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Sunday preview: Acadian driftwood

October 4, 2009

(Please forgive the extreme lateness of this post, it’s been a busy weekend.)

The No. 10 Lowell River Hawks (0-0-0, 0-0-0 HE) vs. the Acadia University Axemen (1-2-0)

4 p.m. Sunday at Tsongas Arena, Lowell, Mass.

Lowell finished fifth in Hockey East last year with 30 points from 27 games.

Last three games
Lowell — Hasn’t played a game yet.
AU — 1-8 at UNH (exh.), 6-10 vs. St. Mary’s, 7-1 vs. Dalhousie

Prior meetings
These teams haven’t met ever, we don’t think.

Season series
Nothing to report.

Top scorers (all 2008-09)
Lowell:
Maury Edwards — 38 GP, 12-18-30 (27 GP, 9-16-25 HE)
Scott Campbell — 38, 13-16-29 (27, 6-11-17)
David Vallorani — 38, 9-18-27 (27, 7-12-19)
Jeremy Dehner — 38, 3-23-26 (27, 3-17-20)
Kory Falite — 31, 14-8-22 (20, 10-5-15)

Acadia University (these stats are the best we could do):
Jonathan Laberge — 27 GP, 14-18-32
Philippe Bertrand — 26, 9-21-30
Chris Bruton — 26, 15-14-29
Ryan Graham — 25, 10-16-26
Nathan Welton — 28, 1-20-21

Goaltending
Lowell:
Carter Hutton (9-8-1) — 19 GP, 1,106:15 minutes, 2.06 GAA/.916 sv% (12 GP, 667:58 minutes, 2.25 GAA/.910 sv% HE)
Nevin Hamilton (10-8-1) — 19, 1,113:50, 2.15/.925 (16, 934:54, 2.18/.926)

Acadia University:
Kristofer Westblom (8-7-0) — 16 GP, 874:25 minutes, 2.74 GAA/.886 sv%
Michael Chiasson (7-6-0) — 14, 823:03, 3.28/.874

Team stats (2008-09)
Lowell:
Overall (38 games) — 112 goals for (3.03/gm), 86 goals against (2.26/gm). Power play 38/197 (19.3%, 2 SHGA), penalty kill 158/180 (87.8%, 5 SHGF)
Hockey East (27 games) — 84 GF (3.11/gm), 66 GA (2.44/gm). Power play 26/132 (19.7%, 1 SHGA), penalty kill 122/137 (89.1%, 5 SHGF)

Acadia University:
Overall (28 games) — 94 goals for (3.36/gm), 88 goals against (3.14/gm). Power play 37/170 (21.8%, 2 SHGA), penalty kill 130/155 (83.9%, 3 SHGF)

Outlook

Well well well. If it isn’t a brand new hockey season.

Sure, it doesn’t technically begin until next Friday, but this is as good a time as any to start playing like it does. If last night’s result at Amherst (ha ha!) is any indication, you have to stay on your toes, even in exhibition games, if you want to win hockey games.

On the other hand, Lowell should clobber the Axemen like an axeman clobbers a tree (wait that’s terrible). This is a team that, in its last three games, gave up 19 goals, despite allowing a one-goal effort from a Dalhousie team that must be mind-numbingly bad. Acadia took the ice last night in Durham and lost 8-1, which, y’know, isn’t so good.

Blaise MacDonald certainly isn’t going to ice a full-strength squad — ask Northeastern, which, along with St. Francis Xavier, racked up a boatload of third-period PIMs last night, how feisty a Canadian side can get when it’s losing — but just due to the amount of talent on the roster, Lowell will have to roll out at more than a few regulars in this one. This will almost certainly be our first glimpse at most of, if not all, of the freshmen (one D-pairing and one full line, by our count), and another solid look at a player we think will turn out to be awful reliable down the road in Timmy Corcoran. Not sure who we’ll see get the go in net, but, were we betting men, our guess is that it’d be Nevin Hamilton.

Lowell, well, it’s Lowell. It has the juice to hang eight on these clowns no problemo. And beyond that, there’s not much to say.

See ya at the rink, eh?

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