OK … I admit it .... I “thought” about going. However, based on my recent experiences at the Alfond, the decision was made to stay home and possibly watch the UMaine/Providence game if on television. But, as many of you know, especially those that attended, it was my loss. Even with the current state of the aging Alfond, it still is there best atmosphere in which to watch our Black Bears.
Congratulations to those men on the ice for a well-earned win! They broke the “Providence Streak” and earned a well deserved home playoff series against the UConn Huskies. This is the same team that I watched Maine play in person just a few weeks back and trust me they are no “slouch” as Uncle Jimmy used to say.
The man of the hour, more appropriately season, is Mr. Jeremy Swayman. What a cool hockey name: Swayman!!
Anyway, this kid has carried the Black Bears his entire career and was a star the other night. Not only did Maine finally beat those pesky Friars, but Swayman posted another shutout for his final regular season for a 1-0 victory. As indicated by the score, along with UMaine’s history of scoring issues, this was closer than most of us wanted it to be.
However, night after night, Jeremy has stood up and displayed solid goaltending while facing a barrage of shots. As typical with most of the Black Bear hockey games, Maine was outshot 48 – 23 in the win.
What has yet to be determined, though, was there a 49th save the other night? As we progress into the Hockey East playoffs the ever popular conversation surrounding Coach Gendron’s future contibues. The chatter might get put on ice for a while, but it’s going to take a deep playoff run in my opinion to justify keeping him one more year.
Honestly, as hearty fans as we are for putting up with the recent results, Black Bear nation deserves a little more return on our investment. Those students who show up night after night continuing the long tradition and newly inserted chants deserve it. I don’t believe we are asking too much.
As the playoff season begins, let’s continue supporting our M-A-I-N-E hockey team like the amazing crowd did he other night. It does make a difference.