Saturday, November 22, 2014

Seawolves 4 - NMU 0

"If you stop UAA's first line you'll beat them"; That surely was the scouting report around the league on the Seawolves so far this season. As I analogized last night, riding "the horse" wasn't getting it done. Coach Thomas has responded tonight by going with a completely revamped lineup.  

Tatchell is centering Tad Kozun (last night's best player) and Brad Duwe … Leask is centering Allen and Azurdia … Anholt is centering Freisen and Cameron …. and on the 4th line Rassell is centering Dylan Hubbs and Anthony Conti.  So it's a full 12 forwards after we've seen the 7th defenseman option for most of the season.  I predict a good outcome from the revamping.

Friday, November 21, 2014

NMU 1 - UAA nuffin

Interesting line-up with no 4th line center and Blake Leask playing center on the third line.

Pretty good flow for the Seawolves in the first six and a half minutes with most of the pressure being in the Northern end and 3 or 4 icing calls against Northern. 

Tatchell, Allen and Cameron look to skate big minutes tonight as they've already been out a ton so far this period. Northern's first penalty a clear result of the work done by them maintaining possession and pressure deep in the offensive end. They're the horses, right?

Three of Northern's first 4 shots came within seconds after 11 minutes had passed; they had a couple of good scoring chances inside the slot and Mantha was super solid handling them.

By the last TV timeout Northern had started asserting themselves and now outshooting the Seawolves. Play has been going both ways versus the more positive start that the Seawolves had.

Scottie Allen got tied up along the half wall with a Northern player as the play broke into the other end, it was a solid 10 seconds before Allen could join the team in Northern's zone but he worked the puck from the back wall out front and got hooked on the way.  Good effort.

Dude broke in and looked off feigning pass but instead beat Mantha glove side cleanly. Late goals are not good; 20 seconds left in the period.

The 2nd period is not worth talking about. Cos it was awful. It seemed to to quickly at least. So there's that. End of story. 

The delay in the 3rd seems to have helped as the 'Wolves have turned up the pressure for the last three minutes or so. Still only 7 shots in the game with 11:49 left to play. Ridiculous, the shot count should be NINE!!! Sorry, I joke. It's really only 8.

Kozun is UAA's best player tonight. He hasn't lacked any effort and has created things with his foot speed and determination. He's actually been exciting in a game with zero other excitement for a UAA fan. Not many minutes though for him though.

Riding "the horses" ain't getting it done. That's about all I've got to say about that.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Northern Michigan Up: Time To See What's What


Yeah, the pickings have been perhaps a little bit slim around here. And now another important weekend is upon the Seawolves. If ever a time for a team to show it's stuff; it's this weekend. There's lots of doubts and questions and consternation regarding the team's performances of late.  There's been some good in there for sure, but nothing to show for those positives in the standings. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Big Rapids Mayor Proclaims "Seawolves Weekend"


Big Rapids, Michigan Mayor Mark Warba has proclaimed this weekend (and all future weekends that the UAA Seawolves visit town) as "Seawolves Weekend". In abstentia, Warba presented the Seawolves team with a "Key to the City" in recognition of their fine donations to the Ferris State hockey program. 

Saturday, November 08, 2014

10 Games In: Some Analysis and Commentary


Grab a snack and a drink before you click the "read more" link below. I'm just going to jump into an analysis of the state of the team nearly one-third of the way through the season. That's right, there's 34 games on the schedule and the Seawolves have now played 10. I considered waiting until after next weekend to go through these numbers but might as well do so now.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Seawolves v. MTU: Preview


The UAA Seawolves haven't played anybody yet. That phrase is a bit of a USCHO fan forum favorite for teams that are overrated indicating they haven't played anyone of note. The reason I use it here is two-fold. Firstly, I think I've overrated our guys; at least it looks that way from the last couple of weekends. It's easy to do that when you open the season having practiced against teams that haven't had any practice. The 'Wolves looked polished and strong in their first few games. I was excited to think they had it "going on".

