Horseshoes, hand grenades, etc., etc. Even a close loss to reasonable competition is a step forward from where the Titans started the year, and in the MAAC, it’s all about the auto-bid anyway.
From the official box score, a look at the tempo-free stats:
|Faceoff Wins||6||Faceoff Wins||9|
|Offensive Efficiency||.194||Offensive Efficiency||.212|
In a one-goal game, the slimmest of margins is always going to be important (even when it was a reasonably fast game that just featured some poor offense). That Bellarmine had a couple more opportunities with the ball could have been the difference… or maybe not.
This one was never out of hand for the Titans, with the largest Bellarmine margin three goals late in the first half and early in the second. On the other side of the ledger though, once the Knights took their first lead (at 2-1), Detroit was never once able to claw all the way back. It was a close game throughout, but was there ever a time that Bellarmine was really worried? Impossible to say
That “last possession” Detroit needed is kind of a killer… given that they went man-up for the final 47 seconds of the game. They lost the faceoff, but were able to force a turnover and successfully clear. However, they only had time for one shot (crushingly, Mark Anstead’s attempt beat the goalie but lost to the post), and though they got the rebound, couldn’t get another one off.
The teams had the same turnover numbers, with 19 committed, seven caused by the opposition. A stalemate in that department is actually a moderate improvement for Detroit over the recent course of the program, when they’ve been really turnover-prone (and are no longer causing tons of opposition turnovers themselves). Kyle Beauregard committed five, Mark Anstead three, and Andy Hebden two, and really only the first of those numbers is super-troublesome. That goalie Jason Weber committed a pair that immediately resulted in failed clears (basically by definition) is a bit, too. You’d like to at least be able to get it out of the goalie’s stick in that situation.
The offensive standouts were Anstead (2G, 3A), Alec Gilhooly and Sean Birney (1G, 1A apiece), but in a low-scoring game, you’re obviously not going to have huge numbers there.
Faceoffs continued to be an issue, though just a small one in this contest. With the benefit of knowing what happened over the next couple games, in fairness, I might be ready to say they’ve taken big steps forward in that department, even if a specialist hasn’t stepped forward to seize the job.
UDM fell just short again to cap its weekend in Columbus, this time with a slightly greater margin, but against a much better team in Marquette. Recap to come.