Saturday, February 19, 2011

Panic Button at the Ready

Players and Fans Get More Frustrated with 3-1 loss to MSUM

The Bulldogs are heralded as outscoring their opponents 72-48 from the second period on this season. That stat didn’t change tonight, but it didn’t help either.

Minnesota State – Mankato won the first period 3-1 to defeat the visiting Bulldogs by the same score. The lone UMD goal was scored by Mike Connolly, his tam leading 20th of the season, with the lone assist to Jack Connolly, his team leading 32nd of the season.

It was another slow start for UMD and that cost them the game as the offense had their chances, but couldn’t convert. Shots on goal for the game were dominated by UMD, 41-27. In the third period alone the Bulldogs outshot the Mavericks 28-5, but the score never changed after the first period.

The players’ quotes sound eerily similar to last Friday’s after the 8-2 shellacking at the hands of Saint Cloud State in Duluth. Talk of the game being an aberration and that the team is better than the score showed. Talk of how the team will turn it around. Well, there isn’t time to talk about it, the turn around has to start Saturday in Mankato.

The Bulldogs are still currently tied for fourth in the WCHA with Omaha who is playing the late game in Alaska tonight. UMD squandered a chance to move up in the conference as Michigan Tech ended their winless streak at 26 games by defeating Denver in Colorado 3-2.

Tomorrow night is gut-check time. The garbage of coming out looking unprepared and unmotivated for games has to stop, or it will become the identity of the team. The players should have some time tonight to think about what they built in the beginning of the year and step back to see how quickly it can be torn down.

Tomorrow night’s rematch will put UMD’s streak of not losing two straight games this season to the test.

Tonight’s box score from the WCHA.

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