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Seawolves Go Down in OT 3-2

Tonight was interesting.  I thought it might be.  How about that first period? I spoke with few people who were not similarly astounded with that whole period tonight.  It was a head shaker and it's ultimate result was a W for Lake State. Sure, our guys showed some grit and character by coming back to tie the game and force overtime. I doubt that fact buoyed the player's clear devastation on the bench at the end of the game. This one probably leaves a bit of a bad taste in their mouths.  And maybe that's a good thing in the long run.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Seawolves Survive With 3-2 Win

Blake Tatchell's eyeballs were the key to UAA's win tonight versus Lake Superior at the Sullivan. In front of the usual Halloween-empty rink, Tatchell was a one man assist machine bagging helpers on all three Seawolves goals. Moreso though than just getting assists, his play on two of the goals was crucial in generating the scoring chances.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wins Needed This By-Golly-Gee-Oh-My Weekend


Sometimes we fans just need our team to win too. It's not to be overstated nor understated here but as a fan I'm hungry for a W.  This weekend's opponent and their fans are probably hungrier.  We share that with them.  Our guys are 1-1-2 in the last 4 games. It's not the 0-8-0 of the Lakers but nevertheless it's induced the hunger and I'll not by-golly-gee-oh-my deny it.

I'm telling my hunger it will be satiated this weekend.  I'm not promising it anything so as not to disappoint but it understands my rationale.  Coach Thomas said everything right on the Coaches Show thing with Kurt Haider and David Tuttle.  By right, I mean he said everything you and I want to hear.

The team is going to try to push the pace all weekend.  I hope that means a by-golly-gee-oh-my boatload of goals. There's so by-golly-gee-oh-my many reasons for such a thing to happen this weekend.  First WCHA series, parent's weekend and how by-golly-gee-oh-my hungry we fans are to see such a thing.

My hunger is demanding and while there is nothing left for me to do but wait for events to unfold, I'll continue to allow it to snack on the belief that I'm feeding it. I'm just pretty cock-sure that this year's Seawolves can become something a little bit special and maybe something a bigger bit special.  It's got the veteran experience, youthful exuberance and by-golly-gee-oh-my camaraderie to come together and satiate many a UAA fan's gut.

I think it really starts in earnest this weekend with two big wins. I don't have high hopes for attendance as Halloween is typically the lowest attended series of the year.  Oh yeah, there's no flies landing on Olivier Mantha.  He handled himself particularly well on the show. He's not a crazy goalie. Trust him. He said so.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Seawolves Tie Maine 3-3

It's about 11:30 here and I'm just home.  First thing to do before starting a recap for a game I didn't see is to do the necessary browsing to help get a clearer picture of some events in the game.  Maine's "highlights" only showed their goals.  

Then I'm reading Dallas Baldwin's recap and I think she totally nails everything. Dallas always gets the facts and provides apt descriptions of the plays. She killed it descriptively tonight.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Maine Avenges Itself Upon Seawolves 3-1


I'll start by declaring that I didn't see this game; cos job. I've talked with some folks who did. There was mention that perhaps the Seawolves didn't play their best game.  One wonders if Maine helped that perception by playing well.  It sure sounds like they played better than they did here in Anchorage.  So I've just got a couple of observations but I think they're particularly salient.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2015 Recruit Update: Ege, Larson, Mitchell, Jackstadt

Seemed like a good time for a recruit update.  An anonymous comment indicates we've got a new recruit coming (I'll guess 2016 but could be 2017).  I've mentioned him at the bottom of this update but today I'll only be covering the guys slated to come in next season.  So here's my 4 hours of research on these four guys.

Pics From UAA Hockey's Twitter

Here's a series of pic's posted today on the UAA Hockey Twitter Account. Thought I'd share them here.  Make sure you click the link above and "Follow" the guys on Twitter.

