Sunday, 23 November 2014

Men's and Women's updates, AUS officating

I haven't done an update for almost two months, where does the time go?

The first half of the AUS season is almost complete for both the men's and women's hockey squads and there are lots of little Tombits to share.  Where to begin?

Let's start with the Ladies.  With three games left to play in 2014 the Tommies are in good shape heading towards the Christmas break sitting in 3rd place.  They have two games left against Mount Alison and one left against Dalhousie.  Today's matinee against Mount Alison starts at 2PM at the GHC.

Rookie Becky Connor leads the team in points (11) and plus/minus (+7) followed closely by Teah Anderson (10 pts, +1) and rookie Lauren Henman (10 Pts, -1).  In net the rookie tandem of Abby Clarke and Taylor Cook have been adjusting to the shooters of the AUS with Clarke having the better GAA and save percentage (.917 & 2.51) than Cook (.882 & 4.02).  For the most part the goalies have been alternating starts but if one of the freshman begins to steal a few games, they very well might find themselves as the number one heading to playoffs.

With the reemergence of Moncton this year as one of the top two teams in the AUS, the Tommies will have to find a way to beat them and X if they want to get back to Nationals.  In four games this season STU is winless against St-FX and UdeM.  Granted they had two tight matches against the X-Women losing  4 to 3 both times - including a tough last minute comeback - but the Tommies have to figure out a way to win these games if they want to go far in the post season.  TEAM STATS

Everybody is probably waiting for some prolonged rant about the men's 1 win and 13 loss record.  Well you better stop reading now because it isn't going to happen.  Regardless of their record, the men's team, under the leadership of Pat Powers, is setting itself up for better things to come.  I'm not going to preach patience to anyone but I will preach understanding.

The train wreck that was Tommies hockey in years gone bye needed to be dismantled one piece at a time or one section at a time.  Pat took out whole sections of the train and replaced them.  It would be nice if the new parts ran perfectly when you hooked them up but it didn't happen that way and that's fine.  When the pieces start to fall into place, they gain some experience, and maybe a few breaks go their way, things will come around.  The understanding part is that we have some really good players and who knows, the addition of one piece could change our fortunes dramatically.

When looking at the AUS stats everyone sees the elephant in the room. Our goals against are killing us.  We match up well against every team in the league when it comes to offence but fall flat on our asses when it comes to defence. Maybe its the goalies or maybe its the D in front of them, who knows, but until something happens to change it, you are not going to beat UNB, Acadia, or SMU when you allow eight, nine, or ten goals per game.

The Tommies are going to be getting more help up front after Christmas with the additions of Zach Hall and Shane McColgan to the line up.  Do I think this helps our defence?  Sure it does, if the puck is 150 feet away from our zone it is hard to score on us and both McColgan and Hall add elite level AUS skill to our roster.  TEAM STATS

I did say above that you might be looking for a rant.  Here is a small one.  If you are a Fredericton AUS fan - I don't care if you cheer for the Tommies or the Squirrels - we have been watching some BRUTAL officiating at the AUC and GHC.  Is the AUS completely and utterly blind because I think the refs they hire bloody well are.  What exactly do you expect from a referee that was fired/banned/not allowed to officiate at QMJHL games but is still doing higher level AUS games? And please don't think I am using this as an excuse for the Tommies poor showing this year, I am not.  Head right over to UNB and ask their fans what they think of the officiating and they will echo our thoughts and they are at the top of the standings. While it may be cliche to say it is "a joke" the fact is that the joke is on the players and fans that watch the games and either cringe or laugh due to the officials.  Somebody at the league level should do something about it here in Fredericton.

Feel free to comment on the officiating below.  It won't hurt my feelings any.