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LimeyCat
12-05-2009, 05:54 AM
Just checking in before Chad, Matt and myself head to Durham in February for the Northeastern series. It's good to see the team making good progress. Last month I wasn't sure if we'd be watching a really poor UNH team but good things seem to be happening! Fingers crossed the trend continues! Enjoy the hockey dudes.

UNHhockey29
12-05-2009, 08:29 AM
(1) The sole UML goal appeared to deflect off Kostolansky's stick (from my vantage point at the other end of the ice). Darci, CBG, et al. - is that what you saw?

(5) Was I seeing things or did Hutton make about a dozen miracle saves, particularly in the third period? Again, Darci and the gang had a front row seat and I'd be interested to hear their perspective.

I saw the goal go into the net but I didn't see if it got tipped or not. RTW had a better view of it than me. That was an extremely weak goal and if the goal post was being hugged it wouldn't have gone in.

Hutton had a good glove hand and made some great saves that way. UNH is also really good at shooting the puck into the goalie's chest. There were a few that if we could have gotten the shot off they probably would have gone in. There was one where Hutton was completely down and the net was wide open but we couldn't get the shot off.

RockTheWhit
12-05-2009, 09:10 AM
I saw the goal go into the net but I didn't see if it got tipped or not. RTW had a better view of it than me. That was an extremely weak goal and if the goal post was being hugged it wouldn't have gone in.

Hutton had a good glove hand and made some great saves that way. UNH is also really good at shooting the puck into the goalie's chest. There were a few that if we could have gotten the shot off they probably would have gone in. There was one where Hutton was completely down and the net was wide open but we couldn't get the shot off.

From my view it did not appear to deflect off of Kostolansky, but the shot was knuckling. Either way, it should have been routinely played by Foster.
In defense of the UNH shooters, Lowell was playing very well on defense, doing a great job of tying up UNH players trying to pick up rebounds. There were plenty of opportunities where UNH forwards just couldn't corral the puck or it bounced over the stick with open nets to shoot at. Hutton's best save of the night had to have been his sliding skate save of a Mike Borisenok one-timer from the slot. None of us could believe he made it over that quickly.

SPCSMAN
12-05-2009, 09:56 AM
Were the Ref's on a mission to get out last night? Game was over in 2 hours. Granted it was a pretty cleanly played event however I think they may have redefined icing last night. Very few stoppages of play....other than a few really quick whistles around the net.

Not a complaint just an observation.

Ned Braden
12-05-2009, 10:09 AM
Were the Ref's on a mission to get out last night? Game was over in 2 hours. Granted it was a pretty cleanly played event however I think they may have redefined icing last night. Very few stoppages of play....other than a few really quick whistles around the net.

Not a complaint just an observation.

I like the way they called icing last night, they were calling it more like a professional game -- if the linesman thinks the defensive player had any chance at getting to it, they wave it off. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

A few people in the crowd were moaning that there weren't icing calls when a UNH player lifted a Lowell players stick and kept him from playing the puck.....that should never be icing.

UNHRouge5
12-05-2009, 10:11 AM
Were the Ref's on a mission to get out last night? Game was over in 2 hours. Granted it was a pretty cleanly played event however I think they may have redefined icing last night. Very few stoppages of play....other than a few really quick whistles around the net.

Not a complaint just an observation.

Considering how many times they gave each other the "why the hell did you call that" look, I'm not entirely sure they knew what icing was at times.

i'zonprize
12-05-2009, 01:00 PM
Thought last night was a pretty darn good performance all around. Kostalanky is a solid D man back there. Burke's play was great and had a pretty good view of it.. not to pick, but DeSimone could learn a thing or two from him.. Keep is simple, keep the puck on your stick and make the play! Had to agree with Umile.. Borisenok and his line played fantastic.. C-H-C.. to have him and Moses on the same line, just wouldn't be fair!;) you know, to the other team and all.

Sounds like there is a heartbeat in the building folks..... Keep beeting those TUC teams!!

thecomicbookguy
12-05-2009, 03:29 PM
Burke's play was great and had a pretty good view of it...
Yeah, that was a very nice play by the big kid. Used his size to protect the puck, and had the sense to see Kessel coming in from the point.

Hutton definitely had some great saves. Either Moses or Borisenok had a prime chance at a one-timer, but Hutton played it perfectly, even though there's almost no way Hutton could have seen it.

Nice to see UNH win that kind of game. Wouldn't have expected that in October.

