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Loose pucks: Swimmy, swammy, swami

November 1, 2011

Three things that have us on the road to Aspen:
1) Friday’s game.

If nothing else, this game proved that Lowell can at least skate with the No. 1 team in the country and make them worry about the result. That was something that didn’t happen even remotely last season so the change is very welcome. But there’s a big ol’ difference between skating with teams and beating them, but that might be a bridge too far to worry about right now, huh?

2) An ever-crystalizing view of the team’s problems.

With this team, we’re choosing not to look at too many problems as negatives right now. As such, the repeated defensive lapses and lack of anticipation by goaltenders and defenders alike that happened sporadically on Friday and repeatedly on Saturday at least give the team something to workshop heading into next weekend against BU.

3) A good crowd.

The fans in attendance on Friday night were two things we’re not generally accustomed to seeing at Tsongas Center. They were 1. Mostly Lowell fans, and 2. Loud. We’d love to see that against the Terriers and Minutemen and Chargers in the coming home games, though we grow less optimistic about the prospects, particularly for Point No. 2, as we get deeper into November. Particularly because Amherst sucks.

Two things that are bad luck:
1) Finishing.

You take 79 shots in a weekend and you should score more than five goals. It’s simple. Parker Milner was more than willing to accommodate Lowell by giving up rebound after large rebound, but the results for the River Hawks who worked so hard to produce them was anything but substantial. That’s the team’s new secondary issue, and one that needs to change pronto.

2) Getting swept

It sucks and always does so, no matter how good the opponent or how bad the River Hawks side. In this case, the qualities of those respective teams were great and only okay. We’d like to see Lowell do more to bridge that gap in the near future.

Stat of the Week
Say what you want about Blaise MacDonald, but in recent years the guy could take a hockey game to the Boston College Eagles with the best of ’em. Yes, Lowell has now lost six straight games to the Eagles, but the last time that happened was quite some time ago. Let’s not forget, it used to be that a BC sweep of its three-game Lowell series was something you could set your watch to.

Between the 1998-99 and 2000-01 seasons, Lowell lost to BC 11 times in a row, having been outscored 53-22. Including Lowell’s aberrational 2001-02 sweep (18-8 on aggregate!) in MacDonald’s, 11-18-1 record against the Eagles is downright inspirational as far as the River Hawks typically went. They were outscored 97-68 in those games, but they also won the season series twice in a row between 2008-09 and 2009-10.

We guess our point is that it was pretty easy to get used to that kind of thing, and we’re still working on accepting it again.

Samsonite! I was way off
Only one game this weekend, against a BU team that took three points from Amherst but is winless on the road. Let’s hope that streak stays alive.

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