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TripleE
03-07-2012, 11:48 PM
Really? The wee hours of Thursday morning, and unless I'm blind.... no thread on this one? :eek:

Here's the deal...

There are a lot of indications that Merrimack has been Maine's Achilles heel of these last 2 years. With a 5-2-1 record during that time, it's easy to quickly draw that conclusion.

But this weekend ought to prove how important it was for Maine to get these games at home. Last year, Maine not only swept Mack at home, they did so by an 11-1 margin.

Yes, Mack had a 2-1 win at the Alfond in the season opener. A pretty close margin considering Maine was playing their worst hockey in October and the Warriors were playing their best. In that game, Mangene was starting on defense and the power play went 0 for 9. Since that season opening contest, Maine's man advantage is operating at 29.5% and with 14, Mangene is Maine's goal leader outside of that top line.

Since Thanksgiving:

Maine is 17-5-1 overall .... Merrimack is 8-10-6

Maine is 9-2-0 in home games .... Merrimack is 2-5-3 on the road. Neither win was against a team who finished .500 or better.



I wouldn't be too overconfident if I'm the Warriors.

walrus
03-08-2012, 05:18 AM
Really? The wee hours of Thursday morning, and unless I'm blind.... no thread on this one? :eek:



I wouldn't be too overconfident if I'm the Warriors.

http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?99683-Bigos-vs-Joey-C-mon-Lets-Face-Facts-Here

Ever seen Maine play the last 5 years?? I wouldn't count on anything from Maine. Should they win? Yes, Will they, who the F knows

MCHOCKEY
03-08-2012, 05:58 AM
First off, I wouldn't say any knowledgeable fan of MC is overconfident going into this series. I've been around this program since Paul Kariya's freshman year up at Maine. I know all too well about the house of horrors known as Alfond Arena.

I've picked Maine to win this series in 3 game (ugh, kills me to say that) by the scores of
Game 1: 3-1 (ENG) Maine
Game 2: 4-2 Merrimack
Game 3: 3-2 (OT) Maine'

But this whole series boils down to a few things:

1) Which Dan Sullivan will show up? Sullivan has been playing great as of late...just look at the UNH game for example. A few HUGE saves in preserving that 1-0 win, which got them into this home ice spot.

2) Can the MC Defense shut down the top line in the country? Flynn-Diamond-Abbott have been phenomenal this year. One of, if not THE, best line in the country...but Maine has managed only 5 goals in 3 games this year vs Merrimack (that line accounts for 3 of them)

3) Can Joe Cannata continue playing at this level? He has allowed 2 goals or fewer in 27 of 34 games...and then I heard this interesting statistic yesterday on HE online's coaches interviews (and I haven't been able to fact check it)...in 27 league games this year, JC has allowed a total of 27 "5 on 5" goals. That is a crazy stat...which leads me to....

4) Staying out of the box...MC's kill at the beginning of the season was unbelievable...but with the season ending injury to Madsen, and a banged up Elliot Sheen, MC's kill has falling like a brick to 38th in the country...if MC can stay out of the box (BIGOS, ARE YOU LISTENING!?!?!?!?), it will vastly improve their chances of winning this series. Maine's PP is tops in the country, and you just can't give them that many opportunities.

5) Can MC Score some goals? Of Merrimacks 10 losses this year, they scored 2 or less goals in 8 of them. Meaning, when MC scores 3 goals or more, they have lost only twice all season. The seniors need to step up and play like they did in the 3rd period on Saturday.

This is going to be a great series...as TripleE mentioned, last years QF matchup ended in a 11-1 drubbing...I just don't see that happening this year...if this series was at the Mack, I'd have MC in 3...but where it's at Alfond, I gotta give the slight advantage to Maine.

GO MERRIMACK!!!

Warrior51
03-08-2012, 11:46 AM
Great assessment buddy but I hope that we are both wrong. For our sake, unfortunately, Merrimack has been struggling as of late. Despite a solid battle with the away/home series with Lowell, we haven't shown much substance. Let's hope for a MC series victory.

amherstblackbear
03-08-2012, 12:29 PM
Should they win? Yes, Will they, who the F knows

Yep. That's Maine hockey these days in a nutshell.

