2012-2013 Season Recap

It's been one hell of a season.


(Photo: Dave Harwig)
As Bulldog fans we've been blessed over the last few seasons to be able to watch our team play well into March.  I mean off the top of their heads, can anyone tell me the last time the Bulldogs were swept, away from home in the first round of WCHA playoffs?




It's not how UMD wanted to leave the WCHA, but we can't win em all, right?  Besides, if the Dogs were going to fall to anyone, I think I would have rather it have been a Wisconsin team that was playing hot over a team like Minnesota or North Dakota.

Oh well.  Biddy will have the counter going until the next puck drops for the Dogs, I've already seen it, actually.  So let's close out this season with some good things, some bad things, and everything in between.
(Photo: Dave Harwig)

What Went Right:

Puppies were able to grow.  Now this is common in teams and usually not pointed out for that reason, but I feel as though most of the younger players made great strides in advancing their talents this season.  Especially after losses started to rack up, pressure to step up increased which pushed many of the younger players to develop quickly.  Proof?  Here are two players that made steps...

2013
2012
Name
Pos.
GP
G
A
Pts
Pts/G
GP
G
A
Pts
Pts/G
Joe Basaraba (FLA)
W
37
10
7
17
0.46
40
7
9
16
0.40
Justin Crandall
W
37
7
9
16
0.43
37
6
7
13
0.35


Or even steps during the season.  For example, taking a look at the first 10 games compared to the last 10, that way we can get a good idea of how well the freshman did improving.  Take a gander...

First 10
Last 10
Name
Pos.
GP
G
A
Pts
Pts/G
GP
G
A
Pts
Pts/G
Caleb Herbert (WSH)
W
10
2
2
4
0.40
8
0
10
10
1.25
Austin Farley ('93)
W
9
4
4
8
0.89
10
6
7
13
1.30
Andy Welinski (ANA)
D
10
1
3
4
0.40
10
2
4
6
0.60
Joe Basaraba (FLA)
W
10
3
1
4
0.40
9
3
3
6
0.67
Justin Crandall
W
10
2
2
4
0.40
9
3
3
6
0.67
Cal Decowski
C
7
1
1
2
0.29
10
2
4
6
0.60

So with that being said, just between those six skaters the Dogs had, on average, 2.31 more points per game towards the end of the year.  Now what about goaltending?

First
10
Last
10
Name
GP
Record
Save %
GAA
GP
Record
Save %
GAA
Matt McNeely
6
1-4-1
88.8%
2.95
5
2-1-2
92.4%
2.34
Aaron Crandall
4
1-2-1
89.3%
3.23
4
2-2-0
94.6%
1.61

So again, another increase in performance from both players in every category.  Now, If we pull everything together we can look at team statistics, which should increase from the first 10 games to the last 10.

Record
GFA
GAA
PP
PK
First 10 Games
2-6-2
2.60
3.10
23.5%
82.4%
Last 10 Games
4-4-2
2.90
2.50
31.8%
82.5%

BAM!  Just like that.  Stats tell the story, don't they?  So we can see why we can be excited for next season already, just from looking at this.
(Photo: Dave Harwig)

Bulldog Comparisons by the Numbers.  I went through and pulled out some random numbers and placings the Dogs fell within the conference, here is what I found.
  • 41 - Powerplay goals this season for the Dogs, 2nd in the WCHA
  • 1,262 - Shots on goal this season, 3rd in the WCHA.
  • 30 - First period goals, 3rd in the WCHA.
The development a young team took time, but it did work out.  But there is still more room for improvement, especially in the next topic.

What Went Wrong:

But where'd Jack go?  We all know Jack Connolly.  If you don't, I guess I'm confused as to why you've read this far into my article...  Anyway, I guess we can't just give all the credit to Jack, every departure hurt this team in a different way.  Going into the season, we knew we'd be without the 80 goals, 137 assists that the seniors had tallied last season.  Or, better yet, 54.25% of the total points the UMD hockey team put up from the 2011-12 season.

So one must take into account the Dogs needed to replace over half of the points from the year before, which seemingly just wasn't realistic.

