Friday, January 20, 2012

Yale can't get on track

Keith Allain was happy with his team's effort despite a one-point weekend in the North Country, and was thrilled with what he saw from Yale in practice this week. But something was lost in translation between Thursday and Friday. The Bulldogs appeared out of synch most of the evening in a 3-1 loss to Union.

A few quick notes:
  • Allain said he sat Jeff Malcolm Friday partly because he felt change might be good and partly because Nick Maricic had earned the chance to play. After a shaky start, Maricic was good enough the rest of the game in making 33 saves -- though he had trouble controlling rebounds.
  • Allain pulled Maricic for Malcolm shortly after he allowed the second goal of the first period. He used the opportunity to light a fire under Maricic, yelling at his goalie on the bench, before sending him back into the game 46 seconds later. "You only get one time out a game," Allain said, before catching himself and flashing a smirk. "And he had an equipment issue."
  • Yale had an extended, closed-door team meeting that lasted a good half-hour. Players are usually made available quickly after a game, but, under deadline, I couldn't wait and headed back up to the press box to work. Brian O'Neill finally came up to the box to talk with me around 10 p.m.
  • O'Neill said the team knows what needs to be done; it's just a matter of going out and doing it. "Everyone has to look in the mirror and bring it every night," O'Neill said. "I don’t think enough of us showed up tonight. When you play a top 15 team, you’re not going to win too many games if you don’t have your best players going.”
  • As to the great week of practice that led into Friday, O'Neill agreed the team was on the same page until somewhere in the second period when things came unglued. "The lapse in the second period really switched momentum,” O’Neill said. “They’re a good team. I can’t put my finger on why we weren’t as good as we should have been tonight. We just have to bring more to the table every night.”
  • Allain, who said Yale "lost its way in the second wasn't a step forward, that's for sure", pointed to indecision in the Union zone as the root of the Bulldogs problems (though he did credit Union and goalie Troy Grosenick, too). "We weren't shooting the puck, we were looking for plays that weren't there," Allain said. "As a result, they were blocking shots. We weren't generating any offense because we were unwilling to shoot the puck when we had the opportunity."
  • A puck split in half in the first period. I've never seen that happen in a game before.


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