Feb 27, 2013, 10:36 AM EDT
It is safe to say that we saw arguably two of the most evenly matched teams take on one another this past weekend in Kalamazoo, Mich. when the Fighting Irish took on the Western Michigan Broncos. They split the weekend and did so in nail-biting fashion. Both nights, the games were decided in shootouts; the first night even needed an extra round in the shootout before things were decided.
Although the Irish picked up three points on the weekend, Western Michigan also gained three points meaning that the Irish are still a point behind the Broncos and in third place in the CCHA standings. The Irish have already gained a bye in the first round of postseason play, so these final two weekends of games count only toward seeding purposes. Regardless, the Fighting Irish want to put up a good showing against teams they will most likely see in the conference playoffs. Before looking ahead to this coming weekend against Bowling Green, it is imperative to reflect on the weekend passed.
- Rust, Lee, and Costello are working. Unsurprisingly, the line of Anders Lee, Bryan Rust, and Jeff Costello got it done again this weekend. Rust had an exceptional weekend, scoring goals in both regulation and the shootouts of both games. This line has been producing, and must keep it up this coming weekend and into the conference playoffs.
- Power Play must be better. The Fighting Irish went 0-for-6 on the power play this weekend, making them 0-for-15 on their last fifteen attempts. At this level of hockey, special teams will win and lose games. The Irish cannot afford to be so unproductive in the coming weeks of the season.
- Summerhays must continue to be the Irish’s backbone. Steven Summerhays has been the go-to keeper between the pipes for the Fighting Irish this season and must continue to do so. If special teams cannot work itself out, Summerhays will have to place the team on his back and carry them through.
The Irish take on the Falcons of Bowling Green this upcoming weekend. It is their final series of the season, and they are at the Compton. Nothing more really needs to be said here; it’s the Irish’s last game of the season in front of the Leprechaun Legion. Let’s hope they can deliver a couple more home victories.
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