Inexcusable. Pitiful. Embarrassing. Those are a few adjectives to describe the University of Maine hockey team’s performance at UConn this weekend.
While the Black Bears did escape with a 2-2 tie on Saturday after losing 5-2 Friday, they needed an extra-attacker goal to gain their first Hockey East point.
In the beginning, it appeared the Black Bears would claw past the Huskies, as Tim Doherty scored just over a minute into Friday’s contest, but it was all UConn after that.
While I hate to get all Dan Shaughnessy/David Price on Red Gendron and Co., if you want to be a championship-caliber hockey team and compete with the likes of Providence – the Friars are clearly the class of Hockey East through the first few weeks of the season – you have to take care of teams like UConn.
This series mirrored those against league cellar-dwellers UNH and Merrimack last year. The Black Bears could not get the maximum eight points and it cost them a chance at a first-round bye in the Hockey East playoffs.
This series could come back to bite the Maine come February when they’re fighting for a precious home-ice berth in the league quarterfinals. All the UMaine pessimists can keep complaining about “they commit too many penalties” until their keyboards die, but Hockey East referees are quite whistle-happy, and Maine doesn’t normally get the benefit of the doubt.
As for the results, one point versus UConn isn’t good enough. As Bill Belichick would say, “bad coaching, bad playing, bad everything.”
The Black Bears have a few days to get their act together before a two-game set at home with UMass Lowell this weekend. To say four points are needed is a big understatement.
Anything less is a failure.
By: Ryan McLaughlin
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