UNB Varsity Reds Thread (Part 2)
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11-05-2012, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Being the best right now is not important, but I'm glad to see someone close to the program actually acknowledge this. V-Reds are in the conversation among the top teams, but it's a wide-ranging conversation. They have problems -- fixable problems, but problems: Fullerton has given up early goals, forcing the team to play from behind. Defensively, they're suceptible to a hard forechecking team (I know, isn't everybody?). I've seen flashes where they can be a brick wall, but even against X Friday night, when they were building 3-0 lead in the first eight minutes and outshooting them 10-0, X had long stretches in the zone.
What I've found though, and perhaps it comes from all the success, is a reluctance to acknowledge some of the cavities: Among the fan base, UNB never loses because of UNB: it's the ref's fault (although from all the reviews of Thayer Doyle's performance Saturday, I'll grant you that one). Or there was a bad break. Or something.
One thing that keeps recurring with this team is discipline: maybe Doyle made some shaky calls Saturday (I wasn't there), but the fact is, they were called for five second period penalties against X (MacDougall at 19:59 of the first and four others). They killed them off, but five in a row on home ice...if X has any semblance of a power play going, it turns into a 3-2 or a 3-3 game in the second period and, if the third period plays out as it did, they lose that one too.
Discipline is fixable. They need another D (or two). Fullerton seems to lack focus early, but, based on his track record in pressure situations, you have to figure he'll be there when it matters. And there's lots of hockey to play between now and March. But no. They're not the invincible Big Red Machine this year.
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