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Weekend Preview: Well Virgil Caine is my name and I served on the Danville Train…

November 12, 2009

The No. 5 Lowell River Hawks (5-2-1, 3-1-1 HE) vs. the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers (3-5-0, 0-2-0 CHA)

7:05 p.m. Friday at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.
7:05 p.m. Saturday at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.

Lowell is first in Hockey East with seven points from five games and UAH is last in College Hockey America with no points from two games.

Last three games
Lowell — 6-3 vs. UNH, 3-3 at Vermont (ot), 3-2 at BU
Alabama-Huntsville — 1-2 (ot) at Bemidji State, 1-2 (ot) at Bemidji State, 1-2 at Western Michigan

Prior meetings
Lowell leads Alabama-Huntsville 6-1-0 all-time.

Season series
Nothing to report.

Top scorers
Nick Schaus — 6 GP, 4-5-9 (5 GP, 3-4-7 HE)
Kory Falite — 8, 4-4-8 (5, 2-2-4)
Ben Holmstrom — 8, 3-5-8 (5, 2-4-6)
David Vallorani — 8, 2-6-8 (5, 1-5-6)
Paul Worthington — 8, 4-3-7 (5, 3-3-6)

Kevin Morrison — 8 GP, 2-3-5 (2 GP, 1-0-1 CHA)
Andrew Coburn — 8, 2-3-5 (2, 0-1-1)
Justin Cseter — 8, 4-0-4 (2, 0-0-0)
Cody Campbell — 8, 2-2-4 (2, 0-1-1)
Neil Ruffini — 8, 3-0-3 (2, 1-0-1)

Carter Hutton (3-2-0) — 5 GP, 301:54 minutes, 2.58 GAA/.904 sv% (3 GP, 183:29 minutes, 2.94 GAA/.899 sv% HE)
Nevin Hamilton (2-0-1) — 3, 185:00, 2.59/.914 (2, 125:00, 2.40/.921 HE)

Cameron Talbot (3-5-0) — 8 GP, 483:06 minutes, 2.11 GAA/.938 sv% (2 GP, 124:20, 1.93 GAA/.925 sv% CHA)

Team stats
Overall (8 games) — 30 goals for (3.75/gm), 21 goals against (2.62/gm). Power play 13/46 (28.3%, 1 SHGA), penalty kill 30/35 (85.7%, 0 SHGF)
Hockey East (5 games) — 19 goals for (3.8/gm), 14 goal against (2.8/gm). Power play 9/32 (28.1%, 1 SHGA), penalty kill 22/26 (84.6%, 0 SHGF)

Overall (8 games) — 16 goals for (2.00/gm), 17 goals against (2.12/gm). Power play 2/44 (4.5%, 1 SHGA), penalty kill 34/41 (82.9%, 0 SHGF)
College Hockey America (2 games) — 2 goals for (1.00/gm), 4 goals against (2.00). Power play 0/11 (0.0%, 0 SHGA), penalty kill 7/8 (87.5%, 0 SHGF)


To give you an idea of just how bad the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers are, let us highlight some statistics that you may have glossed over above. You may have noticed that they have scored two goals a game this year, both in- and out-of-conference. That’s not a typo. That power play has to be messed up, you think? Yeah, 2 for 44, especially against their competition (like Western Michigan and Bemidji!), looks bad. That’s because it is. It’s really, really bad.

There’s no nice way to say this: Lowell has to KILL these guys. They need to march through these games like Sherman to the sea, taking as spoils of war everything that’s not nailed down and setting ablaze everything that is. This can be nothing less than a scorched earth policy because for this team to lose to a team this genuinely bad would be to embarrass itself and the university.

Lowell is, in pretty much every way, superior to Huntsville. For one thing, it plays in a real live college hockey conference, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. For another, it scores on the power play more often than “almost never.”

This is a team that’s 0-fer in two league games IN THE CHA, and has scored two goals in 130 minutes of league hockey. This is a team that comes into the game against Lowell, a top-five team in the country, at FIFTY-SECOND in offensive output. Lowell, by comparison, is tied for seventh and has gotten it done against slightly stauncher opponents than have Merrimack and Bemidji. Lowell’s average margin is +1.12 goals per game but UAH’s, despite allowing just 17 goals in eight games (against garbage teams, by the way) is -0.12.

The closest thing we have, by basis of comparison, is last year’s game between Lowell and RIT. We said prior to the game that “Lowell would do to these guys what the Death Star did to Alderaan,” and that was, of course, precisely what happened. Same thing has to happen here, right? We mean, these guys don’t take a ton of penalty minutes, but Lowell’s going to score on somewhere between a quarter and a third of their power plays this weekend because that’s simply what Lowell does. Maury Edwards, Nick Schaus, Kory Falite? They have to be looking at this 82.9 percent PK and drooling. And what, do you think Lowell’s going to be afraid to play aggressive hockey against these guys? Yeah, 2 for 44 on the power play. They’re going to be terrified by a team that is 56th in special teams net. It’s a team that’s been outshot by opponents that are really pretty bad by a little over seven shots a game (34.5 allowed per game, 27.1 for).

We’ll put it this way: Lowell is one of the top teams in the country, and the best team in Hockey East. Huntsville is terrible and the worst team in the CHA. The River Hawks need to leave their rink looking like Hiroshima on Aug. 7, 1945. If Lowell doesn’t win by, oh, six on aggregate, we’ll be furious. There’s no excuse for anything less than that.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2009 4:26 am

    Where was that stellar power play? It certainly didn’t show up on our ice tonight. [Trust me, I watched the UNH game and have respect for the caliber of play on the PP; just didn’t come up tonight.]

    Blaise indicated that UAH owned the first period. But hey, you guys owned the second two and deserved the win.

  2. November 15, 2009 2:49 pm

    Disappointed in the power play … but 7-1 over two games, isn’t exactly something that UAH fans should be talking trash about.

    • November 16, 2009 5:23 pm

      Obviously I was commenting before we dropped that stinker on Saturday night.

      • RHHB permalink
        November 16, 2009 5:25 pm

        losing 3-1 and looking bad doing it is also not boast-worthy, just f to the y to the i.


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