Greg Ambrose
12-05-2009, 04:44 PM
Yeah, that was a very nice play by the big kid. Used his size to protect the puck, and had the sense to see Kessel coming in from the point.

Hutton definitely had some great saves. Either Moses or Borisenok had a prime chance at a one-timer, but Hutton played it perfectly, even though there's almost no way Hutton could have seen it.

Nice to see UNH win that kind of game. Wouldn't have expected that in October.

Or November when they melted down in the third period at Lowell. Since then the only game they've lost was with 11 seconds to go vs. UMass. A heartbreaker but they turned it around the next night and have been on a roll since. Although the first line has certainly been the catalyst, I do think the improved play of the defense from Foster on out has been a key. Foster did give away a bad one last night (he does have a habit of this, I recall one against BC earlier), but he also made some pretty good saves, especially in the late part of the third when Lowell was pulling out all the stops. I can only reiterate the comments on Kostolansky, Campanale and Kessel, and you can throw Hardowa in there too.

At this point I don't know if Hockey East is just overwhelmingly medicore (almost every team is within a couple of games of .500), or whether UNH is just coming into their own. Another big game tomorrow afternoon at UVM. Should be favored considering our record against them, but have to play the game. Go Cats!

5IslandsWildcat
12-05-2009, 09:45 PM
For years, I accepted that the Big Four UNH, BC, BU, and Maine would consistently be the top four teams in end-of-the-regular-season standings. Last year, Maine fell out of the top 4, and many forecast even less Big Four dominance of quarterfinals home ice. Myself, I was sure BU would remain near the top, that Maine would continue its slide, and was ambivalent (ok, had no idea) about BC or UNH. Yet, here are the Hockey East Standings after the December 5 games:
Rnk Team GP Pts
1 New Hampshire 10 14
1 Boston College 11 14
3 Maine 11 13
4 Mass.-Lowell 10 11
5 Massachusetts 9 10
5 Vermont 10 10
7 Northeastern 11 9
8 Merrimack 9 8
9 Boston University 11 6
10 Providence 8 5

Yes, teams have 16-18 games to play, but after over one-third of the season, there are two surprises: UNH, BC, and Maine are the top 3 teams and BU is 9th. Is college hockey a great sport, or what?

Malts18
12-06-2009, 08:32 AM
Just checking in before Chad, Matt and myself head to Durham in February for the Northeastern series. It's good to see the team making good progress. Last month I wasn't sure if we'd be watching a really poor UNH team but good things seem to be happening! Fingers crossed the trend continues! Enjoy the hockey dudes.

Tobes... similar thoughts from me. I really was not sure what we had on our hands with this team. I don't think I was more disillusioned than after the back-to-back beatdowns by Wisco this year. Not even competitive.

I do think the turnaround started during the UMass weekend. It would not have been hard to fault the team for not getting up to play the second game after the crushing defeat in the Friday game (tying goal scored by UMass with 11 seconds left and then losing it on another UMass goal OT). What did the Cats do?? They sacked up and won a huge game, 4-2, and basically save the season. Since then, this has been a seemingly different team.

You guys -- Darci, Matt, Gib, George, Al, CHC, et al -- see this team every game. I, and other out-of-staters, have only a few TV games to see them and the rest are through radio, so it is hard to gauge how we are REALLY playing. Scores and shots can be very misleading. So it is always helpful to read the threads and talk to you guys.

Very much looking forward to the game today (on ESPNU) and also really pumped about the trip out there at the end of Feb for the Northeastern series!! GO CATS!!

unhpuckfan2001
12-06-2009, 02:41 PM
Considering how many times they gave each other the "why the hell did you call that" look, I'm not entirely sure they knew what icing was at times.

I'll tell you what the refs didn't have a clue on was the definition of a covered puck. Three times that I saw very clearly they blew the whistle when Hutton was not in control of the rubber. I'm all for protecting the goalie, especially when they are prone on the ice, but when I can see the loose puck from the other end of the ice, the ref needs to put himself in better position. It was very frustrating, because we lost excellent scoring opportunities on all three of the questionable whistles.

Excellent effort overall. The wife and I are very much looking forward to "townie (as we affectionately call him)" to score his first goal -- thought he was going to score the game winner, but it was a great, heads up pass to Kessel. Self-less play from a rookie, gotta love it!

It's time for a new computer -- can't listen online, because my computer won't run the player . . .

