Switching focus to the team’s offensive output, the unit experienced a slight dip in efficiency, moving from 21.0% to 20.6%, resulting in a minor rank improvement from 63rd to 62nd nationally. However, this marginal gain was overshadowed by the concerning rise in their turnover rate, which saw a significant increase from 39.7% (59th nationally) to 43.9% (67th nationally). While their shooting percentage did improve from 22.4% to 22.8%, the offensive side still struggled to capitalize on their possessions, as evidenced by their higher propensity for turnovers.
Defensively, the team saw a marked regression, with their efficiency worsening from 29.7% (46th nationally) to 35.0% (65th nationally), dropping them 19 spots in the national ranking. This decline was compounded by a severe drop in their save percentage, with their opponents on-goal shooting percentage soaring from 45.4% (21st nationally) to 55.5% (68th nationally), which represents the most significant defensive weakness. The second-half improvement in on-goal shooting percentage to 52.1% did little to make up for the early-season lapses that contributed to the overall defensive downturn. This isn’t necessarily just a goalie problem. It’s very hard to apportion credit between the field players and the keepers.
Ultimately, the possession game highlighted the team’s underwhelming season. The stark decrease in faceoff win rate and the resulting negative per-game possession margin are telltale signs of the struggles Dominican faced. Without the ability to consistently win faceoffs and maintain possession, the team’s opportunities to score were limited, and the pressure on their defense was intensified, which likely contributed to the increase in goals allowed. The interplay between losing faceoffs and a higher turnover rate underscores the challenges that plagued the team throughout the season.
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P.S. What did I miss? Data-centric analyses like this can miss things that don’t show up in the stats (i.e. injuries/coaching changes). If you can help explain any of the above, put it in the comments.