The short-handed Titans actually put up a bit more fight than I thought they would (the opposite of what happened when they lost their best offensive threat last year), but didn’t manage to pull an upset win against Marist. This is going to shape up to be a really tough year unless the team rallies.
From the official box score, a look at the tempo-free stats:
|Faceoff Wins||6||Faceoff Wins||15|
|Offensive Efficiency||.211||Offensive Efficiency||.229|
This was a game that was very close on a possession-to-possession basis, but one team’s ability to dominate the ball ultimately decided the game. Marist was dominant on faceoffs, and rode the Titans very well for an advantage overall.
It’s tough in those instances to steal a win, especially on the road, and especially with an offense that hasn’t shown up much at all this season.
As expected, Shayne Adams did not play in this one. It’s tough to say how much Detroit missed him though, since the offense has been dysfunctional no matter who’s in the lineup.
Surprisingly, Alex Maini was not the offensive player who stepped up with Adams out of the lineup. He had a single goal and just two shots. Mike Birney scored two goals and added an assist, Tom Masterson scored his first two goals of the season, and a pair of freshmen – Northville product Nick Melucci and Brother Rice alum Andy Hebden – had a goal and an assist apiece.
While the offense wasn’t good (and hasn’t been, and likely won’t be with any consistency this season), the defense’s identity is simply not where it had been in previous years, either. The Titans forced just seven turnovers in 48 opponent possessions. That’s a far cry from where things have been in the recent past. Jordan Houtby and Jamie Hebden were (unsurprisingly) the only Titans with more than one caused turnover.
A.J. Levell was your starting goalie in this one, and he saved 50% of shots faced. When the defense doesnt’ seem to be limiting good looks or causing a parade of turnovers, it’s going to be tough for a keeper. That seems to be the case. At this point, I’m not sure what the competition is like between Levell and Chris Kelly.
Connor Rice and Jack Doherty each had five total points and led the Red Foxes (as expected). Joseph Radin, Jim Marks, and Aedan Herman also had multi-point games for Marist.
Moving along to faceoffs… I’m not sure what to think. The stats can only tell you so much when a faceoff unit that had been performing pretty well all year goes against what looks to be an equally talented one and simply gets clowned. Tyler Corcoran and Damien Hicks both struggled to get any wins, and Brandon Davenport only attempted one faceoff.
The final score is close, and the Titans had opportunities to steal one here, but really the flow of the game looks as though they didn’t seriously threaten, but for a few minutes here and there. After taking a 2-0 and 3-1 lead to start the game, the Titans gave up four straight and eight of the next nine to give Marist momentum. Though they drew back within 9-7 after a mini-rally late in the third, Marist was able to slam the door and take the relatively comfortable win.
This weekend brings the best chance so far this season for the Titans to get a win. As bad as UDM has been, VMI has been much (much) worse. The game is at home, so there will be chances to build on momentum, etc.
This is probably the last game the Titans will be favored in this year (especially since the Manhattan game is on the road), so if they don’t get the win, it could be time to put them on serious Reverse Survivor watch.