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Loose pucks: The best game you can name

October 14, 2008

Three things we’re smilin‘ about:

1) It’s hockey season.

In the past week or so we’ve watched more hockey games on Versus, NESN, and the NHL’s new online package than a human being should feel comfortable admitting. But that’s no big deal, because the hockey season has started, and that means everything else in our lives (jobs, friends, loved ones, etc.) takes a backseat. We have our priorities in order for the next seven months of college hockey and nine for the NHL.

As such, we’ve composed a checklist to help you at home figure out how to prioritize the things in your life so that you too can be a better person:

Would it cause you to miss an important hockey-related event?

  • Trick question. Everything hockey-related is important and should take precedence you to miss the birth of your first-born child, wedding anniversary or quote-unquote important business function.

2) All those wonderful strength of schedule points Lowell’s going to pick up.

Let’s be honest, Lowell’s not as bad as the 2-1 loss at Colgate would lead some to believe. Nor are UMass or BU (but ESPECIALLY UMass) as good as the performances they turned in against two very young, inexperienced teams in Michigan State or North Dakota. Nor, indeed, are NoDak and Michigan State as bad as they looked this weekend. So when the Sioux and Spartans start romping over W- and CCHA opponents later this year, they’ll help UMass and BU. And when Lowell starts beating UMass and BU (but ESPECIALLY UMass), that’s going to help out come NCAA selection time.

Yes, we have this whole thing planned out in our heads, and yes, we’re spinning this weekend the best we can. What about it?

3) The D’Agostino-Vallorani-Cey line.

The trio of Sammy D’Agostino, David Vallorani and Patrick Cey are proving to be an effective grind line. D’Agostino was everywhere in the exhibition game, playing a very pesky role, and Vallorani and Cey were both very effective in every zone. Cey also scored Lowell’s only goal of the season, on which freshman Vallorani picked up his first career assist in his first career game. Can’t ask for a much better start than that.

Two things we’re cryin’ about:
1) Except that you want a much better start than that from the rest of the team.

Okay, admittedly the defense was fine, but how do you give up two goals on 16 shots? That’s not going to fly in Hockey East, but we’ll chalk it up to rink rust for now.

2) Being the odd team out.

Only one team in Hockey East didn’t have a win this weekend. It was Lowell. If the team could be so kind as to correct that this weekend, it would be greatly appreciated.

Stat of the Week
This was the fourth year in a row that Lowell failed to win its season opener. Prior to the 2-1 loss to Colgate, the ‘Hawks tied UMass 3-3, tied Minnesota Duluth 2-2, and lost to Colgate 6-2. To find Lowell’s last win in an opener, one would have to go back to 2004-05, when Lowell squeaked by Niagara 3-2 in overtime on the strength of a goal from then-freshman Cleve Kinley.

As an aside, the 2004-05 season was the last time Lowell finished about .500, and just the second time it did so since the start of the new millenium.

Cleaning up
Because we couldn’t bring you the poll yesterday, here it is today.

Team (FPV) Record Points Last Poll
1 Boston College* (45) 1-0-0 993 1
2 Michigan ( 2) 2-0-0 936 2
3 Colorado College ( 3) 2-0-0 898 3
4 Denver 1-0-0 819 6
5 Boston University* 2-0-0 784 9
6 New Hampshire* 1-0-0 767 7
7 Miami 1-0-1 663 8
8 Notre Dame* 0-1-0 636 4
9 Minnesota 0-0-0 525 10
10 Princeton 0-0-0 460 12
11 Michigan State* 1-1-0 459 11
12 St. Cloud State 2-0-0 449 15
13 North Dakota 0-2-0 445 5
14 Clarkson 0-0-0 356 13
15 Minnesota State 2-0-0 283 18
16 Cornell 0-0-0 190 17
17 Vermont* 1-0-0 144 20
18 Harvard 0-0-0 136 19
19 Northern Michigan 1-1-0 124 16
20 Wisconsin 0-2-0 118 14
Others Receiving Votes: Northeastern* 108, Air Force 71, Massachusetts* 44, Minnesota-Duluth* 39, Mass.-Lowell 10, Bowling Green 8, Alaska 7, Ferris State 7, Niagara 7, Yale 5, Dartmouth 3, Quinnipiac 3, RIT 2, St. Lawrence 1

*2008-09 Lowell opponent

The puck is in, the River Hawks win! It’s the good ol’ hockey game!
We understand we were a liiiiiiiittle hard on the team this weekend, but that’s tough love. We love this team, and we always (always!) want what’s best for it. We had and continue to have high hopes for their success, and believe that this is among the best teams in Hockey East, and the best team Lowell has had since The Best Class Ever (the Walter, Martin, Godoy, O’Brien class) were juniors. We like the defense, we like the offense, and we like the goaltending. We’d just like them to put it all together. So if we come off as jerks, that’s why.

Go ‘Hawks go!

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