Union College left winger Daniel Carr had a consistent freshman year last season, when he tied a team record for goals by a freshman with 20. His longest streak without scoring was four games.
Unfortunately for Carr, that came in the postseason. Even more unfortunate for him is that he is still looking for his first goal of this season.
Carr is hoping to get that elusive first goal tonight as the 11th-ranked and unbeaten Dutchmen (2-0-3) travel to Durham, N.H., to face a team seeking its first win, the University of New Hampshire (0-4-1). Union will be home Saturday to take on American International.
Carr is doing his best not to get frustrated. He does have four assists.
“I think it’s a little bit of an adjustment,” Carr said. “The puck hasn’t been going in the net for me. I’m just keeping after it. Our line [with center Jeremy Welsh and right winger Josh Jooris] have been playing well. ‘Welshie’s’ been scoring. Jooris has been scoring. I don’t think it’s the end of the world. I just have to keep after it.”
Welsh leads the team with five goals. Jooris has two. Point-wise, Carr, Welsh and Jooris have combined for 13 points in the first five games.
And it’s not as if Carr isn’t getting opportunities. He has fired 19 shots on goal. He had a team-high six shots in the 2-2 tie against Western Michigan Oct. 14. Last weekend, he had five shots against Niagara and four against Rochester Institute of Technology.
“He’s definitely getting his chances,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “I think all goal scorers go through something like that. But he’s getting chances. Once he stops getting chances, that’s when we’ll get nervous.”
Carr has run into some hot goaltending. He was stoned on two great glove saves by Western Michigan goalie Nick Pisellini in the second period of the Oct. 14 game. One was on a one-timer from the right circle, the other on a breakaway.
On Saturday at RIT, Carr was stopped by Jordan Ruby from close range late in the game. Earlier in the third period, Carr had a short-handed breakaway, but couldn’t get off the shot.
Bennett sees the work that Carr is putting in. He knows it’s just a matter of time before Carr breaks through.
“He’s just got to keep doing a little extra, just like he was doing when the final whistle blew [at the end of] practice,” Bennett said. “He’s out there taking shots, and from certain positions where he scored last year.”
Carr is confident that he will snap out of his slump.
“It will start going in,” Carr said. “Once it starts going in, hopefully it will start going in in bunches.”
The Dutchmen are making their third visit to the Whittemore Center. The last time Union was there, UNH posted a 9-2 victory on Oct. 31, 2003.
This season’s edition of the Wildcats is off to an uncharacteristic slow start. They were shut out in their first two games, and have been outscored, 24-9, including 14-1 in three Hockey East games.
“We don’t expect a happy [UNH team], that’s for sure,” Bennett said. “That’s a coaching staff that has a lot of pride, and a team that has a lot of pride and a lot of history. We better bring our ‘A’ game.”
The Dutchmen practiced on the Whittemore ice Thursday night. It is a 200 feet long by 100 feet wide surface, 14 feet wider than Messa Rink.
“It’s big for us to get used to the size of that rink, [and] the surroundings,” Bennett said. “It’s not just UNH, it’s any place we go that we haven’t been to. This is just a preparation type of feel.”
RPI faces No. 3 CC
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1-4) looks to end a three-game losing skid before ECAC Hockey play begins next weekend.
But the Engineers have a tough task. Third-ranked Colorado College (2-0) comes to Houston Field House for a two-game series, starting tonight at 7. Saturday’s contest also starts at 7 p.m.
RPI snapped a 145-minute, 56-second scoreless skid in last Friday’s game at Notre Dame. However, it wasn’t enough to beat the Fighting Irish in a 5-2 decision.
Like last Friday, RPI will be without injured forwards Brock Higgs (finger), Jacob Laliberte (hand) and Marty O’Grady (concussion).
RPI coach Seth Appert wants to see a better competition level from his team, something the Engineers lacked in the second period against Notre Dame. The Irish outshot the Engineers, 14-2, and scored twice to take a 3-1 lead.
“We didn’t want to respond to Notre Dame’s challenge in the second period,” Appert said. “When you’re playing the teams the caliber of Union, Yale, Cornell, Notre Dame, CC or North Dakota, you’re not going to control 60 minutes. It doesn’t matter how good you are.
“There are going to be moments in the game where they are really leaning on you. That was my biggest disappointment at Notre Dame. It wasn’t that we lost, it was that, very similar to the North Dakota game [in March’s NCAA tournament], when we got leaned on in the second period, we broke down and went away from the things that made us a successful hockey team, which we did well in the first and which we did pretty good in the third.”
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Categories: College Sports