Loose Pucks: To the moon
Three things that are cool:
1) A brand new season.
Hooray hooray hockey is back for another year. Now, instead of wishing it weren’t so hot out and wishing people would stop talking about the Red Sox and wishing it were hockey season, it is actually hockey season. Our weekends will soon be filled with making fun of Amherst, making fun of Vermont, making fun of Northeastern, and, of course, making fun of Lowell. Let’s be honest with ourselves: this is gonna be another ugly one.
2) David Vallorani.
We give the kid a lot of crap on here (none of it undue) but when his decisions aren’t maddening, he is an unbelievably fun player to watch. The way he was dishing out passes in the exhibition game was really something else, and we look forward to a strong senior year in which he blows the absolute doors off the 100-point club. Shocking fact: if he were to simply reproduce his current point-scoring pace of about 30 points a year, he’ll get up around 115 or so. That’s more than Kory Falite, who we would consider one of the three best Lowell forwards of the last decade. Barring catastrophe, Vallorani is going to go down as one of the 30 best scorers in Lowell history, which is really something.
3) The new guys.
For the most part, we thought the new kids looked pretty good even if most of them saw limited action, for whatever reason. We look forward to watching them over the next four years.
Two things that are not cool:
1) Not winning an exhibition game.
A non-win in an exhibition game? Who are we, Amherst? The last time Lowell didn’t win its preseason game was 2004-05, when Lowell drew St. Thomas 4-4 at Conway Arena in Nashua. The good news is that team won 20 games. The bad news is this team won’t come close.
The one drawback, if we had to pick one, to the new hockey season is that people still don’t understand the sport of hockey. The handful of students who showed up yelling “Shooooooot!” on the power play in an exhibition game? We hope we don’t have to sit near those dullards this season.
Stat of the Week
Speaking of not winning exhibition games, can you guess the last time Lowell actually lost one? The answer is: almost 11 years to the day that Lowell drew New Brunswick.
Lowell lost to Ottawa 4-3 in that one behind an ugly four-goal second period for Cam McCormick, and the River Hawks outshot their opponents 40-18. (Surely, this means one of Marc Boulanger or Brian Robbins will turn into the next Cam McCormick, right?) In all, 13 of those 18 shots came in the middle period. Geoff Schomogyi starred with a goal and an assist.
But as to the actual stat, well, Lowell is actually the team with the longest exhibition game undefeated streak in the conference by more than seven years. Here are the latest losses suffered in exhibitions by all 10 Hockey East teams. Feel free to point and laugh where appropriate (hint: everywhere):
BC: Jan. 2, 2009 (3-5 at New Brunswick)
BU: Oct. 1, 2011 (4-6 vs. St. Francis Xavier)
Lowell: Oct. 7, 2000 (3-4 vs. Ottawa)
Maine: Dec. 1, 2007 (1-2 vs. New Brunswick)
UMass Amherst: Oct. 2, 2010 (3-4 (OT) vs. New Brunswick)
Merrimack: Oct. 4, 2008 (1-2 vs. McGill)
UNH: Oct. 12, 2007 (3-4 vs. New Brunswick)
Northeastern: Oct. 2, 2011 (5-8 vs. St. Francis Xavier)
Providence: Jan. 1, 2011 (1-3 at New Brunswick)
Vermont: Oct. 3, 2010 (2-3 vs. New Brunswick)
(Ed. note: Apparently New Brunswick hosts some kind of a tournament around New Year’s sometimes. Also, a special TIIL thank you to UNB for handing hysterical exhibition losses to six of Hockey East’s 10 schools since 2007. We should also note that Lowell has never lost to UNB ever because it is the best.)
Bang, pow, zing
We’re just tickled pink to be back in the saddle again here at the Ice is Life and this space here will serve as a brief public service announcement.
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