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Weekend preview: Look how they massacred our Friars

January 9, 2009

Lowell River Hawks (8-10-0, 5-6-0 HE) vs. Providence College (3-12-1, 0-8-1 HE)

at Providence College 7 p.m. Saturday at Schneider Arena, Providence, R.I.

All-time head-to-head Lowell trails Providence 35-44-9

Lowell is seventh in Hockey East with 10 points from 11 games and Providence is last in Hockey East with one point from nine games.

Last three games
Lowell — 1-2 vs. Union, 1-2 vs. Minnesota Duluth, 2-3 at BU
Providence College — 4-3 at Brown, 2-3 at Quinnipiac, 2-4 at Union

Prior meetings
Lowell has thoroughly dominated Providence in their two meetings this year. On Oct. 24, the River Hawks thumped the Friars 4-1 behind a 26-save effort from Carter Hutton and goals from Nick Schaus, Mark Roebothan, Jonathan Maniff and Paul Worthington. David Vallorani had two assists in the game as well.

In the second matchup on Nov. 21, the beating was even worse. The ‘Hawks prevailed 6-1 thanks to two-point nights from Schaus, Kory Falite, Jeremy Dehner, Maury Edwards and Mike Potacco. Nevin Hamilton made 30 saves.

Season series
Lowell leads 2-0-0 with 10 goals for and two against.

Top scorers
Lowell:
Kory Falite — 18 GP, 10-6-16 (11 GP, 6-3-9 HE)
David Vallorani — 18, 4-10-14 (11, 3-6-9)
Scott Campbell — 18, 7-6-13 (11, 2-4-6)
Ben Holmstrom — 18, 3-10-13 (11, 1-8-9)
Maury Edwards — 18, 5-7-12 (11, 4-6-10)

Providence College
Matt Bergland — 16 GP, 5-11-16 (9 GP, 1-5-6 HE)
Matt Taormina — 16, 3-8-11 (9, 2-3-5)
John Cavanagh — 16, 5-5-10 (9, 2-0-2)
Pierce Norton — 15, 4-5-9 (8, 2-1-3)
Ian O’Connor — 16, 3-4-7 (9, 1-2-3)

Goaltending
Lowell:
Nevin Hamilton (5-4-0) — 10 GP, 572:02 minutes, 2.20 GAA/.925 sv% (9 GP, 512:06 minutes, 2.11 GAA/.931 sv% HE)
Carter Hutton (2-5-0) — 8, 418:22, 1.72/.932 (3, 121:45, 1.97/.933)

Providence College:
Justin Gates (2-9-1) — 13 GP, 645:54 minutes, 3.81 GAA/.853 sv% (8 GP, 348:57 minutes, 4.13 GAA/.848 sv% HE)
Chris Mannix (1-3-0) — 6, 308:57, 4.47/.851 (4, 192:40, 4.67/.840)

Team stats
Lowell:
Overall (18 games) — 52 goals for (2.89/gm), 39 goals against (2.17/gm). Power play 18/94 (19.1%, 1 SHGA), penalty kill 70/82 (85.4%, 1 SHGF)
Hockey East (11 games) — 35 GF (3.18/gm), 27 GA (2.45/gm). PP 10/50 (20.0%, 0 SHGA), PK 48/55 (87.3%, 1 SHGF)

Providence College:
Overall (16 games) — 35 goals for (2.19/gm), 67 goals against (4.19/gm). Power play 10/81 (12.3%, 4 SHGA), penalty kill 57/77 (74.0%, 1 SHGF)
Hockey East (9 games) — 14 GF (1.56/gm), 40 GA (4.44/gm). PP 4/48 (8.3%, 4 SHGA), PK 29/41 (70.7%, 0 SHGF)

Outlook
The bad news: Lowell’s goals for per game has dipped below three per game for the first time since the weekend of Nov. 14, has lost five in a row, hasn’t scored more than two goals in a game in just under two months and is coming off a loss to Union of all teams.

The good news: It’s playing the worst team in Hockey East, probably ever.

As such, we cannot possibly stress enough how unlikely it is that Lowell loses, even despite their recent performances. Hopefully the River Hawks have taken serious offense to their play the last three series and are ready to come into Providence and put more shots on the PC goalie than Sonny Corleone faced at the toll booth. We want blood.

It’s really as simple as this: Lowell needs this game to get everything back on track before it faces BC next weekend. The offense needs to explode, the defense needs to be airtight and the goaltending needs to be stellar. No excuses. Win big.

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