Advertisements

Providence Recap

It would be very easy to sugarcoat this recap and say that it was a valiant effort by the team to comeback and gain the tying goal with the goaltender pulled under two minutes left.  I could say it was a great accomplishment to gain a point on the road from a team four spots ahead of them in the standings that had already beaten them once.  Sorry, not going to happen.  The fact of the matter is UMass twice had the lead in this game, once 2-1 and then 3-2, and both times gave it up and then ultimately allowed Providence to take the lead.  The fact is not only was the power play utterly ineffective, generating just two shots on five opportunities, but they even gave up a shorthanded goal.  The fact is the team wasted that great effort in the waning seconds to send it to overtime and then had to kill off an inexplicable too many men penalty as overtime expired, giving UMass zero chance to complete the comeback.  The fact is UMass desperately needed four points this week to get back into the Hockey East mix and they opened up the week’s games with a tie against a team they outplayed for good portions of the game.  That one point gained tonight?  Did nothing.  They started the night in 9th place and out of the playoffs and end the night in 9th place and out of the playoffs.  Ties are just treading water.  This team needs wins.

Now, that’s not to say the game wasn’t without some positives.  I was happy to see Boyle in net because I really wanted to see how he’d respond to what was his worst collegiate performance last time in Providence.  I’m happy to report he looked a lot better.  Especially noticeable was how well he has improved at moving side to side and making sure to get right up against the posts, something that hurt him last time out against the Friars.  Honestly probably the goal he’d want back was the shorthanded goal Providence scored.  It wasn’t an odd man rush or a breakaway.  Boyle just wasn’t positioned well at all considering he had a defenseman on the shooter.  Overall though he played well and made some key saves, especially in instances where bodies and the puck were piling up in front of him.  I thought Mike Marcou had a very good game, scoring a goal and finishing a +2.  He even blocked what would’ve been a game clinching empty net goal by the Friars moments before Danny Hobbs tied the score.  I’ve been critical of Pat Kiley in recent games because of the poorly timed penalties he has taken, but he had perhaps his best performance of his career tonight.  No penalties tonight (though he served the too many men penalty in overtime) and he scored his first collegiate goal on an excellent pass from Colin Shea which gave UMass  3-2 lead.  It probably doesn’t come through on the score sheet, but Troy Power had a very good game and was very active late in the contest.  Branden Gracel, despite getting manhandled all night, performed well with a couple assists and finishing a +3.  It was great to see Danny Hobbs get that tying goal and he finished with a team high 7 shots.  Three of his four goals have now come at Providence and that one was huge.  The last positive was that UMass kept Providence off the board on the power play, killing all five of the Friar chances.

The power play however was probably the difference maker.  0 for 5 with only two shots in over eight minutes of time.  Plus they give up one shorthanded.  Yes, Boyle could’ve played the shot better but at the same time it should never get to that point either.  And for the most part the defense was very poor for the rest of the game too.  It’s not that they play badly for 60 minutes, a lot of the time the defense looks good.  But it seems the smallest of breakdowns is an automatic goal for the other team.  The goal in which the Friars tied it at 2 is the one that sticks out most to me.  Providence has the puck in the UMass zone in the corner and inexplicably Oleg Yevenko loses his stick.  It didn’t break and it didn’t seem to be knocked out of his hands.  He just seemed to drop it.  So he’s without a stick, Providence centers the puck to the top of the crease, no one gets their stick in the passing lane, point blank shot by Steven Shemanski which Boyle has no chance on and UMass has given up its first lead of the night.  It’s those kind of breakdowns, losing a stick, not getting in a passing lane, going to block a shot a second to late, that has led to too many opponent goals.  Situations just like this have killed UMass this season.

So it is what it is.  UMass needed two points and only got one.  They had a chance to pull even of Providence, a team they (hopefully) could end up tied with, but didn’t and now a tie or less in the final meeting will give the Friars the season series.  I was glad the team didn’t give up and scoring a goal the way they did after getting a gritty stop by Marcou to keep it within reach is admirable.  But all of those heroics came after they gave up a lead in the game twice.  It’s January now.  Good teams not only maintain leads in key games but widens them.  Maybe I’m being a hardass following a hard earned tie, but the fact is I think this team is better than they’ve shown and frankly they have a lot ground to make up at this point in the season.

