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Saturday thoughts: An open letter to Duluth fans who made the trip to Lowell

January 27, 2008

To whom it may concern:

We know. You came out here expecting to see a pair of games against a pretty good nationally-ranked team that was playing with just about everyone, win or lose. That, uh, did not happen.

Instead, you were were witness to a team that had no interest in doing anything that would have made either game entertaining or indeed winnable. You likely will not see your team casually stroll through an easier two-game series this year, and for that, we’re sure you are thankful. The Bulldogs didn’t get hit more than two or three times per game, collectively. They also didn’t get challenged when you were on the penalty kill despite 12 chances over 120 minutes. The lack of offensive pressure from Lowell on all but a handful of shifts was, frankly, astounding.

Please accept our humblest of apologies. We assure you that Lowell is not as bad as these two games would have you believe (we hope). They beat UNH! We swear!

Lowell could have made it tougher for Duluth to close out the sweep, that’s for sure. But giving up two goals on the first four shots is no recipe for success. Four on the first sixteen? Also bad. The fact that Lowell held a nationally-ranked team to just 41 shots in two games is encouraging, but the fact that five of them went in.. not so much. And at least two of those goals were Downy soft.

Patrick Cey did, of course, score for Lowell, but at that point it was already academic at 3-0. More to the point, the amount of sure goals that were squandered by Lowell is what one should take out of this. At least three sitters were all right there for the taking, and Lowell forwards continually waved their sticks at the puck in a futile effort to score through sheer force of will.

Lowell did beat UMD in one key aspect of the game, however. Jay Cascalenda‘s three-penalty game on Friday was easily trumped by Kory Falite, who took FOUR penalties tonight. That’s a big moral victory for the boys.

If you’d like to hear more about the game, go back and read yesterday’s Thoughts. The games were more or less the same in terms of the sheer boredom they produced, though the scoreline was different. It was just one of those weekends where one team (in this case Lowell) just has no visible desire to participate in a hockey game.

Like we said, we can’t emphasize enough how sorry we are that you had actually fly 1,500 miles to watch these two games.

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