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Loose pucks: Rock and roll

March 14, 2012

Three things that are pretty good:
1) We’re going dancing.

We don’t know where yet, and we don’t know who it’s against, but mathematically, Lowell is in the NCAA tournament no matter what happens this weekend. No combination of wins and losses anywhere in the country will be enough to hold our dear River Hawks out of the dance, and we know that they’ve got the power to run through any team in their way. First time since 1996. Almost impossible to believe, really.

2) Postseason awards getting off on the right foot (well, as best a foot as they can).

Just a few hours ago, Hockey East announced its first batch of postseason awards and Lowell was pretty well represented, as it deserved to be. Scott Wilson was a unanimous selection to the All-Rookie team, and Zack Kamrass, who rules, by the way, got onto it as well (though not unanimously, just to remind us that disrespect always exists). Meanwhile, Jake Suter got straight-up shafted out of the All-Rookie squad in favor of Trevor van Riemsdyk, whom the coaches surely confused for his brother, and Alexx Privatera, presumably because the coaches felt bad for a kid with two Xes in his first name. Further, David Vallorani was victimized by a widespread conspiracy to keep him from winning the Sportsmanship award. He finished with four minor penalties on the year, one more than BU’s Chris Connolly, who won the award. We remember that time he got sent to the box on a matching minor before a faceoff even started against — who else? — BU. We remember it quite clearly, because we never forget disrespect. But to end on a positive note: Matt Ferreira was very rightly given the Turfer Athletic award for being the player that best embodies tenacity, perseverance and innovation. Very fitting for such a great player this year.

3) Everything, if you think about it.

Yeah, we MAY have overreacted a bit last weekend to the series loss. Given a few days to calm down, we still love this team so much. Come on, 23 wins and an NCAA tournament appearance? After winning just five games last season? We’re such jerks. Sorry about that.


Two things that are less so:
1) Take a guess.

Ugh.

2) Riley Wetmore’s status.

We got intel that Wetmore was injured early in Friday’s win and the stats sure bear that out. Now our concern is that, even with two weeks off, he might not be ready to play at 100 percent in the NCAA tournament, which would be a real shame. What a great player. So key to Lowell’s success this year. This is really bumming us out.

Stat of the Week
Fear not, River Hawk faithful! You may think that losing to Providence was the end of the world, but it turns out, it happens more often than you might think. In Hockey East history, 10 teams have made the NCAA tournament while sitting at home on Hockey East’s championship weekend, and most of them went on to have considerable success in the big dance. We went back through league archives to determine just what we might be able to expect from this team going forward, if history is any judge (though it usually isn’t).

1991:
No. 1 BC lost to No. 8 Northeastern in-league, 5-6 (back when it was a one-and-done tournament throughout). It also lost in the first round of the NCAAs, 2-3 and 1-3 to Alaska-Anchorage (back when they played two games and used aggregate goalscoring in the first round).

1992:
No. 4 BU lost to No. 5 BC, 2-5. It also lost in the first round of the NCAAs, 2-3 to Michigan State.

1995:
No. 3 UNH lost to No. 6 Providence, 2-3 in overtime. It also lost in the first round of the NCAAs, 2-9 to Denver.

1998:
No. 1 BU lost to No. 8 Merrimack, 1-4, 6-5 and 5-4. It lost in the NCAA quarterfinals, 3-4 in overtime to UNH.
No. 3 UNH lost to No. 6 Maine, 2-3 in double overtime and 3-5. It went on to the Frozen Four, where it lost in the semifinals, 0-4 to Michigan.

2003:
No. 3 Maine lost to No. 6 Merrimack, 3-5 and 2-4. It also lost in the first round of the NCAAs, 1-2 to Michigan.

2004:
No. 1 BC lost to No. 8 BU, 2-3, 4-0 and 4-2. It went on to the Frozen Four, where it lost in the semifinals, 1-2 to Maine.

2007:
No. 5 Maine lost to No. 4 UMass Amherst, 2-3 and 2-5 (Hockey East sent five teams to the NCAAs that year). It went on to the Frozen Four, where it lost in the semifinals, 2-4 to Michigan State.

2009:
No. 4 Vermont lost to No. 5 Lowell (that’s right!!!), 3-4 in overtime and 2-4. It went on to the Frozen Four, where it lost in the semifinals, 4-5 to BU.

2010:
No. 1 UNH lost to No. 8 Vermont, 7-4, 0-1 and 0-1. It lost in the NCAA quarterfinals, 2-6 to RIT.

So that’s four Frozen Four appearances for Hockey East teams that lost their league quarterfinal series. Encouraging! Who else feels like going to Tampa?

Keep it going
Rest up, get healthy, and get ready to gut someone no matter who or where you play. Go ‘Hawks go.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Monty permalink
    March 15, 2012 9:22 am

    It took a couple of days to get over the loss in Game 3, but I’m with you in full now. This has been such an amazing season, and knowing that they SHOULD be in the NCAAs just let’s this continue.

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