Friday Recap - Maine (FCC)

The University of Maine earns shutout against The University of Minnesota Duluth, upsetting the Bulldogs 1-0.

Insert negative/realistic statement here.


After coming off a big sweep in Alaska, something the Bulldogs haven't done in years, The Pups fall to a team that previously had 2 wins in the first half of the season.  Ridiculous right?  The Puppies have zero excuses for losing that game.  Joey Diamond, arguably Maine's best player, was out with a neck injury as well as another skater for Maine who was with the flu.  I didn't buy the game to watch it and I'm almost glad I didn't.

Not to make it sound like Maine is an awful team, because they're honestly still a division 1 hockey team, but also a team we should have beat.  Maine is getting better, especially recently with their special teams, goalie situation, and overall defense.  The only thing that remains for them, is scoring.

(Photo: Chris Roy)

It sounded like there was absolutely no drive for the 1st and 2nd periods.  The Bulldog power play was absent all night going 0 for 5.  Keep in mind our power play was at 25% earlier this year.  The penalty kill actually did perform well; one of the few positives from the night.  Maine went a man up 5 times and each time, UMD shut them down.  Shots through 2 periods ended at 20-14 in favor of the Bulldogs, but the score was 1-0 in favor of Maine.

The third period was a little bit different, as it sounded as though UMD found a little bit of motivation to win.  The only penalty of the period was on Caleb Herbert for checking from behind, the actually gave him the boot.  The Dogs killed off the major penalty, but were unable to score a tying goal and the game ended 1-0.

Its really tough to analyze a loss like this.

Bruce Ciskie, the voice of Bulldog Hockey, put out a great a great blog post recapping issues of the game and other events which can be found HERE.  I just wanted to quote a couple things from his article he wrote:
"Unquestionably, Maine played well. It executed the game plan to a tee, and Ouellette made some big saves. However, UMD spent too much of the game on the perimeter, not working hard enough to get in the tough areas and make the goalie's life difficult. Division I goalies are going to stop most unscreened shots from the outside. It's just the way it is. If a team is looking to win games by scoring goals from the perimeter, it better find a way to screen a goalie, or hope to be facing a bad goalie." 
"Because the Bulldogs weren't working hard enough as a unit, Maine got more of the advantages to be had out of the plethora of goofy bounces to be had on a terrible ice sheet with pucks that appeared to have been heated in a microwave before use. The Black Bears played a simpler game, while UMD tried too many times to do the fancy thing instead of just getting pucks and bodies to the net." 

I though McNeely played well against, still boosting a save percentage well over .900 and 1 goal isn't terrible either.  The Bulldog offense just needs to continue trucking and finding ways to score if they hope to win this game.

The Bulldogs take on the Ferris State Bulldogs for 3rd place today at 3:00pm  You can watch the game for a fee at American One Sports or listen to Bruce call it as well.