Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blizzard Weekend One Best Moved Beyond

Gophers Snow Under Bulldogs 3-2 and 2-2 OT

After a weekend of snow and more snow coupled with illness and immobilization, the HighHorse is back at full strength, that’s debatable.

The weekend was a carnival for winter enthusiasts, and a disappointment for the Bulldog hockey team. Around the college hockey circles, all you see is, “didn’t see that coming.” Three points against the Gophers of UMTC, terrible.

The storm that hit on the ice at Mariucci was mostly the doing, more so the not-doings, of the Bulldogs. They were sluggish for two periods Friday then finally found their energy in the third, but it was too late. The Dogs fell 3-2 to the Gophers.

Saturday night’s game, er, Sunday afternoon’s game proved to be much the same as Friday’s. The main differences were UMD had the lead and couldn’t hold it and they arguably played well for two of the three periods.

What went wrong? Offense was absent. Yes, the Gopher netminders played very well, but the Bulldog group of scorers should put up more than two goals in at least one of the games. The scoring drought is best accented by the failure of scoring on a five minute major power play late in the third period Sunday with the score tied 2-2. Further the ineffectiveness of the UMD power play, 2 for 12, against one of the worst penalty killing teams in the nation. UMTC after the weekend against UMD is at 75% penalty kill which doesn’t get them in the top 40 teams of D-I (58 teams total).

Goaltending is getting better, but still leads the group with the need for most improvement. The current “plan” is that we can give up some goals and the scoring machine will pick the team up, but it currently is not working. This is also partially on the defense who need to do ALL THEY CAN to help the goaltenders out of the messes in front of the net.

This was not the weekend we envisioned going down to Minneapolis with the snow and the Mugging at Mariucci. But this is the way the first half of the season, both overall and in the conference, will end. And now for the layoff. Waiting for AMSOIL to open and see how UMD comes on in the second half. It will be a key time to get some rest and reset the energy this team had in preparation for the second half.

Look for the HighHorse mid-season report card coming soon and keep the faith just as the pollsters have keeping UMD at #3 or #4 in the nation.

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