To hear Eddie Davey discuss the start to his season, it seems as if it’s a contradiction of sorts.
Westfield State’s sophomore goalie isn’t necessarily getting peppered with shots, though several score sheets indicate otherwise.
In his first three games in goal, Davey has averaged 38.3 saves in each appearance for the Owls, including 49 saves in a 3-3 tie November 8 in a nonconference game at Nichols.
However, Davey makes a distinction when it comes to the quality of shots he has faced, versus the quantity.
The day before Tuesday’s 8-1 loss to Amherst, Davey explained that he’d seen and stopped as many shots from the perimeter of the offensive zone as high-percentage shots from deep in the offensive zone and around the net.
Davey is 2-3-1 with a 4.03 goals-against average, an .897 saves percentage, and has stopped 208 of 232 shots – the most of any MASCAC goalie in the first month of the season.
In MASCAC play, Davey is 1-1 with a 2.50 goals-against average, a .922 saves percentage and 59 saves on 64 shots. (Worcester State goalie Bryan Kalczynski has made the most saves in conference play – 80 saves on 87 shots).
Tuesday against Amherst, Davey made 41 saves before he was relieved in favor of Justin Roethlingshoefer (five saves) midway through the third period. After Tuesday’s loss, the Owls (2-3-2, 1-1-1 MASCAC) took a nine-day break before they resume the season December 1 at Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
Still, consider some of the numbers from Davey’s first three games of the season.
In Westfield’s season opener, a 4-2 win over Western New England, Davey made 28 saves. However, in his next two starts – a 3-3 tie at Nichols on November 8 and a 7-3 loss November 11 at No. 9 Utica, Davey made 49 and 38 saves, respectively.
“That first game, it’s tough to go against 28 shots a game,” Davey said. “That’s a shot every three to four minutes, which doesn’t help you get much of a rhythm as a goalie. But it helps the team and its play. If you’re seeing a lot of rubber, that also keeps you in the game at the same time.
“You make a save, and you know you’ll make another save in a few seconds. It keeps you motivated.”
Davey also sees a ripple effect of his efforts – one that doesn’t just pertain to goalies.
“If a team sees a player doing something, if a goalie’s making saves or if a forward is taking a lot of shots, that motivates the team to go down to the other end and make their own chances. I have no problem with seeing a lot of shots. And the boys have been doing their job on the other end.”
Something else to consider: Ian Wilson stopped 46 shots in Westfield State’s 2-2 tie November 17 against Worcester State. Two nights later, Davey stopped 28 shots in a 3-1 win at Framingham State.
The Westfield coaching staff has set a goal for the Owls: allow 25 shots or less on goal.
Or, as Davey added, “be as close as possible to that.”
“Our coaches have done a good job emphasizing that it’s not good to have 40 to 50 shots against a game,” Davey said. “It’s not good, not so much for me but for the defense. It wears everything down, from the net out. It means the defense has to constantly work in our own end. It takes chances away from the forwards because they’re not getting those chances in the other end of the ice.”
Time to rewind in the ECAC Northeast and the MASCAC
Last weekend included both conference and nonconference games, but here’s a sampling of some of the contests, each with a number of note:
Becker 4, Nichols 0: Korby Anderson scored four points — a goal and three assists — for the Hawks.
Number of note: Though they were overshadowed by Anderson’s performance, brothers Don and Dan Kane combined for a a goal and two assists for Becker.
Curry 4, Western New England 2: Payden Benning scored the go-ahead goal with less than three minutes left, and Joshua Pineiro and Josh Kamrass each had two assists for Curry.
Number of note: WNE goalie Eric Sorenson made 39 saves in the loss, and was named the ECAC’s men’s Hockey Goalie of the Week on Monday, after making 65 saves in two games.
Wentworth 5, Stonehill 3: Mike Domsodi scored two goals and Skylur Jameson had two assists for Wentworth, which led 4-1 less than nine minutes into the third period.
Number of note: Wentworth allowed 10 shots on goal in the first and second periods.
Plymouth State 4, Framingham State 2: Seth Phelan had a goal and two assists for Plymouth State, which scored all four of its goals in the second period.
Number of note: Plymouth State finished 1-for-11 on the power play; Framingham State took 18 penalties for 74 minutes.
Salem State 3, Massachusetts-Dartmouth 3: The Corsairs rallied from a 3-0 deficit to forge a tie with Salem State, as Dan Dempsey tied the game at 15:41 of the third.
Number of note: Salem State and Mass.-Dartmouth combined for seven penalties in the tie — Salem State took three and Mass.-Dartmouth four.
Castleton 5, Plymouth State 2: Kyle Greco, the MASCAC’s leading scorer, had two assists for Plymouth State.
Number of note: Castleton, the No. 3 team in USCHO.com’s Division III top 15 poll, outshot Plymouth State 15-3 in the third period.