Getting The Gear After The Flight To Bahstun (Click to Enlahge)
Practicing At Agganis Arena (Bahstun U's Home) (Click to Enlahge)
At a Non-World Series Pahticipant's Ball Pahk (Click to Enlahge)
I like the Green grass, Green stadium, and Gold foul ball pole.  Good luck this weekend Seawolves.  Make us all prouder of you than we already are.  This sort of media is the result of taking SID Dallas Baldwin with the team on road trips this year.  Let's hope it's the start of lots of "wicked" good stuff from the road all season. Thanks Dallas. Good decision UAA Athletics!

Man, I said "good" a few times.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Looking Forward To This Weekend: Analysis


I got my brain back a couple of days early.  So I'm going to put it to use here and tell everyone what the Seawolves will have to do in order to make their trip back to Anchorage as short as possible. Yeah, um … they need to win. But I have lots more than that.  Here's how they win two games this weekend … according to my precognitive analysis.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday Thoughts

Courtesy of Mike Fisher -- Fairbanks Fan
There's a lot of positives so far.  I know "a lot" is a pretty darn weak descriptor but I'm trying to save words like stupendous, incredible and the like for future posts.  I'm feeling like I'll need those sooner versus later.

Tanner Johnson shouldn't fret too much about getting tossed for a CFB just a couple of minutes into his collegiate regular season debut.  He didn't set a record in that department at UAA.  It might not be much of a trivia question but someone out there will know which rookie Seawolf got booted earlier than Tanner during his collegiate debut game.  Let's just say Tanner's in good company.

Being 3-0-1 has got to have the guys feeling pretty good.  I can imagine they feel like they let a win slip away against Penn State; but hey … they've played two Big10 schools and didn't lose to either one and showed the ability to respond after being down 3-1. Now, it's off on the longest possible road trip that they could take for 2 games in Maine.  I understand the team is leaving early and spending a little time in the Boston area for team-building.

Jarrett Brown looks to me like he's taken a permanent spot in the D-corps.  That's nothing short of surprising to me.  My surprise is wholly a factor of my own ignorant expectations and no reflection on his play; which has been so very worthy of admiration.  And boy am I admiring.  Jarrett in no way looks like a freshman defenseman.  He's usurped a spot in the lineup and he had to beat out experienced veterans to get it.  Top notch stuff.  

My brain isn't working tonight.  So that's all I have right now.  My brain will be working again on Friday.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Brice Goal Rush 'recap': Penn State 3 - Seawolves 3

Penn State went 2 for 3 on the power play tonight.  Our guys did the right thing staying out of the penalty box by taking only 3 minors in the game.  And even with those low numbers the Nittany Lions bit us on our Water Buffalo behinds.  You've got to give credit to them for making the most of their chances.  So credit given.  Good on yas for confirming my fear from the preview.  

I didn't see the game but I managed to listen to enough of it here and there.  Sounded a bit like maybe the Seawolves didn't play their best game.  But they had a real decent 3rd Period so that's a very positive sign.  They were down 3-1 going into the 3rd and tied it up; and had chances to win it.  Matyas made a game saver that I got to hear.  I also heard the game winner well enough to throw a Tiger Woods elbowy-fist pumpy thing. All-in-all it's got to be considered a good outing against a team that I'm thinking could be good enough to finish as high as 3rd in the Big10.

Here's the box score. Here's the GoSeawolves.com story; always professionally produced by the acutely erudite Dallas Baldwin.

Also I love the gold sweaters.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Brice Goal Rush: Air Force Preview


Frank Serratore is the best speaker amongst college hockey's head coaching fraternity. Have I heard all of them? Nope. But it's impossible for any other coach in Division 1 to begin to approach the level of hilarity that Frank will put on a crowd at a luncheon or other gathering of fans.  All credit to Coach Thomas for his speaking style i.e… giving more information than one can begin to process. But he's no Frank Serratore. If the Falcons win/loss record was proportional to the laughs Frank gets then Air Force would be national champs every season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Guest Post: Preseason Analytics by Andrew Belanger

Editors Note: Submitted for your approval.  One "guest post" from "superfan" Andrew Belanger.  I've done my best to preserve his format and I think I've mostly got it right.  There is a single issue with a goalie column that I wasn't able to correct so we'll live with it bleeding over.  Lots of information here. Thanks Andrew for what looks like a massive amount of time it took to create this. If anyone has questions or comments I'm sure he'll gladly answer.