(Photo: McLeod Photos)
Yeah, we've had it good.  Although it probably sounds bad, our expectations were probably set to high given how young this team was.  But for the last few years, the Dogs have seen spectacular success.  So, don't be too hard on yourself, it wasn't exactly your fault.

Saturdays?  We play then, too?  Well, when the season started, it was all about finishing.  If that makes sense...  Saturdays ended up being more or else, a really big problem.   It took over two months for the Bulldogs to pull out a win Saturday win when playing a Friday-Saturday series.

The Bulldogs held a 6-8-3 record before finally picking up a their first Saturday win in Anchorage, Alaska.  Rather pathetic right?  But it's what to expect from a young team.  Which all goes back to the whole "we've had it great for awhile" theme.

Don't be that guy.  The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs racked up 608 penalty minutes.  608!  That averages out to be 16 minutes in naughty box, landing the Pups in 4th place among all college hockey teams and 2nd in the WCHA for penalty minutes per game.

608 minutes ends up coming out to roughly 10 hours and 8 minutes.  A hockey game has three 20-minute periods, coming out to 60 minutes (duh).  That means the Bulldogs spent 10.13 games in the box.   Or, it also means that for 26.7% of the season, there was at least one Bulldog in the box.  That can't be right can it?  Someone else do the math too.  Jeez.  (keep in mind 10-minute majors, so that number is off, but it got your attention, right?)

(Photo: McLeod Photos)
Puck Possession.  No question here.  UMD lost one helluva player in Travis Oleksuk, the real T.O.  Not only was he a great scorer, but he was a quick-draw faceoff winner.  This year, Jake Hendrickson was the go-to faceoff guy, but Hendo couldn't take every faceoff?

In the last game of the year, the Dogs won 22 of the 62 faceoffs.  In fact, that first period they won three total.  It's scary.  It's one of the biggest talents a team needs to possess, and often goes under the radar as far as importance goes.

It plays a valuable roll in puck possession, which in turn plays a huge part in how often a team is able to get scoring chances.  What did scoring chances lead too?  Goals.  It all starts with a faceoff win, too.

Attendance.  We know home attendance was terrible this year.  They Dogs actually only sold out completely once.  But in away games, the Dogs played in five sold-out arenas.  Everybody else enjoyed watching I guess?

But enough with the negatives.  So-Much-Fun Facts time.


Streaks.  Alright, since there is literally a trillion statistical streaks one could whip out, we'll just bullet a few.
  • Wins - 4 (UAH sweep, UNO sweep)
  • Winless - 8 (2/1 to 3/1)
  • Games with Goals - 4 (Mike Seidel 11/10 to 11/17)
  • Games Out-Shooting Opponents - 10 (10/27 to 12/01)

Scoring in terms of lines:

Totals
Skaters
GP
G
A
Pts
PEN/MIN
SOG
BLK
Freshmen
7 (5F/2D)
38
37
61
98
49/117
386
52
Sophomores
6 (3F/3D)
38
18
40
58
24/83
276
77
Juniors
3 (2F/1D)
37
10
12
22
34/68
128
32
Seniors
7 (5F/2D)
38
34
50
84
73/146
472
94
Totals
Avg/Sktr
Skaters
GP
G
A
Pts
PEN/MIN
SOG
BLK
Freshmen
7 (5F/2D)
25.3
5.3
8.7
14.0
7/16.7
55.1
7.4
Sophomores
6 (3F/3D)
29.8
3.0
6.7
9.7
4/13.8
46.0
12.8
Juniors
3 (2F/1D)
27.0
3.3
4.0
7.3
11.3/22.7
42.7
10.7
Seniors
7 (5F/2D)
35.3
4.9
7.1
12.0
10.4/20.9
67.4
13.4



To end this post, I would like to send a thank you to the seniors, who combined played in 966 games, scored 101 goals, assisted 154 times for 255 points.  Thank you to Captain Cody Damberg, Chicago prospect Dan DeLisle, Mike Seidel, Keegan Flaherty, Jake Hendrickson, Wade Bergman and Columbus prospect Drew Olson.

Fortunately, I will continue to follow college hockey over the summer, updating on any recruiting, schedule, roster or prospect changes that may occur, so check back often!  :)

(Photo: McLeod Photos)

Enjoy.


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