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Saturday preview: Heartsick and blue for New Brunswick and you

October 7, 2011

The Lowell River Hawks (0-0-0, 0-0-0 HE) vs. the New Brunswick Varsity Reds (2-0-0 CIS)

7 p.m. Saturday at Chelmsford née Tully Forum, Chelmsford, Mass.

Lowell has yet to start its season. New Brunswick has yet to start its conference schedule.

Last three games
Lowell (2010-11) — 2-4 at Vermont, 4-4 (ot) at Vermont, 7-2 vs. Providence
UNB — 3-7 at Maine (exh.), 0-3 at UNH (exh.), 3-2 vs. UQTR

Prior meetings
Lowell leads UNB 1-0-0, all-time.

Season series
Nothing to report.

Top scorers
Lowell (2010-11):
David Vallorani — 34 GP, 12-19-31 (27 GP, 8-15-23 HE)
Riley Wetmore — 34, 14-16-30 (27, 10-12-22)
Matt Ferreira — 33, 10-7-17 (26, 6-5-11)
Maury Edwards — 34, 5-11-16 (27, 4-9-13)
Chad Ruhwedel — 32, 2-13-15 (27, 1-9-10)

UNB:
Stats unavailable

Goaltending
Lowell:
Doug Carr (4-13-3) — 22 GP, 1,157:13, 3.63 GAA/.896 sv% (17 GP, 907:28, 3.44 GAA/.898 sv% HE)
Marc Boulanger (0-11-1) — 15, 772:02, 3.80/.879 (12, 656:20, 3.75/.897)

UNB:
Stats unavailable

Team stats

Lowell:
Overall (34 games) — 83 goals for (2.44/gm), 136 goals against (4.00/gm). Power play 30/162 (18.5%, 9 SHGA), penalty kill 98/129 (76.0%, 5 SHGF)
Hockey East (27 games) — 60 goals for (2.22/gm), 102 goals against (3.78/gm). Power play 21/124 (16.9%, 8 SHGA), penalty kill 80/101 (79.2%, 3 SHGF)

UNB (stats incomplete due to lack of box scores):
Overall (2 games) — 11 goals for (5.50/gm), 2 goals against (1.00/gm).

Outlook
Well it’s another hockey season and that means the extremely high potential for us to watch this team play hockey through the cracks between our fingers 35 times between now and March.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

As with all exhibition games, this one probably won’t give us much of a chance to glean anything about how this team will end up being. Last year, you’ll recall, pretty much the same roster that got its teeth kicked in for 34 horrible games last season pushed around St. Francis Xavier to the tune of a 3-0 W in which the River Hawks outshot their opponents 45-14. If exhibition games told us anything about the team, Mike Budd would have had as many points as Riley Wetmore and, well, you know how that worked out.

So what can you, the loyal fan who’s going to drag his or herself all the way to Chelmsford to freeze in a decrepit if homey building for two and a half hours, expect? Well, you’ll probably get a pretty good eyeful of the various kids that are going to be on the team and competing for spots this year, and despite the game meaning absolutely positively nothing, it should be a contentious situation. After all, this is a Canadian team Lowell has to deal with and, in their games with Maine and UNH last weekend (both of which they lost, by a combined score of 10-3), they were whistled for 21 penalties for 75 minutes, including three separate game misconducts. Those misconducts were issued for “facemasking,” an NCAA rule that seems grossly excessive, contact to the head and, somehow, “kicking.” Defenseman Spencer Corcoran, No. 5 in your programs, was the guilty party on that one.

Long story short, expect a lot of kids and marginal roster players, maybe even all three goalies, and expect a lot of cheap garbage from our neighbors to the north. Basically par for the course in an exhibition. The only thing we ask is that the team doesn’t perform as poorly as SOME Hockey East teams we would mention if only tact allowed. So no giving up eight goalsnortheastern. And no losingbu.

We’re not asking for the impossible.

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