Wednesday, January 30, 2013

UMD's Second Intermission Report Card

A Report Card on UMD's Second Period of the 2012-13 Season

The second third of the 2012-2013 UMD Bulldog’s season is in the books. In following with our past precedent, we are issuing our second period report card that takes a look at the second third of the season only.  Each third of the season is 12 games this season.

Offense: C. The offense is getting better and turning up the heat.  But most of the time, it is just good enough.  The amount of one goal wins shows a gritty team, but also is alarming that the team cannot score more to win decisively.

The goal production has increased from 29 goals in the first 12 games to 35 goals.  That is an average of 2.42 and 2.92 respectively.  That is largely the reason the Bulldogs went 7-4-1 in their last 12 after a 3-7-2 start.

As UMD pushes for home ice in the first round of the WCHA playoffs, the offense needs to keep making strides and put less pressure on the defense.

Of note:
  • Top three scorers for the Bulldogs remain the same as the last report.  They are Mike Seidel (12-11-23, up 9 points), Tony Cameranesi (10-12-22, up 10 points), and Austin Farley (8-9-17, up 7 points).  
  • Pleasant surprises: Joe Basaraba and Jake Hendrickson.  We singled out Basaraba as a surprise last report with three goals.  He scored four more for a total of seven equaling his total from last year.  Hendrickson upped his goal total from one to four during the last 12.  He is an integral part of the upperclassmen and his leadership on the score sheet is great to see.
  • Farley and Cameranesi continue to be the freshman standouts.  Right now Camreanesi has the upper hand in the race for biggest impact from a freshman.
Team Defense: B-. The defense has really come around and is leading the way to wins for the team.  For offense it was noted the amount of one goal games.  A big part of those wins is the defense holding to win the games.

Over the period, UMD has allowed 31 goals, an average of 2.58 goals per game.  Prior, they allowed 37 games for a 3.08 average.  Just the GAA over the last 12 games is good and couple that with scoring more than allowing on average, it is a recipe to make a run.

Defense will be the key to keep the team close enough to pull out wins in the home stretch.  The offense has not shown they are not able at this point to score multiple goals to come from behind.

Of note:
  • Wade Bergman has stepped up to take a senior leadership role in this second period of the season.  His offensive output has increased and his plus/minus rating is just a tick better going +1 in the last 12.
  • Andy Welinski is still the freshman leader on the blueline, but he really has been the only freshman defenseman getting regular playing time.
Special Teams: B. UMD is still going strong in the special teams department.  The Bulldogs again have the nation’s 8th best power play just as last report, but their percentage fell from 23.7% to 22.4%.  Still a great number and a good success rate.  The penalty kill is getting better up from 81.4% to 83.7%, 25th in the nation.  But just like last reporting period, they are on the ice too much.  UMD has the second highest penalty average in the nation at 16.5 minutes per game.

Of note:
  • Seidel is tops on the team with 6 PP goals followed by Cameranesi with 5 and Caleb Herbert surging into third with 3, all in the last 12 games.
Goaltending: B-. McNeely has emerged as the number one goalie especially with Aaron Crandall getting hurt at the end of 2012.  Mcneely's numbers are good, but rank in the middle of the pack of the WCHA.  He has a 2.60 GAA and a 0.898 saves percentage.  Again, not great, but solid enough when needed to put up some one goal wins.

Crandall has been struggling through the season with a 3.21 GAA and 0.878 saves percentage.  We look for him to get healthy and be able to be a viable alternate to McNeely when needed.

Of note:
  • McNeely posted UMDs only shutout this season, a 1-0 win over Michigan Tech.
Coaching: BCoaching is solid and reliable for the Bulldogs.  The start was terrible, but the system is coming around and UMD has a chance to do something in the last third of the season.  Work still needs to be done on discipline on the ice with penalties.  it was good to see that discipline off the ice is happening too with a one game sit for key players when needed.  The end of the season is when Sandelin seems to get the best out of his teams, so we look forward to seeing how this team ends.

Overall Team: C+. Average is a very appropriate label for this Bulldog team in this second report.  They moved from 11th place to 6th place before falling back to 8th this last weekend when they were idle.  Home ice is the hope and most likely reachable goal for this team.  If they get there, it will be an accomplishment based on how they started.

Looking Ahead. The next report will be the final at the end of the regular season.  During that 12 game stretch, UMD travels to only Minneapolis and Bemidji.  They host Denver, Minnesota State Mankato, Alabama - Huntsville, and Omaha.  It is nice to be at home most of the time, but there are plenty of challenging games in that stretch to the end of the regular season.

Of note:
  • UMD is 2-5-1 against fellow future teams of the NCHC so far this season.  The Bulldogs have four more games against future NCHC teams remaining.

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