Struggling Bulldogs focusing on 3 areas of improvement on iceFifteen goals allowed in three straight losses is a concern as No. 15-ranked Minnesota Duluth goes on the road for the first time this college hockey season.
By: Kevin Pates, Duluth News Tribune
Fifteen goals allowed in three straight losses is a concern as No. 15-ranked Minnesota Duluth goes on the road for the first time this college hockey season.
Coach Scott Sandelin focused on three areas at practice this week — defense, special teams and goaltending. He hopes for improvement as the Bulldogs (1-3) play at Providence College (2-0) of Hockey East at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Schneider Arena in Providence, R.I.
A 4-3 season-opening victory over Notre Dame has been followed by a 5-3 loss to Notre Dame and two 5-4 losses to Minnesota.
“There’s no way to sugar coat giving up five goals a game and an 82 percent team save percentage,” Sandelin said Wednesday. “We’re not going to win often with those statistics. We’ve given up too many easy goals and that doesn’t cut it.
“Both of our goalies have proven they can win and I’ve told them they need to be better. But we also need to be better in other areas.”
UMD has given up 10 opposing power-play goals on just 18 chances (55.6 percent) and scored on five of 25 chances (20 percent). The Bulldogs are scoring 3.75 goals a game and allowing 4.50.
Of 51 Division I teams to play this season, UMD’s penalty killing ranks 50th and goals-allowed average ranks 44th.
“We have to bear down on our (scoring) opportunities, we need to be more disciplined about penalties and our penalty killers just can’t allow that many goals,” said senior defenseman Brady Lamb. “We had 100 shots on goal against Minnesota and didn’t win either game.”
While UMD did outshoot Minnesota 100-60, the Gophers were 6-of-9 on power plays and Minnesota senior goalie Kent Patterson had 92 saves.
Sandelin was undecided whether senior Kenny Reiter or sophomore Aaron Crandall would start in goal Friday.
Nate Leaman: From Union to Providence
Less than a month after the end of Union College’s most successful season and eight days after being named 2011 Division I coach of the year, Nate Leaman became head coach at Providence College on April 22.
Leaman, 36, was 138-127-35 in eight years at Union in Schenectady, N.Y. The 2010-11 season was the school’s best going 26-10-4, winning the Eastern College Athletic Conference regular-season title and getting to the NCAA tournament for the first time, losing 2-0 in the opening game to UMD in the East Regional semifinals.
He takes over a Providence program that was 8-18-8 and finished ninth in the 10-team Hockey East. Tim Army was let go as coach after a 66-116-28 mark in six years.
A 2011-12 preseason coaches poll picked the Friars last in Hockey East.
“I can’t begrudge anyone picking us last. We haven’t made the league playoffs the last three years and we return just 25 (of 75) goals from last season,” said Leaman. “But I love the tradition of this program, we are beginning a renovation of our building, and most of the pieces to becoming an elite program are here. Right now we are a work in progress.”
Leaman, a former Harvard assistant, got off to a good start with home wins over No. 7 Boston University, 5-3, and Massachusetts, 6-4.
Cody Danberg: Tuesday shoulder surgery
UMD senior winger Cody Danberg of Canwood, Saskatchewan, underwent tendon repair surgery on his left shoulder Tuesday in Duluth. Team doctor Jeff Klassen performed the two-hour operation.
Danberg said the recovery period is a minimum of four to six months and he’ll miss the remainder of the season. He was injured on his first shift of UMD’s first game Oct. 7 against Notre Dame. He missed all of 2010-11 following knee surgery.
“This is tough to swallow after having to watch last season and the success we had. I really wanted to be back on the ice this year and help out. It’s frustrating,” said Danberg.
He will earn a degree in May in organizational management with a minor in coaching. Danberg said he’d like to stay in hockey at the coaching level.