Alright, I have been persuaded, at least for now by the co-writer of the HighHorse, to not push the panic button. It is getting close both by the play on the ice and actions off the ice. As a side note, I wrote this piece and before publishing saw that Drew Akins Blog had the same cliché in his article for today.
The quality of play is still inconsistent, just like in the more successful days of late 2009. The exception is the scoring has really dried up. It is a drought. Not a severe drought, but it is getting close. UMD is still the only WCHA team to not be shut out this season, but it is of little solace in this 2-6-0 streak.
Watching the Friday night effort against the Sioux showed that UMD did control play in 5 on 5 situations for most of the game. UND’s goals were three on power play, one short handed and one open net goal. The observation of carrying even strength play likens back to a Vikings/Saints game in recent football memory where you can win every statistical department, but it doesn’t translate to the win column. Apologies to those I just ripped open a healing wound for. As I wrote last week, it is time to end the “well played game, but we didn’t get the goals” leading to a loss.
The telling tale of the psyche of this year’s Bulldog squad is what is happening of the ice. Fans know well the magical run that reaped the Broadmoor Cup and an NCAA berth. One of the feel good stories of the run was the head shaving some underwent to show their determination and last ditch mind frame. Well, they’re at it again. According to Rink & Run, the Bulldogs clipped hair again to try to regain the magic lost in this season. It didn’t work…yet? It really begs the question of what this team believes is the answer to ending the downward spiral in the WCHA standings and the PWR. Closed circuit to my friend and PhD in Sports Psychology, help me out on this superstition gone wrong predicament.
On The Shelf. Mike Connolly continues to miss practices due to a black eye and concussion from a late game hit from behind/elbow in the Saturday game. Mike is important to this team in the scoring spark department. Without him times may continue to be tough. The team members who stepped up earlier this year need to pick it up again and carry some of the scoring.
Saint Cloud State Continues. I have said all year that SCSU is overrated and they keep winning. I was wrong again this weekend on my prediction and I have to be honest, they are playing well. I still contend and will strongly argue that SCSU and UMD are very equal except for the confidence factor that leads to the scoring output of SCSU and not to UMD at this point in the season.
Rankings. It really isn’t worth looking at the rankings if you are a Bulldog player or fan. The team really needs to start winning and then worry about rankings. But as a side note, UMD has fallen in the PWR to a tie for 12th. Besides the losses, the main factor that is keeping UMD down in the PWR is their poor TUC (Teams Under Consideration) record. Remedy to that is more wins!