So this game wasn’t even as close as the final score, which is good for the Titans. They dominated start-to-finish with a few lapses in there that never threatened to give away the game.
From the official box score, a look at the tempo-free stats:
|Faceoff Wins||16||Faceoff Wins||8|
|Offensive Efficiency||.212||Offensive Efficiency||.406|
As expected, the Titans were pretty much dominated on faceoffs, but they made up for it my getting stops and successfully clearing the ball. Canisius had a pretty poor offensive day, and Detroit blew up on that side of the ball.
In the preview, I mentioned that Canisius’ Mike Moran was going to win his share of faceoffs, and the key was not letting him turn that into offense. I was half right: he certainly didn’t get much offense. However, he was also yanked for ineffectiveness, and Brandon Bull entered to dominate on draws for Canisius instead. Bull is not strictly a FOGO, so his offensive stats aren’t 100% attributable to clean wins (and it didn’t seem like Detroit was giving up a whole lot of instant offense in that phase of the game), but 8/10 is a nice day for him.
It was the offense that was the story of the game for Detroit. In one of their slower contests this season (only slogs against Quinnipiac and Jacksonville featured fewer possessions), they were a goal away from tying a season-high in goals. Are things coming together, is Canisius’s (pretty bad) defense even worse than we previously realized? Who knows.
One thing I do know is that the output was very balanced. Four different Titans notched three points, and three more had a pair of points. That’s solid. Tom Masterson and Mike Birney had two goals and an assist, Brandon Beauregard and Alex Maini flipped that ratio. All told, 11 different UDM players notched at least one point, and nine of the 13 goals were scored.
It wasn’t all good, especially for Maini. With six turnovers, he was responsible for a third of the times UDM coughed it up. There’s still the question of whether he’s “the guy” who can take the majority of the ball-handling duties, and sloppy days certainly add to that. Still, he blended in on the positive side of things, so tightening things up may not be that significant a change for him.
Defensively, A.J. Levell had an outstanding day – and one which earned him MAAC Defensive POY honors. Some of the saves he had to make weren’t on particularly threatening shots, but others definitely were, and when you make 18 saves, you more than did your part. He still has an odd tendency to make ridiculous stops while allowing a head-scratcher in every once in a while, but you take the bad with the good. In this one, it was very good.
Jordan Houtby caused four turnovers and picked up four ground balls. Jamie Hebden and Mike Spuller both caused a couple TOs. Nothing to see here, that’s simply business as usual – at least for Houtby and Hebden.
Other than faceoffs, it wasn’t an exceptional day for Canisius. Only Joe Rautenstrach had multiple points (and to be fair he had four with a pair of goals and a pair of assists). D.J. Giacobbo caused three turnovers and picked up six ground balls.
On the (very) bad side of things, starting goalie Alex Govenettio allowed seven goals… and made zero saves… in just ELEVEN MINUTES OF ACTION. Once he was pulled, Kyle Bell had a much better day while seeing significantly less action. The Titans came out hot – and they needed to – and put the game away very early.
The Detroit victory buys them at least one more game this weekend. Marist tore through the MAAC slate until the very end… at which time the Red Foxes lost to by far the worst team in the country in Manhattan.
While I don’t expect Marist to lay an egg two games in a row, the loss to the previously hapless Jaspers (who lost by FOUR GOALS to VMI the previous time they played. That’s awful) certainly shows that the Red Foxes aren’t invisible. Given that Detroit’s coming off perhaps the best game of the year and Marist of easily the worst… who knows?