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Monday, January 09, 2006

Scouting the Lowell Lock Monsters

I’m doing an occasional series on teams that the Wolves will not play. Today, the NHL sharks announced they’ll be moving their affiliation to Worcester, a town that was home to the Ice Cats last season, before they in turn became the Peoria Rivermen. The Rivermen themselves were an ECHL team that was once an IHL team… Have I bored you yet?

The Lowell Lock Monsters have always intrigued me. The name is so romantic for one thing. How could you not like a team with a name like that? Yet, they are another team that seems to have rumors about their continued play in Lowell. Lowell is outdrawing Cleveland (now officially dead) and the Omaha Knights, but that’s it. There are lots of ECHL teams that are doing better in the draw than Lowell. And with the Omaha Knights end predicted here (if I haven’t done so yet, there it is. They will move). I think it’s sad to see an end to Lowell also.

Lowell is currently at 33 points, staying above bottom thanks to the good people of Albany. The Power Play is running at 15.6 percent and the penalty kill at 86.4 percent. That PK is quite good, ranked fourth in the league. It seems that teams in this league have either a good PK or a good PP, but not both.

Tom Rowe has been the GM of the Monsters since they were formed in 1998. He was named coach two seasons ago. Last year he took them into the post season with a record of 47-27-1-5, a franchise best. I think people were surprised that the team was defeated in post season play by Providence. Keith Aucoin is widely respected in the AHL, he has 43 points. It’s a long drive to meet the next scorer, Brad Richardson with 17 points. Vitaly Kolesnik has a 91.5 save percentage and a GAA of 2.82.

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