Fear The Triangle Player of the Game
I probably could’ve given this to Danny Hobbs for his late game heroics and how well he performed on offense.  Obviously if anyone had converted in overtime it would likely have gone to them.  But I’m happy that I’m able to give this to Conor Sheary because honestly whenever UMass had a decent scoring chance it seemed like Sheary was somehow involved, either he shot the puck, setup the shot, or dug in along the boards to keep the puck alive in the zone.  Sheary has gone from being a nice story in terms of his development as a sophomore to being UMass’ best player on the ice for key stretches of their games.

Recap from the Republican.

Game story from the Boston Herald.

Advertisements

9 Comments

  1. Will

     /  January 6, 2012

    The Hobbs/Guzzo/Pereira line had some great, lengthy shifts where they just cycled the puck behind the net. Not sure how many shots/points they generated, but it was good to see the chemistry at work. Also, I loved the team’s energy in the first few minutes. It was somewhat short-lived, but at least they started the night with some decent shots. It’s nice to see ~10 shots in the first, which they often don’t reach.

    Like

    • There were a lot of positives last night. Which is why it’s even more frustrating they couldn’t pull out the win.

      Like

  2. Carson

     /  January 6, 2012

    thought phillips looked shaky out there tonight…and also refs (again) missed what i thought was a pretty bad trip on syner in OT

    also, went to the abbey (per your recommendation on your roadtrip page) and the burger was to die for!

    Like

    • Yeah, Phillips is having a sophomore season to forget.

      Glad you enjoyed the Abbey. Sad thing about a midweek game was the inability to enjoy a burger there.

      Like

  3. George

     /  January 6, 2012

    As an aside, The linesman struggled and couldn’t agree at all last night. But the officiating had zero to do with the Minuteman problems.

    You said it Rocks and it was repeated on the radio:

    “But it seems the smallest of breakdowns is an automatic goal for the other team.”

    Boyle in my opinion and most other people’s views is the guy and I’m not critical of him, I like him a lot…but the really good goalies in the collection of 30 good saves on a night have to make 1 or 2 CRITICAL SAVES and that’s something Kevin hasn’t done….yet. This was the knock on Paul Dainton. It can be argued that he ranked right with Brian Regan and Gabe Winer in the next level down from Jon Quick, the problem was in a great 35 save night, there was always one softy. A great goalie (Quick) steals the most games/points he can. With the exception of the 0-0 tie at Cornell that jumps out immediately, Paul stole very few games/points. Kevin needs to learn to do this sooner than later as this teams pedigree has been and appears to continue to be the observation you make: Mistakes not only lead to opposition opportunities, but opportunities that most often turn into goals.

    Like

  4. Puck Fan

     /  January 6, 2012

    I agree that the Hobbs/pereira/Guzzo line played very well last night. It seems to me that pereira is the catalyst for this line to get it going. I would love to see the old line of him Sheary and Guzzo together (which occurred a few times in Florida). Although he’s been off the scoresheet (which is unordinary) Pereira has been playing very well on both sides of the puck. I think him and Sheary have been arguably the 2 best forwards on the team at glimpses along with TJ. I’m sure the Guzzo/Hobbs/Pereira line will figure it out. When they do, I think this team will make a run. Any thoughts?

    Like

  5. Anonymous

     /  January 6, 2012

    umass for long stretches outplayed pc…hey rocks – what is your opinion
    of sheary and hobbs repeatedly hooked /held etc. and we get NO CALL…
    THE REFS PULLED FOR PC ALL NIGHT…WE Dominated the first 3 minutes of ot
    pc looked tired and on the brink and could not even get it out of their
    d-zone and then pc gets rewarded w/ a power play in ot?
    remember one umass power play was immediately taken away in 10 seconds by an “interference” penalty on t.j.
    very frustating to tie that team…umass clearly faster, bigger, and better playmakers…i still believe umass is on the verge of a winning streak…go umass!!

    Like

    • My opinion is that Jeff Bunyon has been, and continues to be, the most incompetent Hockey East ref. That said, UMass had chances to put the game away and didn’t.

      Like

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: