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Saturday thoughts: Bad news

October 11, 2009

This is not an ideal start to the season.

Even setting aside the sad facts — that Lowell blew an early 2-0 lead, that Lowell conceded four goals to a team that barely beat Army, that Lowell wasn’t physical enough, that Lowell was careless with the puck and the system, that Lowell had four shots in the third period — this is a 4-3 loss to Nebraska-Omaha, and that is an unacceptable result.

Simply put, if this team wants to make any waves both at the league and national level, then results like this, which is akin to losing to Amherst, aren’t going to fly.

The real question we have, since we once again didn’t see the game, is how Lowell could come out flying as it did, scoring twice in the first 7:26, and then fall so flat. Perhaps it was the fact that the Mavericks took just three penalties all game, and Lowell establishes itself on the power play, but if the ‘Hawks are counting on its opponents taking penalties, then they have to do what they apparently did not do last night: outwork the opponent.

This was, of course, a hallmark of Lowell hockey last season. Any game where they had any amount of success was directly attributable to hard work, and Lowell apparently didn’t believe it needed to carry out that game plan last night, that it could just breeze by UNO on its not-insignificant skill and hype alone.

But as minutes Nos. 10-23 showed, that attitude’s not going to get it done. The one goal to pull UNO back within one isn’t so much upsetting (can’t hold a shutout streak forever, regardless of how the Lowell women’s soccer program seems to feel about the matter), but the two goals in the first 2:49 of the second? Inexcusable. We don’t really know how they happened or anything since due to prior obligations we somehow both missed almost all of the broadcast on WUML, but what we’ve been able to piece together from reports is that Lowell gave up too many pucks in transition, and that led to a number of odd-man rushes.

Where Lowell wins and loses games is along the boards. We saw that last season, in the exhibition game, and Friday night and thus this is pretty clearly how things need to get done. That the loss came because Lowell didn’t play this way is, we think, just punishment. (We cannot help but think, by the way, that Nick Schaus’ presence would have been a tremendous help, but given what our spies have told us about his suspension — a doozy for sure — then it’s extremely understandable why he was not allowed to make the trip.)

There is some good news though: Lowell now has two weeks to work out the kinks. Let’s hope that a couple bag skate practices are in order, because Lowell has to get the idea that it will be beating anyone with another game through the middle of the ice this year out of its head nice and early.

We’ll take this loss for what it is: a learning experience, albeit an incredibly frustrating and detrimental one.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bob permalink
    October 13, 2009 12:59 am

    Tough night in the defensive zone for the River Hawks. They gift wrapped a few goals for UNO, the defense will need to play much better.

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