Well that was…interesting. A very up and down game. Every time the Huskies scored, it seemed that Xavier scored right back. I would say the first 50 or so minutes were very solid, and it really only fell apart with the flurry of goals at the end. Some Pluses and Minuses:
-Chris Rawlings: I thought he played very solidly today, no real mistakes and seemed to be improving on his lateral movement (he stopped a backdoor pass that a slower goalie would have let in).
-Brian Mountain: Is he now our backup goalie? Despite his short stature, he played pretty well, letting in only 1 goal.
-Power Play: When they didn’t score on the first 5-on-3, I was experiencing some deja vu. But we scored on the 5-on-4, and ended up going 4/8 on the power play, including some nice goals by Justin Daniels and Mike McLaughlin. Shooting into the screen seems to have paid off as well, getting us 2 of the PP goals.
-Defense: I thought the defense played pretty well. The 4 veterans were excellent, and the freshmen didn’t make major mistakes. I don’t recall any odd man rushes allowed, and we did a good job of forcing their forwards to the outside.
-Penalty Kill: letting in 4 PP goals on 9 chances? Got to improve. I thought some of it may have been Witt, because we started off with a strong PK, but it went downhill in the 3rd period.
-Discipline: 9 penalties is way too many. They were also dumb penalties, stuff that really needs to be stopped if we want to win games.
-Clay Witt: If anything, this game solves any debate on who to play Friday. Witt just wasn’t good, he was very rusty, and should have stopped most of the 6 goals he let in.
Players I thought looked good:
-Karlsson: not anything flashy, but he has size and speed, which helps explain his pairing with Ferriero and Quailer.
-Adam Reid. I didn’t see a lot but his drive to the net in the 1st was excellent, and has some puck-handling skills.
-Justin Daniels: A 1-2-3 line? That’s what I want to see. His PP goal was excellent, and if it continues he’ll have a big season
-Mike McLaughlin: easy to see why he’s captain. He played strong, worked hard, and scored (though the jury’s still out on his line of all small speedsters. Didn’t work well last year).
-Quailer, Ferriero, and Karlsson will all not play next week. Quailer and Ferriero have suspensions from the end of last year, and Karlsson is missing 2 games due to NCAA eligibility issues (I’m guessing his play in Sweden broke some NCAA rule). The Stone-Morra-Manno line will replace them (as they’re the 5th line so to speak).
-Northeastern opens up against UMass on Friday at 7, and then has Maine on Sunday. Should be interesting considering that we’re essentially playing without our 2nd line.