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Weekend preview: Weeeeeeeee!

October 22, 2009

The No. 13 Lowell River Hawks (1-1-0, 0-0-0 HE) vs. the Colgate Raiders (1-1-2, 0-0-0 ECAC) and the Northeastern Huskies (2-1-0, 0-0-0 HE)

7 p.m. Friday at Tsongas Arena, Lowell, Mass.
5 p.m. Saturday at Tsongas Arena, Lowell Mass.

Lowell finished fifth in Hockey East last year with 30 points from 27 games, St. Lawrence was 10 in the ECAC with 17 points from 22 games and Northeastern was second in Hockey East with 39 points from 27 games.

Last three games
Lowell — 3-4 at Nebraska-Omaha, 3-0 vs. St. Lawrence, 3-0 vs. Acadia (exh.)
Colgate — 1-4 vs. Nebraska-Omaha, 1-1 vs. Nebraska-Omaha, 3-2 at RIT
NU — 3-2 vs. Bentley, 4-3 at Colorado College, 2-4 at Colorado College

Prior meetings
Lowell is leads Colgate 9-7-0 all-time, and leads Northeastern 51-34-7

Season series
Nothing to report.

Top scorers (all 2008-09)
Lowell:
Kory Falite — 2 GP, 2-2-4
Maury Edwards — 2, 1-2-3
Ben Holmstrom — 2, 1-1-2
Scott Campbell — 2, 1-1-2
Riley Wetmore — 2, 0-2-2

Colgate:
Brian Day — 4 GP, 3-0-3
David McIntyre — 4, 0-3-3
Austin Smith — 4, 2-0-2
Kurtis Bartliff — 4, 1-1-2
Francois Brisebois — 4, 1-1-2

Northeastern:
Chris Donovan — 2 GP, 1-3-4
Garrett Vermeersch — 3, 2-1-3
Alex Tuckerman — 2, 1-1-2
Steve Silva — 3, 1-1-2
Jake Newton — 3, 1-1-2

Goaltending
Lowell:
Carter Hutton (1-1-0) — 2 GP, 118:25 minutes, 2.03 GAA/.915 sv%

Colgate:
Alex Evin (1-0-1) — 2 GP, 125 minutes, 1.44 GAA/.945 sv%
Charles Long (0-1-1) — 2, 124, 3.86/.877

Northeastern:
Chris Rawlings (2-1-0) — 3 GP, 179:07 minutes, 3.01 GAA/.913 sv%

Team stats
Lowell:
Overall (2 games) — 6 goals for (3.00/gm), 4 goals against (2.00/gm). Power play 2/9 (22.2%, 0 SHGA), penalty kill 158/180 (87.8%, 5 SHGF)

Colgate:
Overall (4 games) — 9 goals for (2.25/gm), 11 goals against (2.75/gm). Power play 1/23 (4.3%, 1 SHGA), penalty kill 21/22 (95.5%, 1 SHGF)

Northeastern:
Overall (3 games) — 9 goals for (3.00/gm), 9 goals against (3.00/gm). Power play 5/22 (22.7%, 0 SHGA), penalty kill 9/13 (69.2%, 0 SHGF)

Outlook

And now we have, finally, come to the point where Lowell will actually play a home game. That’s exciting.

You might look at the records for the other teams and say to yourself that hey, they don’t look half bad. Certainly Colgate fared about as well against Nebraska-Omaha as did our dear River Hawks (but at least they got a point, eh?), and Northeastern held its own with Colorado College. You wouldn’t, we guess, be too far off the mark in that regard.

But look closer at the stats and you’ll see a pair of teams that really got a bit lucky, all things considered. When you notice that, despite a 1-1-2 record, the Raiders are still minus-2 in goal differential, you likely won’t see Colgate in the same light. Especially not considering that their win came against RIT (and even then by a slim 3-2 margin) and one of their ties against Niagara (4-4). These aren’t exactly juggernauts they handled, and indeed, just barely or not at all. And while the PK has sparkled (21 for 22? You take that against anyone), the power play is running at a truly awful 4.3 percent, and the Raiders have allowed a shorthanded goal, so that PP net: zero. On 23 chances. Great work.

While they don’t have the edge in games played this season, Lowell has the ability to choke the life out of these nobodies like they were an unsuspecting sheriff’s deputy and the River Hawks were Anton Chigurh.

Northeastern, though, might be a bigger ask. They are, after all, the only team above .500 this weekend, are they not? And while neither the offense nor defense seems overwhelming (nine for, nine against), and the power play is perfectly good, just have a look at that penalty kill. That the Huskies have taken just 13 penalties through three games isn’t necessarily a good thing for Lowell, but that they’ve only killed nine? That’s perfect. How do you think Maury Edwards and Kory Falite feel about a team that can’t even kill 70 percent of their penalties? Our guess: pretty great.

The Colorado College win is certainly a big one, especially in light of the Tigers’ three-point weekend at Wisconsin. But you have to look at this past weekend as well: only 3-2 over Bentley? Wasn’t this a team they demolished 4-1 last year? Did we dream that? Northeastern spent almost all of the first two periods on the power play and did finish 3 for 9 (and against Bentley, that’s like a prerequisite for being a Division 1 team), but the PK was 2 for 4. Thing you never want your coach to say about Bentley: “We were lucky to get out of there with a win.”

If that Huskies side shows up Saturday — and remember gang, that’s an early 5 p.m. start time — then it’s lights out early. Lowell won’t stand for garbage like that, especially not with Nick Schaus back. But if the Huskies team that split with CC shows up, then hey, they might make a game out of it. Maybe.

(Probably not.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. stevo permalink
    October 23, 2009 12:53 pm

    Its great that hockey’s WATER BOY is back for this weekend, Go Lowell

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