Saturday, March 14, 2015

DU Beats UMD 4-3: The "Goal" and the Season Opinions

UMD Allows Come-From-Ahead-Loss to DU 4-3

I am tired of the high road.  We tell the kids and the whiners that officials don't decide games, the players do.  How the players respond to situations and use their talent.

On Friday night in Denver, I have never been so sick of that high road on officiating mantra.

Ty Loney netted a hattrick with the third goal being the game winner.  The part of that last goal that sticks with me is the call.  It was a redirection by Loney of a Quentin Shore shot that appeared to be with a high stick.  Upon extended review by the officials, it was ruled a goal.

Upon re-review the next morning, I am still sick to my stomach watching the "goal."  Partial, yes, but this one looks easy.  What should make it an even easier no-goal call was watching Loney's reaction after the play.

When you score a hat trick and goal that gives your team their first lead of the game, you are going to celebrate.  Loney's first move was to look right at the official nearest him and skate off slowly, arms at his sides.  Signs that he knew his stick was high?  Yes.  He didn't even try to sell that it was a goal.

As he stood at the bench waiting for the review, you could see Loney's expression of growing confidence.  Like when you know you are getting a big break, a benefit of the doubt.  

Loney should not apologize for the goal nor should he go and admit that he believes it was a high stick, it is just one of this instances where the officials get in the way of the game.  Nothing was in the bag for UMD or DU at the time, so the Bulldogs could have lost anyway.  That is just not the way any team should have to lose a game.

Additionally, it would have been the second disallowed goal for the home team in the game.  If that had any bearing on the decision, it is ridiculous.  In fact I feel ridiculous writing it, but that thought crept in my mind last night and I haven't been able to shake it.

Trend or Mirage.  For the second time in Bulldog history, they went a whole regular season without being swept in a series.  The other being the National Championship season.

Through the wins, losses, and ties, the Bulldogs have built a resume that will most likely get them into the NCAA Tournament.  But does this feel like a team that has the fortitude to succeed in the playoffs?

Since the calendar turned to 2015, it is difficult to find that stretch of more than a game where the team looked the part of #4 in the PWR, currently a #1 see in an NCAA Regional.

There are players missing, especially now, but it has never felt like the team to beat.  The downside has seemingly always been greater, especially today.  Coming off the 3-0 lost at Western last Saturday with the captain Adam Krause's suspension for kneeing into last night's come from ahead loss that happened AT Denver because UMD could not finish in the top half of the conference, it may be a dour time for Bulldog fans.

Yes, UMD won a National Championship in 2011, but fans memories fade and tend to remember just the last games.  Hopefully, the 2014-15 Bulldogs can forget all that has happened and play in a new day today.

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