We had our first two MIAC games against Hamline this past weekend. We played at home on Thursday night and won 4-1 and then played on Friday night at Hamline and lost 4-1. This was a disappointing weekend for the team, as we feel we need to get more sweeps in series like this to accomplish our goal of winning the MIAC.
Getting five goals on the weekend is not terrible, but when you look at the numbers, we need to find a way to get more pucks in the net in games like this. On Thursday night, we managed 32 shots on 57 shot attempts. We had 10 blocked shots and 14 shots that missed the net. On Friday night, we managed to get 35 shots on from 77 shot attempts. We had 21 shots blocked and 21 shots that missed the net. That is 42 shot attempts that didn’t hit the net. After watching the video and breaking things down, we felt that we played the game on the perimeter and didn’t work hard enough to get to the tough areas on the ice in front of the net. To score more goals and to be more efficient, we need to work harder to get to the front of the net in the slot area. We controlled the puck for a large majority of the game, but we did not accomplish a lot with our time in the offensive zone.
Looking forward to this weekend we have two games against St. Olaf. It is not going to get any easier to score this weekend because St. Olaf does a great job defending and keeping teams on the perimeter. I watched them play UW-Superior this past Saturday and Superior had 53 shots to St. Olaf’s 20 shots, but St. Olaf won the game 3-2 in overtime. It looked like our games last weekend in that Superior controlled the puck for most of the game and had a lot of attempts and shots, but many of them were from the outside making the save a lot easier on the goalie. St. Olaf is a team that knows who they are. They are willing to defend, block shots and work hard while waiting for their opportunities on breakdowns to capitalize and frustrate teams. It will be extremely important for us to stay the course and be mentally tough in a game that will take a lot to score.
I am looking forward to the challenge and a lot of what we work on this weekend will be getting to the front of the net, finishing chances and embedding in the guy’s minds that things are going to be hard and frustrating, but we need to keep our composure and keep working.
Thanks for following our group and I hope to see you at a game this weekend.