Sometimes, luck is just not on your side, and that’s really what hurt the Cats in their home opener. It was far from the only reason the Cats fell, though.
Going into the game, Coach Sneddon made two lineup switches, as Tom Forgione and Trey Phillips were replaced by newcomers Matt Alvaro and Jake Massie. Massie was relatively anonymous (which, when you’re a shutdown D, can be a good thing), but I liked Alvaro a lot. He looked quite active defensively and competent offensively.
First Clarkson goal came on a deflection in front of Mike Santaguida, as Nick Pierog deflected a shot by James de Haas for a power play goal. Okay, fair enough, those deflection goals happen.
A deflection helped UVM grab their first goal, as well. James Summers, who was pretty bad both games, went to the box for two penalties on the same play, and Rob Darrar banked home the equalizer off of Jake Kielly. 1-1 after 1, but with Clarkson outshooting the Cats.
The second Clarkson goal was a combination of bad luck and decision making. A rare puckhandling mishap by Santaguida gave Sam Vigneault an easy tap-in. Santa doesn’t make those mistakes often, but that turnover was a pretty bad one.
After that the Cats poured on pressure down low, and eventually found their equalizer on the power play as Ross Colton banged home his first NCAA goal at the edge of the crease.
But special teams giveth, and special teams taketh away, and the Cats’ power play actually turned out to be their downfall. A neutral zone turnover by the Cats, and seconds later Ben Dalpe was celebrating what would turn out to be the game winner.
Eh, what can you do, a weekend off next weekend before a trip out to Eastern Nebraska to take on Nebraska-Omaha, a team that’s coming off a choke job that would make 2009 Miami look clutch.
And hey, the hockey weekend isn’t over! Women’s hockey hosts BU tomorrow; we’ll have coverage of that too!
-Brian Bowen has looked really good in the first two games, a big time shot block kept the Cats in the game and he had a couple chances offensively that he, unfortunately, could not convert. But he’s been active in all three zones, which is promising.
-Speaking of converting chances, I’ve observed that UVM’s seven goals this weekend all came from a similar area. Against a bigger, stronger team like UNO, they’ll likely need to diversify their attack and finish from somewhere other than “near the crease”.
-Give the Golden Knights credit. When the game was on the line, in the third period, they outshot the Catamounts 17-5, and the eye test backs it up.
-So. Many. Badly. Timed. Penalties. I think those will cut down over the season though. NCAA crackdowns tend to last, what, a month? (That said, 1/10 on the PP is…not great.)
-A Clarkson player lost his skate blade in the second period…add that to my list of “Weird Hockey Stuff I’ve Seen Live”
-The “Santaguida Is Coming To Town” song needs to stick. That was awesome.
The Vermont Hockey Blog Three Stars of the Game:
- Ben Dalpe (Clarkson) – Great finish on the game winner, which came shorthanded.
- James de Haas (Clarkson) – A pair of apples for the Red Wings prospect to go along with a solid physical game.
- Ross Colton (UVM) – Just gotta give a shoutout to the guy for his first NCAA goal. Here’s to many more.