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Loose pucks: Bleed all over ’em, let ’em know you’re there

January 15, 2008

Three things we can really get behind
1) The beautiful, yet often elusive last-second goal. Not one, but two of these helped Lowell salvage two points and stay in the hunt for home ice. Despite historical trends, it seems puck luck can go Lowell’s way.

2) Anyone who heard that loud, thunderous noise this past weekend need not be alarmed. That was UMass crashing back down to mediocrity.* Even though we refused to drink the “Mass Attack” Kool-Aid, we’re not going to play the “told ya so” card …much.
* This was in no way the fault of Paul Dainton, who is by far the best goalie Hockey East has ever seen. Sure, he allowed five goals on 25 shots, but come on, it’s not like UMass is known for its defensive style.

3) Lowell’s higher-ups moving the time of the game to 4 p.m. At least one school realized the dilemma created for fans by playing their Saturday game at the same time as the New England Patriots. Attendance suffered league-wide regardless of start time, however. UNH’s home game against a nationally-ranked opponent only looked about 75 percent full at best.

Two things we’d prefer not to get Behind
1) Losing in overtime. Nothing says “rip out my heart and punt it two blocks north” like watching your team lose a hard fought game in OT and not get a single point for the effort.

2) Nate Gerbe coming to town. This kid is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Stat of the week
Lowell gave up 47 shots to Providence in its 3-2 overtime win. The last time Lowell gave up 45+ shots was Dec. 30, 2005, when Peter Vetri made 44 saves in a 5-4 loss at Minnesota. Of further interest is that the River Hawks allowed 40+ shots four times that month (44 at St. Lawrence, 57 at UNH, and 42 at Maine) and once more the next month (42 at Providence). Lowell allowed 40+ shots just once last season, conceding 41 at Minnesota-Duluth in the first game of the season.

Pigs flying! (Note: this has nothing to do with Maine fans)
If you were to ask any fan in Hockey East at the beginning of the season they’d have told you: this was to be the year the Catamount made their big push for home ice. All indications pointed to Coach Kevin Sneddon and Co. finally breaking through that last elusive barrier to the echelon of Hockey East elite, and frankly, why not? With their blistering sixth-place finish two years running, it was obviously only a matter of time before we pundits crowned the new “Big Five.” This slow start has stretched into the makings of a bad season, and that leaves us scratching our head over Vermont’s beer league-like performance so far in 07/08.

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