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Loose pucks: There are actually three things we like

January 28, 2009

Three things about which to cheer:
1) Four big points.

After hitting a bit of a speed bump against Amherst last weekend, it would appear that Lowell has gotten itself back on track. At least three goals for per game and wins in three of the last four. Everyone seems to be getting healthy at the right time and, if things keep humming like this against Maine, we’d go so far as to say Lowell’s on a very nice little run here that could carry it into a home ice spot after all. Suck it, rest of Hockey East.

2) Mike Scheu.
It’s not every day a kid that scored more than a goal a game in his last season of juniors falls into your lap, but it happened here. Scheu, in our limited viewing, struck us as a player that will be very dangerous down the road. He’s aggressive, fast, has a nice shot, plays with a bit of an edge (Lowell was occasionally lacking for that type of forward) and he’s creative. How creative? Well, he scored this goal in juniors last year. Nasty. We would love to see him do it against Maine.

3) Confidence.

After that Providence loss, it seemed everyone (including us) had this season chalked up as another crushing disappointment. But now Lowell goes to Maine to face the a-bit-past-it Black Bears, who haven’t won in eight games. They don’t score at even strength and, now that Scott Darling is on the fritz, they have no goaltending. The ‘Hawks have to feel very good about their chances at Alfond this weekend.

Two things about which to sit on your hands:
1) Playing at Alfond.

Regardless of recent performance by both teams, we still view games on the schedule that say “at Maine” as reason to worry. Lowell hasn’t won there in its last 16 tries. We think there might be some kind of gypsy voodoo curse going on.

2) Road trips.

Of the next eight games Lowell plays, seven will be away from Tsongas Arena. They’re at Maine, at BU, at Amherst, at BC, host BC, at Vermont for two and then at Northeastern. Most important stretch of the season? You bet. The ‘Hawks can win all of those games. We saw nothing from BU that makes us think they’re that much better than Lowell in either of the earlier two games, BC is painfully mediocre this year, Vermont is good but Lowell tends to play better against the Catamounts in Burlington than in Lowell, and Northeastern seems like is always just about as good as Lowell, either a little better or a little worse. Amherst, obviously, we don’t worry about.

Stat of the Week
Lowell has played in 11 one-goal games this year, and before the BC game had dropped the first eight of them (1-2 at Colgate, 1-2 at Michigan State, 3-4 vs. Northeastern, 2-3 at UNH, 2-3 at BU, 1-2 vs. Minnesota Duluth, 1-2 vs. Union). But since the BC game, Lowell is 3-1-0 in one-goal games, winning, obviously, 4-3 at BC in overtime, 3-2 vs. Merrimack and 3-2 at Merrimack. The only loss was the 3-4 loss vs. Amherst. That’s a sign that Lowell is having its puck luck even out a bit, and portends a good future for Lowell as well.

Apropos of nothing…
Boston College and UNH, the two teams ahead of the River Hawks in the standings, seem to be fading, so we think it best that Lowell pick up the mantle and run as far as it can. The three games preceding the BC series will either establish Lowell as the team to beat for home ice. BC has single games with both Providence and UMass, as well as a pair of Beanpot games, before it meets Lowell. UNH has Vermont for one and Maine for two. Winnable games, all. That’s why it is of the utmost importance that Lowell close out Maine, earn a point against BU and crush Amherst. Make a goddamn statement.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. jjmc85 permalink
    January 28, 2009 11:20 pm

    Good to see Lowell beating Merrimack twice has gotten you guys back to normal. I was worried about you after the Providence loss.

    I’m a UMass fan, but I enjoy reading this blog anyway. Now that your taking shots at the Flagship again I can tell your back to normal.

    Keep up the good work. Go Minutemen!

  2. The 'Hawks blog permalink
    January 29, 2009 12:22 am

    Well we were a little worried after losing to a crap team like Amherst.

  3. Your shrink permalink
    January 29, 2009 3:27 pm

    Your obsession with UMass is really starting to reach a disturbing level.

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