Monday, October 3, 2016

Unlikely Ending Lends to Possible New Start

UMD Shrugs Off Slow Start to Earn Sweep

Fans of UMD have been there before. Who can blame them for having doubts?

After watching the Bulldogs open up the season with a Saturday night shellacking of the Michigan Technological University Huskies 6-0, they watched the Bulldogs come out flat Sunday giving up a 2-0 lead 8:21 into the game.

In what seemed to be the second night let down so many recent UMD teams have been prone to, exasperation, or maybe expectation of bad results, took over in many people's minds. Mine included. "Here it comes, another split..."

But in a departure of recent teams' struggles with putting two games together, this edition of Bulldog Hockey fought through whatever it is and prevailed taking their first lead with 0:15 left in the game for the win and sweep.

So getting back to the original thought about fans rightfully having panic and doubts about the tenacity and killer instinct of the Bulldogs... How did we get to this place?

The last few seasons have seen UMD reel off long win streaks, but in the midst of those seasons, there have been more then a few games that should have been wins either based on caliber of opponent or results from a previous game. But in many of those situations, UMD came out on the losing end leaving fans frustrated and confused.

So where does the problem, perceived or real, lie and is it gone?

The beauty of college sports is that teams are always changing from year to year and teams have the opportunity to reinvent themselves. As a result, this may be a trend towards a true upper echelon hockey team, not the recent UMD teams that hang on in the PairWise with a few key wins and multiple perplexing losses.

The one thing that does stay the same, nearly the same, from year to year is the coaching. As we have stated time and again, this coaching staff headed by Coach Sandelin is top notch, and they deserve a group that looks like they can persevere and win the games they should.

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