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Championship thoughts: Cars passing by, but none of them seem to go my way

March 22, 2009

It’s difficult for us to write this right now.

Not because we’re furious or devastated or in mourning. We just don’t know quite what to say or how to feel.

One supposes that the best way to approach this is by simply looking at the game for what it was, rather than in the context of the entire season or what we thought the game could have (or even should have) been. So here goes:

This was a fantastic game for Lowell. Excepting everything — final result, goals and no-goals, penalties for and against, shot differential, injuries — this was an enormous game for the program and this team. They took the team that looks to be the favorite in the entire nation to the absolute brink and did everything they probably could have to at least draw even without doing so, and for that they are to be commended. What else can be said?

Nevin Hamilton was outstanding in dealing with several rather dicey situations, and this was so unlike the last elimination game in which Lowell lost to BU. Where the River Hawks seemed tentative in Game 3 last year, the way a trespasser is skittish about being in a place in which he ought not be, but this year we saw an entirely different animal.

These River Hawks were poised and ready for these terrifying Terriers. They appeared not as interlopers in this Beanpotesque menage a trois, though many (including the Hockey East officials overseeing jumbotron script) seemed to label them such, but as a team that not only fully deserved to be there, but belonged there as well. And that’s a key difference. Teams have made it to the Garden and been outclassed (think Merrimack in 1998), but not Lowell. Ask Northeastern or BU which team deserved to win their games this weekend based solely upon desire and which side carried the play for the greater part of the game. Publically, both have said Lowell. Candidly, both would say Lowell as well, and to do otherwise would be an attempt to delude themselves.

We think it’s a bit funny, also, that every coach Lowell ran across in the playoffs (Kevin Sneddon, Greg Cronin and Jack Parker) talked about how their team didn’t seem to have the attention to detail that the ‘Hawks brought to most of their shifts. Lowell, they said, outworked their teams because their teams showed uncharacteristic lack of work ethic. While that might sound dismissive of Lowell or insulting to their own teams, it’s actually an incredible compliment. Lowell played its game SO well against all three teams that it was able to actively disrupt what they wanted to do for a full 60 minutes at a time.

That Lowell didn’t score tonight (and we’ll privately grumble about the Ben Holmstrom goal-that-wasn’t for years, but also will consider it verboten in this space because that’s hardly what this was about) was almost as much happenstance as it was Kieran Millan‘s outstanding goaltending job. So many passes across the goalmouth juuuuuust missed connections. So many shots went juuuuuust wide. So many attempts hit juuuuuuust the wrong part of the blade. But Lowell controlled the good majority of the game, and in fact dominated the second period. We find it difficult to imagine a team besides Lowell manhandled the Terriers that effectively for, oh, 55 or so minutes of a game and didn’t come out with a win.

Our hats are off to all involved, really. BU did what it needed to do, and masterfully at that, and Lowell left it all on the ice. Couldn’t ask for more than that. (except an apology from the officials haw haw haw)

Lowell, by the way, will be back playing in this game next year. And it will win. Of this we have little doubt. God, we love this team.

Give us a few days to choke down this horrible-tasting pill and we’ll have a season postmortem good to go around mid-week.

As ever: Go ‘Hawks go!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    March 22, 2009 6:10 am

    What a great blog with a lot of useful info and thoughts of the fans. Great year for UML and they will be back next year to win it all.

  2. saharagirl permalink
    March 22, 2009 1:21 pm

    Thanks to the Hawks for playing with a spirit that took me back to my younger days when the Chiefs were fierce and anything was possible. I’ll be with you next year and we will win it all!!! Much love from a 1981 U Lowell Alum.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    March 22, 2009 2:14 pm

    I feel your pain as well – We should be in ahead of Vt for the NCAA re 3-1-1 record vs. them. Great job on the blog again this year. Go Hawks

  4. Nigoki: permalink
    March 22, 2009 5:56 pm

    This is only my second season following the River Hawks (I’m a recent transplant fan). After hearing the result of Friday’s game, I left family I was visiting and the ECAC tournament in Albany early Saturday morning to make sure I could get back to Boston in time for the final.

    I didn’t come back to see a win (though that would have been incredible to see) I came to see the team that I’ve become so fond of put up one heck of a fight, and I can honestly say, I was not disappointed. If this season has taught us anything, it’s that this team would not give up until the very end.

    Well done ‘Hawks, hold your heads high, you’ve earned it.

  5. Jon permalink
    March 22, 2009 11:20 pm

    Well done. Too bad about the game, but well done.
    VIVA L’ALLIANCE!!!!!!!!!!!

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