Hope for the best, but check your expectations at the door.

As the last 6 years or so on the uscho board prove -- that last part is easier said than done.

TripleE
03-08-2012, 02:54 PM
I've been around this program since Paul Kariya's freshman year up at Maine.

What's your assessment on how that year compared to his other years? The dude played 1.5 years of college. Haha.



1) Which Dan Sullivan will show up? Sullivan has been playing great as of late...just look at the UNH game for example. A few HUGE saves in preserving that 1-0 win, which got them into this home ice spot.

Well, no offense, but MC floundering didn't hurt their positioning either. They won one more game in their first 10 than they did in their last 24.


2) Can the MC Defense shut down the top line in the country? Flynn-Diamond-Abbott have been phenomenal this year. One of, if not THE, best line in the country...but Maine has managed only 5 goals in 3 games this year vs Merrimack (that line accounts for 3 of them)

Again, that includes a 1 spot at home from the season opener. Maine has been a dramatically different team since Thanksgiving.

For all the focus the top line gets, its the secondary scoring that is key. I pointed out last week that Maine is 13-0-0 when Shemansky shows up in the box scoring. They're 11-1-0 in games Mangene lights the lamp. They put up a 1 spot in two of the first three games this year, which includes the Mack game, but a league best 3.77 goals/game since.


4) Staying out of the box...MC's kill at the beginning of the season was unbelievable...but with the season ending injury to Madsen, and a banged up Elliot Sheen, MC's kill has falling like a brick to 38th in the country...if MC can stay out of the box (BIGOS, ARE YOU LISTENING!?!?!?!?), it will vastly improve their chances of winning this series. Maine's PP is tops in the country, and you just can't give them that many opportunities.

This should be #1 on your list.

UNH was remarkably disciplined last week and the game was remarkably close. The week before, we split a series @ Northeastern. The game we lost, only had two chances with the man advantage. The game won, we had seven. In that opening game, Maine was 0 for 9 with the man advantage. Since that game, the PP is operating at 29.5%. Giving Maine 6 power plays in a game this weekend will be suicide much less 9.



This is going to be a great series...as TripleE mentioned, last years QF matchup ended in a 11-1 drubbing...I just don't see that happening this year...if this series was at the Mack, I'd have MC in 3...but where it's at Alfond, I gotta give the slight advantage to Maine.

Well, said drubbing was not the QF series....it was the 2nd to last regular season week. But yes, in recent years when these two teams get together, home ice has been unbelievably huge.



Good Luck.

DownEastblkbearfan
03-08-2012, 03:02 PM
Who the F knows? That's great Wally and yes that pretty much sums up Maine hockey! Box of chocolates! Woo Hoo!

DLG
03-08-2012, 03:20 PM
It appears via CHN that th games are on WBIN

gscott13
03-08-2012, 03:50 PM
Well, no offense, but MC floundering didn't hurt their positioning either. They won one more game in their first 10 than they did in their last 24.

to that end though, that initial stretch wasn't exactly against a murderer's row of teams

Teams faced and their records adjusted to remove the season's results against MC

Maine (20-9-2)
Army (4-22-7)
Northeastern x3 (11-15-5)
UConn (15-16-4)
Vermont x2 (6-24-1)
BU (19-11-1)
UAH (2-27-1)

I wouldn't necessarily call it floundering. What i see is a team that took care of business against the teams it should have early in the season and won the two toughest match-ups during that stretch, but struggled a bit once they got into the meat of the hockey east schedule. truth is, they never earned more than three points in a weekend after christmas. They had three points only three times and only two of those were in-conference. now don't get me wrong, i think they are a very good team and as a maine fan they are a match-up nightmare... i could see them coming in sweeping and knocking maine to the PWR bubble, i could see it being a sweep the other way, or a double overtime game three.... i think it's going to be an interesting weekend...

MCHOCKEY
03-08-2012, 03:55 PM
What's your assessment on how that year compared to his other years? The dude played 1.5 years of college. Haha.

