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Friday thoughts: Jon Rheault-on-the-spot

January 12, 2008

Well that’s disappointing.

After a stellar first period in which Lowell had the lion’s share of high-quality chances and a 2-1 lead, things kind of fell apart.

Lowell was down 1-0 almost right away thanks to Providence’s all-out attack producing a goal for Jon Rheault, but Scott Campbell answered the call, muscling his way out of the corner to tie it, then setting up a goal from Mark Roebothan (his team-leading 10th) with a pretty pass that went the length of the neutral zone.

So Lowell took a 2-1, come-from-behind lead into the dressing room, and came out with almost momentum in spite of that fact. PC eventually leveled the score with a Pierce Norton goal on the power play. Though PC couldn’t muster much beyond that, neither could Lowell, and thus an ugly second period ended tied at 2-2.

Kelly Sullivan (of all people) put Lowell up 3-2 early in the third with his second career goal and Providence once again clawed back into the game thanks to Lowell’s inability to capitalize on the power play. Cody Wild knotted the game again midway through the period. Providence had the chance to tie it before that, but Carter Hutton made several spectacular saves on absolute gimmes. Guess that’s why he’s one of the best goalies in the country.

Then came overtime, and there’s not much to say there. Rheault scored his second of the game and 12th of the season just 40 seconds into OT, going through Sullivan like a turnstyle at the fair and beating Hutton, who made 30 saves on 34 shots.

Here’s our problem with this: there is not a universe known to science in which Kelly Sullivan’s defensive pairing should be lining up against any team’s top line in overtime.

Fortunately, despite the loss, Lowell got a lot of help last night. Northeastern lost to Merrimack 4-2, UMass fell to UNH at Mullins (don’t believe the hype), and Vermont lost to BC, which is coming on gangbusters and will likely win the league when all is said and done.

Still, this loss is one that leaves you scratching your head. Many of the things Lowell has done well did not get done, and not doing them against teams below you in the standings with games in hand is a good way to not get home ice.

Need two points tonight. Go ‘Hawks.

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