Langeraap get his first goal of the season as he’s been one of the hardest working players in the last month or so for the team.  Honorable mention goes to “Holyoke” Czepiel who was nearly perfect on faceoffs and also ended the game +1.

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Here are the Republican’s Dick Baker’s thoughts on the game.  As well as the game story.

Rachel Lenzi has things from the Black Bear point of view.  She also blogged her game notes.

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Yale remains number one in both the USCHO poll and the USA Hockey/USA Today poll with UNH claiming the #2 spot.  Same goes for the INCH Power Rankings.

UMass’ next opponent, Wisconsin, comes in at #15 in the USCHO poll.

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UMass goes without mention in this week’s Hockey East awards.  Not surprisingly Brian Flynn was named player of the week thanks to his effort against the Minutemen.

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