Elmhurst Pub Roundtable

Where the beer is cold and the conversation loud...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Always Look on the Bright Side of Death...

Sure, the Providence College men's hockey team fell in two games to UNH up at the Whittenmore Center, the second in double overtime fashion. But to recognize this season as anything but a success wouldn't do Tim Army and his squad justice. Army took a team pegged to finish no higher than 7th and had them within one win of home ice advantage. He did a lot of good work here. The team no doubt faltered down the stretch, losing important games to Northeastern, UNH, and Merrimack. The goaltending got shaky and the offense fell stagnant. Why was this? Well, first, Army ran Tyler Sims into the ground with the amount of games the guy had to play. Offensively they got tired and that led to a lack of production.

This is a team that last year only played 2-1, 1-0, 3-2 style games. Those were dull, boring, and lifeless events to attend. This year, there was skating. The players carried the puck through the neutral zone, cycled the puck on the power play, and regularly were able to breakout for odd-man rushes. Final scores were much higher, as the team increased scoring by a goal a game. Considering Army recruited none of these players, you can see the talent level that was actually present on the roster. There is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel for this team and two years from now, they could certainly be a force in the conference.

Unlike our basketball team, you can see the coaching mind on the bench, the talent on the ice, the buzz returning to the arena. It wasn't an easy way to end the season, but I'll be happy when I check off that box to renew my tickets for next year, knowing that I'll see some great hockey played by a team that is only going to get better. Kudos to Tim Army and bon voyage to some great seniors, the last true class of guys I drank heavily with - Torry Gajda, Matt Manina, James Pemberton, and Nate Meyers. Best of luck guys, thanks for the memories.


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