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Quinnipiac Recap

Too little, too late.  It’s nice that once the third period rolled around UMass decided to give it it’s all and begin to mount a comeback, but after sleeping through the first two periods just playing for 20 minutes isn’t going to cut it.  It boggles my mind that this team is not out and ready to play from the get go right now.  Six and a half minutes in the team is already down 2-0, which ends up being the Bobcat margin of victory.  Ten and a half minutes and Quinnipiac is up 3-0.  This UMass team is desperate for some kind of win and momentum and they again come out flat and execute poorly to start a game.  How does that happen?

There were a lot of things that went wrong for the Minutemen yesterday.  Until the third period we saw the lack of offense that has become the trademark for this team in the last few weeks.  They generated only five shots in the first and just five again in the second.  Ten shots total to QU’s 21 in that time.  Overall UMass finished with 21 shots on net, but most of those came from T.J. Syner with 5 and Mike Marcou with 4.  Other guys have to generate some shots on offense.  Mike Pereira and Conor Sheary only had two shots apiece.  Branden Gracel had zero for the game.  And Darren Rowe who played his first game of the season, inserted into the lineup as a forward, also had zero shots.

UMass finally broke their power play streak, but it took 5 chances and a five on three to do it.  Overall the Minutemen finished 1 for 7 on the power play with just 7 shots, four of those coming on the 5 on three.  They had two separate power plays lasting the full two minutes with no shots and two others that lasted over a minute with no shots.

But the biggest factor in yesterday’s game was faceoffs.  UMass was absolutely dominated in the faceoff circle, only winning 16 of 51 chances.  That’s 31% for those scoring at home.  You can’t generate offense if you don’t have the puck.  But possession wasn’t the only problem.  If you watch yesterday’s “highlights”, you’ll see that the first two goals for the Bobcats come immediately off of faceoffs.  You’ll also notice that a Bobcat player is sitting all alone in front of the net to put home the rebound from the initial shot.  Why?  Because on the first goal Oleg Yevenko never picks up his guy following the faceoff.  On the second it’s Conor Allen who does the same thing.  Again, those two goals, coming early in the game, end up being the final margin.

Poor execution and lack of any real sense of urgency to start the games is killing this team.  I think it’s safe to say this team is officially in trouble.  The team is still somewhat young, but even for young teams it’s around this time in the season where you begin to see progress being made.  You see little things that were a problem to start the season no longer become issues.  That’s not happening.  To start the season this team was scoring goals.  A lot of them.  Now they’re unable to manage more than two.  They’re getting solid goaltending, as obviously it’s tough to blame Teglia for those first two with the QU player’s allowed to sit in front of the crease, but they’re not taking advantage of it.  It falls on the coaching staff to address both of these issues.  Locking up guys off the faceoff, faceoff technique, and figuring out the power play has to be the primary focus of practices.  Off the ice they need to figure out what’s going on in the players’ heads that’s leading them to come out onto the ice and coast through large stretches of it.  Hopefully some progress in these area will be seen in the last two games of this ECAC swing.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game – Joel Hanley
Hanley assisted on both UMass goals and finished the game a +1.

Here’s the recap from the Republican.

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9 Comments

  1. mel

     /  November 27, 2011

    I think it is more than safe to say this team is officially in trouble. On top of everything you note, in the first two periods it seemed Q came out of the corners with every contested puck. And many times it seemed like the UMass forechecking was half-hearted at best. Appears to me that this will be the state of UMass hockey for the rest of this season and the next two years. The inconsistency of this team from period to period, game-to-game and week to week has been the only thing that has been consistent the past two years. The players change, but the song remains the same. I wonder why that is.

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    • Anonymous

       /  November 27, 2011

      Think you have to blame the coach for this one and a few other losses,,,No consistantcy with the lines ..they change from day to day… they were also changing within the game!! They have not been the same for the last four games. .no chemistry when game time comes…Players look like they are afraid to be aggressive or to make a mistake in fear of being benched. After all…they worked hard to get to this level
      Enough mind games with this coach…should know his players right now…stick with the lines..Powerplay…really three defensemen on the second unit…obviously that worked…Go back to the players that had it working. Coach seems desperate and afraid he is going to lose his job….

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  2. Will

     /  November 27, 2011

    I thought Phillips had a horrific game. He got beat time and time again and didn’t win any puck battles along the boards. I wouldn’t blame Oleg too much for not picking up his man on the first goal; he went into a shot blocking stance to block the shot in the first place. Teglia gave up way too many rebounds in my mind. The 3rd and 4th goals were great shots by Quinnipiac. Good to see Guzzo get another goal.

    Anyone else have a very difficult time watching the game on NESN because it was a production by Quinnipiac? It seemed like the entire thing was a Quinnipiac info-mercial. I couldn’t believe that they did their interviews with the president and basketball coach DURING the Umass power plays. The announcers even said Quinnipiac would get two points for the win…

    Anyways, another tough loss… Sad that it seems like the team’s fans have more emotions regarding the losses than the players themselves.

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  3. Bullmoose

     /  November 27, 2011

    Rocks, this is somewhat of a rhetorical question as I don’t know if you (or someone else) have been keeping numerical track of it, but through the first 14 games this season, how many different first and second line combinations were used?

    Reason I ask this is that it has always seemed strange to me that Toot is trying to play an up-tempo offensive game and keeps on changing personnel on the main lines seemingly every other game. I mean no disrespect to the coach, and he certainly knows much more about hockey than I do, but I am concerned to note that the teams that I’ve seen play this style successfully usually find line combos that work well together pretty quick and stick to it, letting them gel while playing and practicing together. I would understand if our style of play was very physical, resulting in a lot of injuries and/or suspensions: it would make sense to work all the line combos then just so that when players would go out of the line-up, they would know how to play with everyone on the team. However, it seems very strange to me that we use it since we are primarily a run-and-gun team.

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    • I don’t know, but the box scores on the Hockey East site are a good place to track starting lines game to game.

      And I agree, some continuity in the lines, injuries excluded, would be good for the team.

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  4. Anonymous

     /  November 27, 2011

    boys is there alot of “egos” for a last place team..

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  5. Anonymous

     /  November 28, 2011

    cahoon changed the leading scoring line in the nation earlier this year…
    it seems as if cahoon does not want any line to succeed…constantly
    keeping the players off balance with whom they may be playing with on the next shift; or the next game…where was hobbs?
    the captains need to speak up…where is the intensity they showed against b.c.?? this team has the talent to produce better results than this…
    hopefully we give harvard a beat down on friday…

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  1. Around Hockey East: 11/28 | Husky Hockey
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