Sunday, October 18, 2015

UNH Captain's Corner: Last-Minute Loses to St. Lawrence & Clarkson

UNH Captain Collin MacDonald

Two perennial forces from the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference travelled to Durham this weekend and left town with dramatic victories. On Friday, St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY), ranked #19 in the latest USCHO National Poll, jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period. UNH stormed back on goals by Jamie Hill and Maxim Gaudreault in the third period to force overtime, but lost 2:27 into OT.

Last night, Clarkson University (Potsdam, NY) also built a 2-0 lead but UNH rebounded in the second period on goals by Kyle Smith and Maxim Gaudreault. In the final stanza, Clarkson regained the lead but freshman defenseman Matt Dawson tied it up with 10 minutes remaining. It looked like the game was headed for another overtime but Clarkson scored with just 42 seconds left.

Here's my interview with UNH Captain Collin MacDonald on these difficult loses:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): After falling behind against both ECAC opponents, then rallying both nights to tie the game in the third period, the team lost in overtime to St. Lawrence and in the waning seconds of the game to Clarkson. What message will you impart to the team about how to handle such difficult losses?

Collin MacDonald: It’s definitely been a tough couple of days; we have a very bitter taste in our mouths right now. Bottom line is that we lost, doesn’t matter that they both came down to the end. We’ll learn from the weekend, and just get back to work.

Mike Lowry: In all four games so far this season, including the exhibition game, the opposing team has scored the first goal. Is this pattern a concern for the team? If so, what does the team need to do differently?

Collin MacDonald: We want to jump out early and get the early lead. It’s hard playing from behind, but I wouldn’t call it a pattern of concern. It’s still very early; we will figure it out.

Lowry: In the second half of last season, goalie Danny Tirone played very well posting a goals against average of 2.14 and a save percentage of .924. Over the first three games of this season, Tirone's GAA is 3.29 with a .866 Save %. Have you noticed any differences in the way Tirone is playing and/or the way the team is playing in front of him?

MacDonald: Danny Tirone is one of the most dedicated hockey players I’ve played with. He’s battling right now and we will continue to battle with him. His work ethic and commitment will allow him to improve as we go forward. We have to help him out as well. Myself in particular, I can’t be turning the puck over and leaving Danny out to dry, it’s not all on him.

Lowry: What team and individual efforts over the weekend stood out as positives in your mind?

MacDonald: Guys played hard, didn’t quit. But like I said, the bottom line is we didn’t get it done, no one is happy about that.

Lowry: The team begins a stretch of 6 away games beginning next weekend out in Amherst then Union College. Last season, the team was 8-12-0 on the road and 11-6-2 at home. What are the keys to winning on the road?

MacDonald: Preparation is huge. We need to prepare all week, prepare on game days, and we can win anywhere.


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