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Sunday preview: Xes and Os

October 2, 2010

The Lowell River Hawks (0-0-0, 0-0-0 HE) vs. the St. Francis Xavier X-Men (0-0-0)

3 p.m. Sunday at Tsongas Center, Lowell, Mass.

Lowell finished tied for third in Hockey East last year with 28 points from 27 games.

Last three games
Lowell — Hasn’t played a game yet.
SFX — 8-1 at St. Thomas (exh.), 4-2 vs. UQTR (exh.), 0-3 vs. St. Mary’s (exh.)

Prior meetings
Lowell is 3-0 all-time against the X-Men, posting wins of 6-1 (2008), 6-2 (2006) and 3-2 (2004).

Season series
Nothing to report.

Top scorers (all returners from 2009-10, so get ready to weep)
Lowell:
Scott Campbell — 39 GP, 16-18-34 (27 GP, 12-11-23 HE)
David Vallorani — 39, 9-18-27 (27, 6-13-19)
Riley Wetmore  — 39, 6-9-15 (27, 4-3-7)
Maury Edwards — 38, 4-11-15 (26, 2-8-10)
Mike Scheu — 25, 5-8-13 (17, 5-7-12)

St. Francis Xavier:
No stats.

Goaltending
Lowell:
We have no stats for you.

St. Francis Xavier:
No stats.

Team stats (2009-10)
Lowell:
Overall (39 games) — 114 goals for (2.92/gm), 92 goals against (2.36/gm). Power play 35/180 (19.4%, 4 SHGA), penalty kill 144/173 (83.2%, 1 SHGF)
Hockey East (27 games) — 82 GF (3.04/gm), 72 GA (2.67/gm). Power play 24/126 (19.0%, 4 SHGA), penalty kill 94/117 (80.3%, 0 SHGF)

St. Francis Xavier:
No stats.

Outlook

Another new hockey season has come and even as the leaves wither from their trees and and fall to earth, hope is born again among Lowell hockey fans. Well, that isn’t true this time around. But you see our point.

Not much to say about this particular weekend preview, of course, since St. Francis Xavier, in its biannual trip to Lowell, will have played five games this year, all in exhibitions. Four were exhibitions against opponents either far worse than them (CIS also-rans Acadia, St. Mary’s, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and St. Thomas — and they still lost one) and the other far, far better (UNH, which won’t exactly play its opening night roster).

We have to wonder what the team Blaise MacDonald skates on Sunday afternoon will look like, since it’s probably not advisable to put anyone who can actually help the team in a significant way this year. Games like this are for guys who want to earn a roster spot. Keep Campbell and Edwards and Vallorani and Blair in the stands and let the Currys and Holmstroms and Badgers of the world show these St. Francis thugs that Lowell hockey, even in bad years, can beat teams of CHL washouts who actually bothered to go to college after they got too old to play for Rimouski Oceanic.

What else is there to say except that it’s finally, really hockey season, and that’s awesome.

See ya there. Go ‘Hawks go.

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