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Weekend preview: Back at it

January 12, 2012

The Lowell River Hawks (12-5-0, 7-4-0 HE) vs. the Vermont Catamounts (4-15-1, 1-11-1 HE)

7 p.m. Friday at Gutterson Fieldhouse, Burlington, Vt.

Lowell is fifth in Hockey East with 14 points from 11 games. Vermont is last in Hockey East with three points in 13 games.

Last three games
Lowell — 6-4 vs. Russian Red Stars (exh.), 4-3 (ot) at UConn, 7-2 vs. RPI.
UVM — 2-3 (ot) vs. UMass Amherst, 1-3 at Maine, 4-2 vs. Ferris State.

Prior meetings
These teams have yet to meet this year.

Season series
Lowell is tied with Vermont 13-13-5, all-time.

Top scorers
Lowell:
David Vallorani — 17 GP, 8-10-18 (11 GP, 5-8-13 HE)
Matt Ferreira — 17, 7-11-18 (11, 5-6-11)
Riley Wetmore — 17, 7-10-17 (11, 4-5-9)
Scott Wilson — 16, 8-8-16 (10, 5-4-9)
Joe Pendenza — 17, 6-9-15 (11, 3-7-10)

UVM:
Sebastian Stålberg — 20 GP, 8-14-22 (12 GP, 4-9-13 HE)
Kyle Reynolds — 20, 7-6-13 (13, 5-3-8)
Drew MacKenzie — 18, 6-6-12 (11, 4-4-8)
Nick Bruneteau — 20, 1-11-12 (13, 0-7-7)
Connor Brickley — 15, 8-2-10 (11, 4-2-6)

Goaltending
Lowell:
Doug Carr (11-2-0) — 13 GP, 791:39, 1.89 GAA/.930 sv% (9 GP, 538:38, 2.12/.926 HE)

UVM:
Rob Madore (3-12-1) — 16 GP, 926:27, 3.76 GAA/.874 sv% (10 GP, 597:54, 3.81/.872 HE)

Team stats
Lowell:
Overall (17 games) — 62 goals for (3.65/gm), 43 goals against (2.53/gm). Power play 19/92 (20.7%, 2 SHGA), penalty kill 55/67 (82.1%, 2 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)

UVM:
Overall (20 games) — 46 goals for (2.30/gm), 79 goals against (3.95/gm). Power play 20/113 (17.7%, 4 SHGA), penalty kill 56/80 (70.0%, 2 SHGF)
Hockey East (13 games) — 27 goals for (2.08/gm), 53 goals against (4.08/gm). Power play 13/79 (16.5%, 3 SHGA), penalty kill 38/57 (66.7%, 2 SHGF)

Outlook
There’s no nice way to say this: Lowell needs to slaughter Vermont. Not just to reestablish that Lowell is, still, the best team in Hockey East, and not just because it’s nice to get two points in one of the several games in hand Lowell has on all of Hockey East.

But also because Vermont is an historically bad team.

People tend to laugh up their sleeves at how bad Lowell was last year and rightly so. They scored just 60 goals in 27 Hockey East games. They allowed 102! Their power play ran just 16.9 percent. Their PK was just 79.2 percent. Hideous, hideous numbers.

And right now Vermont is worse on literally every count despite a very, very soft schedule in their first 13 league games. They’ve played three each against Merrimack and Maine and lost all of them (13-5 and 14-6 on aggregate, respectively), took on BU when BU was terrible and still lost 4-3. They haven’t played BC yet. Their only league win came against Amherst, their only tie against UNH.

The 2010-11 version of Lowell’s 2.22 goals for per game is well above Vermont’s current league average of just 2.08. Last year’s River Hawks gave up a mountainous 3.78 goals per game, but that looks like a mere foothill next to Vermont’s Everest-like 4.08. You’d think it would be hard to score less often on the power play than last year’s sub-17 percent River Hawks, but Vermont would prove you wrong, and then would do it again when you compared their penalty kills. Lowell’s was sub-average at 79.2 percent, Vermont’s is sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-average at 66.7 percent.

There is no reason Lowell, a team that has won seven of its last eight games, shouldn’t pulverize Vermont, a team that’s lost eight of its last nine.

Let’s see the River Hawks make ’em bleed.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rich permalink
    January 12, 2012 10:57 am

    The Tsongas Arena that is currently killing all other rinks on a NESN poll right now of best places to watch a game. Though clearly this poll will be swept under a rug once its finalized, since Lowell clearly can’t be favored by NESN.

    http://www.nesn.com/2012/01/vote-which-hockey-east-arena-has-the-best-atmosphere.html?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150474510325318_20193905_10150475293615318&ref=notif&notif_t=open_graph_comment#f17fd1bbb36defc

  2. January 12, 2012 7:06 pm

    If you have the means, please think about making a donation to The Jack Jablonski Fund. Jack is the Benidle-St. Margaret’s (Minnesota) high school player who was hit from behind and paralyzed wo weeeks ago.

    For a link to Jack’s Fund and for more information about Jack and the reverberations his injury is causing, please see http://www.hockeybias.com/hockey-news-past/Jack-Jablonksi-News-Summary.html

    Both a former Benilde student and current Benilde student have each written songs in honor of Jack. They can be found here and also have links to The Jack jablonski Fund:

    http://www.hockeybias.com/hockey-news-past/2012/January/In-Our-Hearts-song-by-Willie-Falk-For-Jack-Jablonski-video.html

    http://www.hockeybias.com/hockey-news-past/2012/January/-We-ll-Watch-Over-You-by-Rob-Shaver-Ryan-Etten-Lyrics–video.html

  3. Monty permalink
    January 13, 2012 8:20 am

    Should be able to watch the game tonight here I believe. http://nsnsports.net/uvm

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