With just six games left in the regular reason, every game is crucial for the Bobcats. And it begins with this weekend when the Bobcats travel to Harvard and Dartmouth. The Bobcats sit in a three-way tie for third place with Dartmouth and Clarkson.
The Bobcats, who have won just twice in their last six games, will need to make some adjustments if they hope to win this weekend. And it begins with Rick Seeley juggling his lines.
Seeley said he is going to replace Kelly Babstock on the first line with Chelsea Illchuk, who will go back to playing with Brittany Lyons and Kate Wheeler.
“We’ve put Illchuk back with Lyons and Wheeler because they’re such a great forechecking line for us,” Seeley said. “We put (Babstock) in there thinking that Wheel(er) and Lyons would do a phenomenal job getting to the puck. But they started thinking the game differently, as if ‘Well, we’re the first line’ or something. So they weren’t doing all the great things to create those chances anymore.
Seeley and the coaching staff are also trying to take some pressure off Babstock, who has scored just one goal in the last nine games.
“When she’s putting pressure on herself to score, she forgets the rest of the game basically,” Seeley said. “We want her to get in a groove. If we get those two lines going and (Babstock) gets back to her old self then we’ll be a scary team with three lines coming out.”
Sometimes it comes to down to the confidence that the team has that they can win. And that’s something that Seeley will be looking for this weekend.
“We just have to get the confidence that we score one goal that’s enough to win if we play solid, forecheck well [and] play good D,” Seeley said.
These adjustments will need to take hold quickly. Friday night’s game at Harvard could be to decide who gets second place at the end of the season. If both teams win their remaining conference games after Friday night, Friday night’s winner will have the No. 2 seed in the ECAC Hockey playoffs.
“Us and Harvard have our destinies in our own hands,” Seeley said.
“One way or another in the quarterfinals we’re going to be playing Harvard, Dartmouth, St. Lawrence or Clarkson. We just don’t want to go up to Clarkson,” Seeley said.
While the Bobcats may be struggling some, Seeley is expecting better things to happen this weekend and the weeks to follow.
“For some reason our team doesn’t get as fired up for the weaker teams as they do the good teams,” Seeley said. “So I have a feeling we’ll play better hockey the next few weeks than the last couple.”