Photo Credit:Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
Very rarely after a game does AIC Head Men’s Hockey Coach Eric Lang have little nice to say about the effort of his team. While his group about doubled the Crusaders in shot attempts, this game requires looking beyond the box score to understand things. AIC never lead in this game, and after midway through the second, never trailed by less than two goals?
Well a team can quintuple the shots of their opponent and still lose if a few things happen. Tonight for AIC, it came down to effort and consistency throughout the game. After Holy Cross scored the first goal of the game on a fluky bounce, it looked like the Crusaders just got better as the game went on. AIC consistently found ways to make their lives tougher and get them out of a rythm. The moment that put the game on ice was the Crusaders scoring two power play goals in a five-on-three and then a five on four on consecutive penalties.
Next up is Lindenwood, a team built through the transfer portal with players with chips on their shoulders and with talented recruits. They came back on Air Force and have competed hard with Minnesota and Michigan to start the season. They will bring the effort to AIC and Eric Lang’s group needs to respond.
On the night, Lang had some thoughts. “We just weren’t very engaged. Holy Cross’ level of urgency exceeded ours. I think we took a little bit of a step backwards.”
On the group getting away from what went well and trying to do too much Lang said, “it’s hard to do multiplication if you haven’t masstered addition.”
Lang was honest about what will happen.
“When you come out and someone else comes in you are now at the mercy of whether that guy performs or not.”
One positive note came from a goalie that did not play. Brennan Boynton earned a jersey tonight and was in the lineup for the first time. As Lang noted as to why, “I think Boynts had a very good Monday in practice.”
Lang surmised his remarks about the team thusly. He noted that the urgency needs to be there. His staff is working to remind the team that as he said “every single puck matters for 60 minutes and every play matters.”
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