AKSWF here, first and foremost let me thank D for letting me guest write something. I know I’m not the only Seawolf fanatic glad to have you back. Now I feel like I stress this too much, but we just had our first winning season since 92-93 (our original coach and his team accomplished this, the 21 year dry spell is over)! We have gone through five coaches in our brief history and only Brush Christiansen and Matt Thomas have guided us to a plus .500 campaign. With the popularity fantasy sports has had, and continues to have I thought it’d bee nice to have some of that, but Seawolf style!

So what I did was come up with a model to predict the games played, goals, assists, points (and points per game) for our skaters, and then similar numbers for our goalies. This is by no means a scientific prediction, but over the years I hope to refine it and help factor in a player’s junior numbers as well.

Now for the freshman I had to just “guess” what kind of numbers they will get this year. I factored in how well of the team they were in, how many games they played, their respective league, etc. For sophomores I did factor in their junior numbers, but also their last season numbers. Juniors and seniors strictly their UAA numbers. Goalies were especially hard. Only one of them has played for UAA in a game that has counted, and even so Matyas only played in seven games (though he did look very solid all around in those appearances). Anyways here we go!

Brice Goal Rush: Penn State Preview


The Penn State Nittany Lions are Friday's opponent.  In case you aren't aware, last season was their first in Division 1 hockey. Their addition to the college hockey landscape prompted the slew of changes that resulted in the formation of two new leagues (the Big10 and the NCHC), the death of one league (the CCHA) and the complete revamping of the WCHA. Terry Pegula (Pennsylvania Fracking Magnate) donated millions and millions and millions to build a rink on campus in Happy Valley and begin the program.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kozun Rookie of the Week; Cameron Suspended One Game


It's a mixed bag of good and bad news today for the Seawolves.  The WCHA announced it's players of the week and Tad Kozun got the nod as Rookie of the Week for the league.  The WCHA also announced that Brett Cameron is suspended for one game for his hit on Wisconsin's Tim Davison.  Both of Kozun's goals and the Cameron hit can be viewed on the previous post here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Video Highlights From Saturday

Here's Saturday's highlights including all 4 Seawolf goals, the non-called hit on Hayden Trupp and a perfect angle on the call that went against Brett Cameron.



Comments welcome ...

Kendall Recap: UAA 4 - Wisconsin 2


Tonight's win versus Wisconsin put the exclamation point on an outstanding weekend of Seawolf Hockey.  Already I see a team with tons of character that really seems dedicated to playing for each other.  These guys overcame a boatload of adversity tonight.  Definitely press the read more button below because I have a ton of good stuff to say about everybody.  Also, the picture above is the back of the Seawolves warm-ups.  Pretty Badass I think.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kendall Recap: UAF 5 - Maine 2

UAF pulled out a nice win against Maine tonight.  They got a little bit of puck luck and Maine didn't but the 'Nooks fully deserved the outcome.  Davis Jones was sharp in the net.  My recap tonight is just my notes.  Dallas Ferguson's 100th win as Head Coach.

Kendall Recap: Seawolves 3 - Black Bears 1

Tonight's game was for me an affair decided by special teams play.  There's a lot of positives for the Seawolves throughout the lineup and I'll try to get to them in the limited time I have before I have to hit the sack. Time management is not my strongest point, offer to buy me a couple of beers and I'm all about foregoing my blogging for an hour or two.  Such is the case this evening …

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kendall Recap: UAF 1 - Wisconsin 0

The Badgers played it conservative nearly all night with a defense first effort.  The Nanooks took advantage of the offer and pushed the puck deep into the Wisconsin end throughout the game as reflected in the total shots for the game which were 31-14 in their favor.  

