Monday, October 14, 2013

UMD and MTU: Up, Down, Neutral

Little Scoring = Good Defense?

Good question, is low scoring due to good defense?  This weekend may be proof positive that it may be just a lack of strong offense.  To that point it was Bulldog play-by-play announcer Bruce Ciskie who said the Saturday game looked like a Bemidji State - Alaska Anchorage game.  Not high praise, but an indictment of the boring, lock-down style of play.

  • One of the struggles of the 2012-13 Bulldogs was the five on five goals.  Friday night saw two UMD goals both with teams at full strength.
  • Penalty kill was up to the task going a strong 11 for 11 for kills on the weekend.

  • A college football coach once asked "Are you hungry, or are you starving?"  The Bulldogs could be asked the same taking a 1-0 lead into the third period both nights only to allow MTU to tie the score.  Friday UMD did answer with a winning goal.
  • Whereas the penalty kill is rolling, the power play is struggling going 1 for 9, BUT giving up a shorthanded goal in the process.

  • Defense and goaltending is still in the neutral category.  If the difference between win, tie, and loss will be as razor thin as it was this past weekend, wins will be rare unless the defense can really lock it down.  The new motto and mantra may have to be "If they don't score, we don't lose."

Next Up.  The Bulldogs find themselves in Colorado Springs next weekend for their first series of the NCHC.  CC has played just one game, an exhibition 8-4 win over the US U-18 Developmental team.  The score is impressive and reminds me of the 1980's college hockey.  UMD is young again this year and will be tested on the road to open up the new conference schedule.

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