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Weekend preview: Basically like a hot girl, man

December 28, 2011

The Lowell River Hawks (10-5-0, 7-4-0 HE) vs. the RPI Engineers (3-13-0, 1-6-0 ECAC) and the UConn Huskies (5-9-2, 4-6-1 AH) or the Army Black Knights (1-8-6, 1-6-4 AH)

4 p.m. Thursday at Freitas Ice Forum, Storrs, Conn.
4/7:15 p.m. (but let’s be honest, 7:15 p.m.) Friday at Freitas Ice Forum, Storrs, Conn.

Lowell is fourth in Hockey East with 14 points from 11 games. RPI is 12th in the ECAC with two points from seven games. UConn is ninth in Atlantic Hockey with nine points from 11 games. Army is 11th in Atlantic Hockey with six points from 11 games.

Last three games
Lowell — 3-4 at Northeastern, 3-2 vs. BC, 5-3 at UNH.
RPI — 2-5 vs. Union, 2-3 at Quinnipiac, 3-5 at Princeton.
UConn — 2-4 vs. Bentley, 1-2 vs. RIT, 3-2 vs. RIT.
Army —  1-3 at Holy Cross, 3-3 (ot) vs. Mercyhurst, 1-2 vs. Mercyhurst.

Prior meetings
Lowell is tied with RPI 10-10-1, leads UConn 17-6-1, and leads RPI 19-6-0, all-time.

Season series
Somehow Lowell lost to UConn 3-2 in overtime earlier this year, or would have had that game happened, which it didn’t for obvious reasons. It hasn’t slummed it against the other teams in this tournament.

Top scorers
Lowell:
Matt Ferreira — 15 GP, 7-8-15 (11 GP, 5-6-11 HE)
Riley Wetmore — 15, 7-7-14 (11, 4-5-9)
Chad Ruhwedel — 14, 2-12-14 (10, 2-7-9)
Derek Arnold — 15, 8-5-13 (11, 5-3-8)
Scott Wilson — 14, 6-7-13 (10, 5-4-9)

RPI:
Nick Bailen — 16 GP, 3-5-8 (7 GP, 1-4-5 HE)
Brock Higgs — 11, 0-7-7 (5, 0-2-2)
Ryan Haggerty — 13, 3-3-6 (5, 2-1-3)
Jacob Laliberte — 11, 2-4-6 (7, 2-2-4)
Zach Schroeder — 16, 1-2-3 (7, 1-1-2)

UConn:
Cole Schneider — 15 GP, 4-12-16 (10 GP, 3-9-12 HE)
Brant Harris — 15, 10-3-13 (11, 6-2-8)
Billy Latta — 15, 3-10-13 (10, 2-9-11)
Alex Gerke — 16, 4-8-12 (10, 4-7-11)
Sean Ambrosie — 15, 2-9-11 (10, 1-5-6)

Army:
Andy Starczewski — 15 GP, 6-3-9 (11 GP, 4-3-7 HE)
Mike Hull — 15, 4-4-8 (11, 4-3-7)
Maurice Alvarez — 15, 4-3-7 (11, 4-2-6)
Mac Lalor — 12, 3-3-6 (10, 3-3-6)
Zak Zaremba — 15, 2-4-6 (11, 1-3-4)

Goaltending
Lowell:
Doug Carr (9-2-0) — 11 GP, 658:38, 1.82 GAA/.934 sv% (9 GP, 538:38, 2.12/.926 HE)

RPI:
Bryce Merriam (2-10-0) — 12 GP, 703:10, 2.64 GAA/.907 sv% (6 GP, 349:00, 2.58 GAA/.903 sv% HE)

UConn:
Garrett Bartus (5-9-2) — 5 GP, 966:25, 2.67 GAA/.923 sv% (11 GP, 661:57, 2.35/.927 HE)

Army:
Ryan Leetz (1-6-3) — 10 GP, 601:05, 3.39 GAA/.903 sv% (8 GP, 486:11, 3.09/.910 HE)

Team stats
Lowell:
Overall (15 games) — 51 goals for (3.40/gm), 38 goals against (2.53/gm). Power play 18/81 (22.2%, 2 SHGA), penalty kill 49/58 (84.5%, 1 SHGF)
Hockey East (11 games) — 38 goals for (3.45/gm), 32 goals against (2.91/gm). Power play 12/56 (21.4%, 2 SHGA), penalty kill 36/44 (81.8%, 1 SHGF)

RPI:
Overall (16 games) — 20 goals for (1.25/gm), 38 goals against (2.38/gm). Power play 7/73 (9.6%, 1 SHGA), penalty kill 77/88 (87.5%, 1 SHGF)
ECAC (7 games) — 8 goals for (1.14/gm), 18 goals against (2.57/gm). Power play 2/25 (12.0%, 0 SHGA), penalty kill 30/35 (85.7%, 0 SHGF)

UConn:
Overall (16 games) — 43 goals for (2.69/gm), 46 goals against (2.88/gm). Power play 17/67 (25.4%, 1 SHGA), penalty kill 60/77 (77.9%, 1 SHGF)
Atlantic Hockey (11 games) — 32 goals for (2.91/gm), 28 goals against (2.55/gm). Power play 11/37 (29.7%, 1 SHGA), penalty kill 30/38 (78.9%, 1 SHGF)

Army:
Overall (15 games) — 27 goals for (1.80/gm), 50 goals against (3.33/gm). Power play 6/60 (10.0%, 2 SHGA), penalty kill 57/69 (82.6%, 1 SHGF)
Atlantic Hockey (11 games) — 21 goals for (1.91/gm), 36 goals against (3.27/gm). Power play 4/44 (9.1%, 2 SHGA), penalty kill 36/46 (78.3%, 1 SHGF)

Outlook
All you need to know about this tournament, basically, is that Lowell has more wins by itself than the other three teams “competing” in it do put together. Its 10 in 15 games are more than RPI’s three, UConn’s five and Army’s one in a combined 47. It physically pained us to type out the teams’ statistics. The mind boggles.

Of course, it’s wholly understandable that Lowell would have to debase itself with this kind of pitiable tournament given its play and eventual record last year. It had just five wins and looked like it would fit in well with a bunch of teams that are also bad. Except Lowell this year is not by any measure on the same level as Lowell last year.

Lowell this year is a titan, the one horrible, unforgivable loss to UConn (which never took place) notwithstanding. And if hockey makes any sense, it wins its two games this weekend by chasmic margins and makes everyone in Storrs except Lowell fans cry the bitterest tears ever seen during a holiday season. In much the same way the other three teams may as well forfeit these games before they’re played, there’s no point in our using our amazing hockey analysis powers to break this tournament down. Because it would all basically work out to be, “Lowell is going to murder everyone and the lamentations will be endless.”

Go ‘Hawks. Four points, a trillion goals. We’re not asking a lot here.

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