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Loose pucks: Take that equipment back to the store

November 19, 2008

Three things that are better than most other things:
1) Four-point weekends.

Haven’t had one of those in a while. But this wasn’t just a regular-old four-point weekend, this was one built upon hard work, excellent game management and the bones of Lowell’s enemies. The UNH game may have degenerated into a laughable cakewalk just minutes into the first period, but the important thing, to us anyway, was that it built the confidence to go into UMass Amherst and beat the team that had just thrashed the No. 1 BU Terriers and choke the life out of them for a good 60 minutes.

When was the last time Lowell went into a weekend like the one upcoming feeling like they had a legitimate chance to mow down the competition in a rain of fire not seen since June 6, 1944? They positively rolled on two opponents that are (perceived to be) very good last weekend, outscoring them 10-3. The last time Lowell scored 10 goals in a weekend was Oct. 27 and 28, 2005, when it pounded BU 7-4 behind a Mark Pandolfo hat trick and lost to Union 4-3 the next night. The scary thing is that it took 36 1/2 months to replicate that kind of offensive output, and it’s not even remotely outside the realm of possibility that it happens again this weekend.

2) Kory Falite on the fourth line.

We love it. Not that we love Falite playing as poorly as he did to get dropped down there, but the results were pretty excellent. Six goals from Falite, Matt Ferreira and Sammy D’Agostino? We’ll take it. Patrick Cey, with whom Falite did the line chart switcheroo, also looked pretty good up on the first line with Ben Holmstrom and Paul Worthington as he picked up a goal. If the lines stay exactly the same as they were last weekend and Falite still gets time on the first power play unit, we’re cool with that.

3) Defense.

We honestly can’t remember the last time Lowell gave up just three goals in a weekend to nationally ranked opponents. ‘Course, we didn’t bother to go back and check either. At any rate, the River Hawk defense was dominant this weekend in holding UNH, which scored six on BC on Saturday, to three goals (one of which was on a 5-on-3) and UMass Amherst, which put up five on BU the previous night, to none. Add in the eight assists, plus-10 and 13 shots they put up this weekend and you’d be at a loss to come up with a better weekend from any D corps against two nationally-ranked teams. They did everything Lowell needed them to do and more, and the results showed.

Two things that ain’t so hot:
1) The experience of watching a hockey game in Amherst.

So many things which we, as hockey fans, were embarrassed by on our latest trip to Amherst. We’ve made up a list of the more egregious offenses to our sensibilities:

  1. Techno music and plenty of it. It’s great if we’re trying to pick up party girls at a rave in 1998, but the soundtrack at the Mullins Center isn’t designed for hockey. Frankly, we don’t think it’s even designed for human beings, which is why we suppose it would, under normal circumstances, be acceptable for UMass Amherst’s student population. Speaking of which…
  2. The fanbase. When they weren’t calling Lowell players a-holes or singing along to the awful UMass Amherst fight song off-time, they may as well have been back in their dorms binge drinking. Dead silent all night, just like the UMass Amherst offense. For a group dubbed the “Mullins Maniacs” (which in and of itself is eye-roll inducing), these guys seemed rather subdued.
  3. The PA announcer. Boy, that whole “How much time is left?” “One minute left in the period,” “Thank you,” “You’re welcome” schtick might’ve worked in 2002 when UNH started doing it, but frankly, it’s mortifying now. Grown men shouldn’t behave like this. Similarly, during the introductions of the starting lines, can you not pronounce Paul Dainton*’s name like the Matt Damon puppet from Team America World Police? Unlike that puppet, he doesn’t have any sort of mental handicap (as far as we know). He just plays the puck like he does.
  4. The use of the term “Mass Attack.” We looked up the word “attack” on dictionary.com because, after Saturday, we weren’t sure that our previous understanding of the word was accurate. But then, dictionary.com gave us the following definitions: “the beginning or initiating of any action; onslaught; assault; a military offensive against an enemy or enemy position.” Hmm. That doesn’t remind us of any hockey we saw from UMass Amherst this weekend. Oh, but wait, “seizure by disease or illness: an attack of indigestion.” Okay then. That game the Minutemen played was indeed sickening.

2) Nothin’.

We’re all about positivity this week, baby!

Stat of the Week
Saturday’s game against UMass Amherst was just the fourth shutout ever against the Minutemen, but Lowell has allowed two goals or less against the Minutemen in 20 of the 46 matchups since the Minutemen went D1 in 1994.

We don’t wanna hear that weak stuff no more
And for the third week in a row, UML men’s soccer dominates the final portion of Loose Pucks. The River Hawks stormed the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, picking up a 3-2 win over Molloy (and that second Molloy goal was in garbage time) and a 2-1 win over Northeast-10 champions Southern New Hampshire, which hosted the games. Pretty solid. Lowell now moves on to face Dowling in the NCAA quarterfinals down on Long Island this Sunday at 1 p.m. Dowling may have beaten the ‘Hawks 1-nil down there already for the season opener, but that was only because Lowell had a goal disallowed for what we can only assume are shady, unjust reasons.

Go ‘Hawks go.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott K permalink
    November 19, 2008 9:28 pm

    Last time Lowell gave up 3 goals in a weekend to a ranked opponent? Last month. They gave up 2 to #11 Michigan State (in a 16-second span in Game 2)

  2. Jay permalink
    November 20, 2008 2:56 am

    So… how do you really feel about UMass?

    Why is it you have your panties in such a bunch with them? They suck, can never beat Lowell, and the fans are drunks.

    Is it that fact they dont use tarps on all the empty seats like they do in Tsongas?

    Just wondering, cause you have such a hard-on for a perennial lousy team… If it was BU I’d understand..

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