UNHHKYRKS
12-06-2009, 04:37 PM
Excellent effort overall. The wife and I are very much looking forward to "townie (as we affectionately call him)" to score his first goal -- thought he was going to score the game winner, but it was a great, heads up pass to Kessel. Self-less play from a rookie, gotta love it!

well there you go, nice corner pick through a screen over spillanes glove at UVM in his next game. :)

Darius
12-06-2009, 05:26 PM
# 15 in the current PWR. Nice weekend!

Malts18
12-06-2009, 05:30 PM
I only saw the first and third periods, but this team definitely is playing better than they were earlier in the year. A much more cohesive effort.. everyone hustling...and the D stepping up nicely. Really good stuff this weekend vs a tough UML team and a dicey UVM team at a tough building (the Gutt). 4 out of 4 stars this weekend, gentlemen. Kudos!

i'zonprize
12-06-2009, 08:02 PM
Watched both games this weekend. Must say, UNH dominated each game. Although they gave up more shots today, some juicey, it was clear that UNH was the better squad today. Great to see that all but 2 guys (Sislo and Henrion) got a point this afternoon as it's now obvious that a lot of time and effort is going to be put in to containing Butler, Thompson and DeSimone. That said, Leblanc and Moses getting 2 points a piece, Burke and Borisenok are also doing fantastic and had a great weekend. Both guys are fun to watch for completely different reasons. Borisenok is all heart and legs, and could have had 2-3 goals this weekend himself. Burke is a beast out there. They tried to knock him off the puck while in the corner a few times tonight. That was good for a laugh or two! He's a brick wall with some offensive smarts.

D.. another solid effort, but make no mistake Foster was the man and saved their bacon several times both nights. Few early Christmas gifts in the form of posts today, too!

Their team speed jumps out at you a bit more so than the first month and a half, IMO. Maybe that's a reflection of more Chemistry and trust.

Would be great to go into the break with 1 more W!!! Great turn around!!

C-H-C
12-06-2009, 08:20 PM
I'zon & Malts' comments got me to thinking about this team compared to those in recent years that were more highly touted. One difference is that unlike the Micflikier-Hemingway-Winnik and Fornataro-Radja eras, this team has spread the scoring across three and sometimes four lines. I think those former teams had a tendency to count on their first lines too much. When the big NCAA quarterfinal games rolled around and those lines had an off night, the team was screwed.

Another big difference, it seems to me, is that this team doesn't let up the entire game. Occasionally the opposing team will outplay them for a period, but it's not because UNH is coasting. Kudos to Butler and Leblanc's leadership regarding hustle. As I had hoped, the all-out efforts against North Dakota and BU in the NCAA's last spring and the resulting success made a big impression with this team.

Malts18
12-06-2009, 09:08 PM
Their team speed jumps out at you a bit more so than the first month and a half, IMO. Maybe that's a reflection of more Chemistry and trust.

Interesting about the speed. When the game started today, it was really clear that UNH had great jump and just looked ready to play. Even after the early Thompson penalty (that led to the first UVM goal), I still felt pretty good about our chances. We just LOOKED fast and good. It carried on all game long and UNH did what they needed to do in a tough building.

Good win today.... really liked the play of Burke and Borisenok (as Izzy mentioned earlier). Could not agree more. Those two guys are a blast to watch. And our supporting cast is very strong too... with the likes of Thompson, Sislo, Moses, Henrion, LeBlanc, et al.

This team is starting to "get it" I think. Not going to say much more about that other than it makes me feel good to know that this season is far from lost (as it was appearing it might be after the Wisco weekend).

RockTheWhit
12-06-2009, 09:39 PM
Just got home from a long day of driving/hockey and what a great weekend. The posts were definitely fortunate for UNH today, but as has been said, they carried play for a majority of the game. Shots on goal today did not tell the story of how the flow of the game went. Foster looked solid, the d continues their progression (not sure who sits when Krates comes back), and all four lines looked good (which is more than we could say the last few weeks).
Random observation from the Gutt: When UNH was leaving the ice after the game, Coach Umile stopped at the entrance to the tunnel and congratulated each player individually. I can't remember seeing anything like this in games this year. This was a very cool gesture and showed me that he is really happy with their effort and progress as well.

C-H-C
12-06-2009, 09:45 PM
Random observation from the Gutt: When UNH was leaving the ice after the game, Coach Umile stopped at the entrance to the tunnel and congratulated each player individually. I can't remember seeing anything like this in games this year. This was a very cool gesture and showed me that he is really happy with their effort and progress as well.

I saw Coach Umile do this after the Merrimack game as well. Maybe it's a new away game tradition.