Well, no offense, but MC floundering didn't hurt their positioning either. They won one more game in their first 10 than they did in their last 24.

Again, that includes a 1 spot at home from the season opener. Maine has been a dramatically different team since Thanksgiving.

For all the focus the top line gets, its the secondary scoring that is key. I pointed out last week that Maine is 13-0-0 when Shemansky shows up in the box scoring. They're 11-1-0 in games Mangene lights the lamp. They put up a 1 spot in two of the first three games this year, which includes the Mack game, but a league best 3.77 goals/game since.

This should be #1 on your list.

UNH was remarkably disciplined last week and the game was remarkably close. The week before, we split a series @ Northeastern. The game we lost, only had two chances with the man advantage. The game won, we had seven. In that opening game, Maine was 0 for 9 with the man advantage. Since that game, the PP is operating at 29.5%. Giving Maine 6 power plays in a game this weekend will be suicide much less 9.

Well, said drubbing was not the QF series....it was the 2nd to last regular season week. But yes, in recent years when these two teams get together, home ice has been unbelievably huge. Good Luck.

I realize PK was just around for 1.5 years...was just stating that I've been around the game for 20 years and have visited Alfond on many occassions, and it's never a fun trip. Fans up there are brutal (in a good way) :)

As for your comment about the 1 spot in the season opener...okay, take that out and they scored 4 goals in 2 games (after Thanksgiving, beginning of January) although those games were played in N. Andover

Staying out of the Box is definitely #1 on my list...especially with Bigos. Diamond is GREAT at getting under your skin enough to draw the penalty and then turning around and scoring on the penalty. Bigos has to stay controlled and not take the bait, which is highly unlikely.

As for the drubbing, i stand corrected...I was thinking the opposite way (Maine drubbed us 11-1, we swept the QF's by a combined 11-6 score)...forgot you guys put up a 5 spot in game 1 last year.

Either way, Maine has always been my 2nd fav. team to root for (behind MC), so i wish both schools the best of luck. It should be one hell of a series...lots of possibilities, but there can only be one conclusion. I'm sticking with Maine taking the series, but am hoping I'm wrong. GO MACK.

GOOD LUCK TO YOU TOO

TripleE
03-08-2012, 05:00 PM
although those games were played in N. Andover

Right, that was my implied point. Home ice has been key for both teams these last two years, but the season opener is kind of an outlier because Maine hadn't come into their own until late November.

CenMEBlackBearFan
03-08-2012, 07:09 PM
I realize PK was just around for 1.5 years...was just stating that I've been around the game for 20 years and have visited Alfond on many occassions, and it's never a fun trip. Fans up there are brutal (in a good way) :)

As for your comment about the 1 spot in the season opener...okay, take that out and they scored 4 goals in 2 games (after Thanksgiving, beginning of January) although those games were played in N. Andover

Staying out of the Box is definitely #1 on my list...especially with Bigos. Diamond is GREAT at getting under your skin enough to draw the penalty and then turning around and scoring on the penalty. Bigos has to stay controlled and not take the bait, which is highly unlikely.

As for the drubbing, i stand corrected...I was thinking the opposite way (Maine drubbed us 11-1, we swept the QF's by a combined 11-6 score)...forgot you guys put up a 5 spot in game 1 last year.

Either way, Maine has always been my 2nd fav. team to root for (behind MC), so i wish both schools the best of luck. It should be one hell of a series...lots of possibilities, but there can only be one conclusion. I'm sticking with Maine taking the series, but am hoping I'm wrong. GO MACK.

GOOD LUCK TO YOU TOO

MCHOCKEY,
Nice overview and don't forget when we swept you last year Da Costa didn't play and I almost thought you had another key player out as well???

As far as fans being "brutal" in a good way I have always been impressed that our students don't do the " U SUCK" chant. It's all good clean but loud and fun.Are we the only HE school that doesn't stoop to that???
If the Alfond is as loud as last w/e it should be fun. Will be interesting with students on brake if the Balcony will be as full as last w/e. Hope so, GO BLUE!!!!

