The Black Bears needed that sweep this weekend of the Generals to kind of re-right the ship that had been on a four-game winless streak coming into the weekend. However, as good as it was to get the four points, still somet hings to take care of moving ahead.
First and foremost, full marks to new captain Luke Mountain. The Shattack-St. Mary product put up a big weekend after getting the “C” on his chest with three goals and an assist coming out of the weekend. After being out last weekend, Mountain seemed to have a bit of a jump in his step in getting into open spaces and looking very confident with the puck on his blade. In fact, the entire line of Mountain, Hunter McCoy, and Brad McNeil played fantastic this weekend with a lot of speed, solid possession, and stellar forechecking to really give the Black Bears some pop on the weekend.
Michael Morelli had another stellar performance in the net, stopping 72 of 76 shots over the weekend and stood tall during the penalty kill, while also creating a lot of transition offense with his puck-handling ability. Speaking of the penalty kill, they played tremendous when called upon. The only power play goal against was during a Northeast two-man advantage, but they stood tall the other 12 Northeast attempts.
Granted, the reason for so many attempts was due to the penalties, many of which could have been avoided. The discipline was a big factor, especially late in the second game with the game on the line. Even with coach Clint Mylymok screaming from the bench for the team to not get into those situations, the emotion of the game got the better of them. While they were able to overcome this time, they may not be as lucky if that trend continues.
The other side of the special teams coin wasn’t as great, as the Black Bears didn’t yield a power play goal in their six attempts on the weekend, even with a couple of two-man advantages. One of the issues was that they couldn’t get things going to start. They often were stood up at the blue line or did themselves in by throwing each other offside when trying to gain the zone.
In the grant scheme of it all, the Black Bears had total team wins in both games even with the games being pretty different. They had full control of the first game, while the second game they needed to stay steady while controlling the lead– which hasn’t been the calling card for the Black Bears this year. They passed the first home weekend with two more ahead of them. Let hope this be a building block for them.