Nov 5, 2012, 10:14 AM EDT
Another two games in the books. One win, one loss. What can the Irish fan base take away from this weekend? Well, a few things are for certain:
1. The Irish know how to recover. The Fighting Irish cannot seem to pull out a win during their Friday night games at the Compton, but they sure know how to bounce back in the second game of their series. This same situation happened in their opening home series against Minnesota-Duluth where the Irish dropped the first game 3-1, but came back with a 4-1 win the following night. This week, the Irish lost their first tilt to Western Michigan 3-2, but then rebounded with a commanding 4-0 win Sunday afternoon. Coach Jeff Jackson believes nerves might have played a factor in each of the series-opening games.
“The boys really want to put on a show for the fans, especially in the new building. I think they just approach it in the wrong way. We want to apply pressure, not let pressure affect us,” he said.
By the looks of the Irish in Sunday night’s game, it sure seemed like the pressure had worn off. The Irish controlled the play of the game and greatly surpassed Western Michigan in puck possession. They also only gave up 14 shots on goal the entire game (compared to the 32 they had against Western Michigan). In short, the Irish dominated Sunday evening’s game.
2. Anders Lee is the real deal. Irish captain Anders Lee stepped up big in this weekend’s games. Lee ended the series with three goals and an assist for a total of four points in two games. Lee was a force to be reckoned with in both five-on-five and power play situations. He used his size and skill aggressively to win battles and give the Irish the edge they were looking for.
3. Expect big things from the T.J. Tynan – Thomas DiPauli duo. Although not making a huge mark on the score sheet, this tandem showed impressive signs this weekend. Setting up great offensive chances as well as feverishly killing penalties really made these two stand out. They may not be the biggest pair on the ice, but they sure don’t play small.
The Irish take on perennially powerhouse Boston College next weekend, so it will be interesting to see which Irish team shows up to play: The “Friday Night” or the “Sunday Afternoon” team. Only time will tell.
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