'93,'99,??
03-09-2012, 07:42 AM
Yea on paper, Maine should clearly have the edge in this series, based on more offensive firepower and home ice alone. But why am I leary? Because as we have seen 3 times in the past 4 weeks, we can easily cough up furballs on any given night. ....and as we saw last night, I don't care who you are playing in this league, if you don't play up to snuff, you will lose, especially against a good defensive team like Mack. I'm guessing we will have an off game sat night and lose, but will take it in 3.

MCHOCKEY
03-09-2012, 07:53 AM
Will be interesting with students on brake if the Balcony will be as full as last w/e. Hope so, GO BLUE!!!!

Not sure you will have to worry about that...there might be a strong student contingency there this weekend, although they might be wearing the gold and blue ;) Sounds like a few busloads coming up for the weekend...which is great for the team. Hopefully we have a great series...I'll be sitting here watching on TV...as we watched last night (PC vs UML), anything is possible once the playoffs start. GO MACK!!!

And 93,99...? I, unfortunately, agree...as I posted earlier, 3 games, 3rd game goes to Maine in OT.

CenMEBlackBearFan
03-09-2012, 09:05 AM
Don't know where a couple of busloads of Warrior students would sit, but I am sure it won't be the Balcony or this could get ugly.

Pucknut
03-09-2012, 09:20 AM
I hope lots of yellow shirts show up and bring a ton of noise, maybe, just maybe, it will get some of the fans who sit on the hands and act like they are in church on their feet.

Yuppie Scum
03-09-2012, 10:59 AM
I hope lots of yellow shirts show up and bring a ton of noise, maybe, just maybe, it will get some of the fans who sit on the hands and act like they are in church on their feet.

This is a great move by MC. I've been pushing for student busses to the away games for a while (The Merrimack Vans aren't doing anything better anyway). Regardless of the score at the end of the weekend, MC's students will have been exposed an awesome college hockey environment and hopefully take some lessons into next year's campaign.

CenMEBlackBearFan
03-09-2012, 11:12 AM
This is a great move by MC. I've been pushing for student busses to the away games for a while (The Merrimack Vans aren't doing anything better anyway). Regardless of the score at the end of the weekend, MC's students will have been exposed an awesome college hockey environment and hopefully take some lessons into next year's campaign.

Maybe Lawler is different for HE games but I saw the UConn game, nephew skates for UConn, at your place and the only time there was any noise was after a goal. Place really had no life to it and the 6 piece band might as well stay at home. I know you guys are awesome at home(W-L) but I can't say it is because of the crowd.

The Alfond should be rocking tonite!!!

Below is the link for overview of the game from the Bangor Daily, both goalies complement each other's team.
Still can't wait for Bigos and Joey to go at it.
GO BLUE!!!

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/08/sports/cannata-sullivan-to-square-off-between-the-pipes-in-hockey-east-series/

Salvo1017
03-09-2012, 02:19 PM
Maybe Lawler is different for HE games but I saw the UConn game, nephew skates for UConn, at your place and the only time there was any noise was after a goal. Place really had no life to it and the 6 piece band might as well stay at home. I know you guys are awesome at home(W-L) but I can't say it is because of the crowd.

The Alfond should be rocking tonite!!!

Below is the link for overview of the game from the Bangor Daily, both goalies complement each other's team.
Still can't wait for Bigos and Joey to go at it.
GO BLUE!!!

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/08/sports/cannata-sullivan-to-square-off-between-the-pipes-in-hockey-east-series/

That was UConn...

As far as the Alfond being rocking, kids on break and from what I've heard they're not anticipating a sell out. I'm not so sure it will be as "homey" as usual.

Merrimack wins in 3 losing game 2.

CenMEBlackBearFan
03-09-2012, 02:37 PM
We were on brake last w/e and it worked for us, a sell-out. I anticipate a crowd of 4,000, should still be awful homey. Am interested in how many of your students show as I have never seen more than the token 100 or so that sit in the corner and cheer when the visitors score. Any more noise than that I am sure we will drown it out.
Maine in 2.