Thursday, October 30, 2014

Adam Krause's Absence Means Opportunity for Austin Farley, Others

Next man up.

That's the old saying. It isn't meant to diminish the importance of injured players in any sport. Instead, the basic gist is "No one's going to feel sorry for us, so the next guy on the depth chart better damn sure be ready."

For UMD, the loss of forward Adam Krause to a broken wrist is significant.

For starters, Krause is the captain, and a really good one. He represents this program -- on the ice, on campus, and in the community -- about as well as anyone could possibly envision when awarding a team captaincy to a player.

Oh, and he was playing really well, too.

"Anytime you lose your captain, your leader, and the kind of player he is, and the way he was playing, " head coach Scott Sandelin said. "What he was doing as a part of that line, we're going to miss him."

Next man up: Austin Farley.

The junior played a bit on that line after Krause went down on Saturday, and he just kept going with what he had done throughout the weekend. Farley posted a practically unheard-of 19 shots on goal over the two games against Denver, scoring twice and earning NCHC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

"By far his best weekend," Sandelin said. "He kind of played that ratty hockey he needs to play. He was chirpy, he really wanted the puck. I don't know the last time a guy had 19 shots on a weekend. He was very noticeable and I thought he was our best forward all weekend."

Farley probably won't be the only player who sees an uptick in ice time or a change in role with Krause's absence. We saw sophomore Sammy Spurrell get increased time Saturday, and he had a two-point game. Cal Decowski moves into Farley's place on the Tony Cameranesi line, and he had a two-point Saturday, including a greasy, go-hard-to-the-net goal.

Senior Justin Crandall is back, and he will help eat some of Krause's minutes on the penalty kill after sitting out last weekend. Sandelin indicated that Crandall probably should have sat out against Minnesota State with his undisclosed injury, but he tried to play through it. He has looked good in practice this week.

It should be an interesting series against a Miami team that UMD swept in Oxford last February. In the second game of that series, things got quite a bit testy after the final horn, something we'll discuss a bit in the series preview that will post Thursday night or Friday morning.

Talk to you then.

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