Bucky had a couple of threatening moments but only once (late in the game) came up with a grade A scoring chance and in that case goalie Davis Jones came up with a big time save to keep them from tying the game.  

All in all UAF deserved the win and probably should have been by a larger margin.  They hit one post and on two other chances seemed to have put the puck in the net.  Colton Parayko was a beast for UAF.  That kid is ready for the NHL.  In my view … when he leaves UAF at the end of this season he should get a chance in the bigs right away versus being assigned to some AHL team.

His game winning goal came on the power play; it was a monster shot rising from Peterson's left at the top of the circle which beat him over his right shoulder into the roof.  Assists were to Basara and Kaiser.

The 'Nooks had superior quickness all night as they consistently beat Badger players to the puck in all three zones.  They looked poised and made mistakes with the puck rarely. When a defenseman did turn it over Davis Jones was there to make it all ok with a solid save. 

That's about all I have time for as I wasted some talking with people.  Go Seawolves.  I may get the chance to add some pics to this post so check back.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Shuchuk Nonplussed: Tweets Sully "Locker Room" Pic

The Sullivan Arena isn't exactly the most well outfitted college hockey arena in the US. Wisconsin Assistant Coach Gary Shuchuk doesn't seem overly impressed with the temporary "locker room" which the Badgers drew for this weekends Kendall Hockey tournament.  Can't blame him I guess.



Not trying to defend anything here but it is what it is.  Lots of teams have visited Anchorage for all the other Kendall tourney's without tweeting the temporary dressing room they drew at random. Someone's gonna get that situation; this year it's the Badgers. Sorry Bucky?

I guess Gary will have to be satisfied that these two games don't count against the 34 game scheduling limit?  Maybe he'll tweet pictures from the Tournament Banquet later tonight? I hope so! I'm not sure what the menu includes but generally I hear it's Alaska-style grub … that means tasty and fresh seafood usually. Salmon? Halibut? Scallops? Alaskan Prawns? I'll let you guys know the full menu later if I can get that info. Wish I could go. Wonder what they'll serve at the Tournament Luncheon tomorrow?

Should UAA just permanently assign that space to UA_ for future tourneys?  What do you guys think?

Wisconsin Badgers Kendall Preview


Nobody … that includes Wisconsin fans … want to talk about the Badger's #10 preseason poll national ranking. Why? Well, Bucky fans aren't all together sure what their team might or might not bring to the rink this season. The oft-used "reload" adjective always applies to Big10 teams. Elite players want to go there and of course the history at Wisconsin is rife with big time talent. But the Badgers lost quite a bit from last year's squad and uncertainty is quite rationally the theme of the early season.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Coupla Vidyas For Ya From GoSeawolves

This first video is the JPC School's Pregame Show hosted by the inimitable Kurt Haider. Guests for this weeks show are Coach Matt Thomas and Brett Cameron. Enjoy. How can you not enjoy Matt's direct style and honesty? They cover everything … there's some highlights from the exhibition game also.



The second video is the Press Conference from 2:15 on Tuesday that I didn't attend since I couldn't have gotten to work on time had I attended. Good info here with Coach and Blake Tatchell. It's a combined press conference with Volleyball leading (hey … they're tearing it up this year eh?).



A couple of notes. If you didn't already know, I'm zamming ice over at Dempsey Anderson. Yesterday evening it was great to see Derek Docken and Matt Anholt show up to the rink and help out with a large group of youngsters working on their skating to become future Seawolves one day. At the end of the session, Matt and Derek put on a bit of a shooting clinic to lots of "wows" and applause. Good on ya guys. Always positive for our players to be out in the community doing stuff like this.

Kendall Preview: The Maine Black Bears

The Maine Black Bears are Division 1 Hockey's most eastern team.  The UAA Seawolves are the most western. They meet this Friday evening for the first time since October 17th, 2008 when UAA defeated them 3-1 in Fairbainks. If one imagines these teams don't face each other very often due to geography, one would be correct. But this season that won't be the case. In a couple of weeks, the Black Bears will host the Seawolves in Orono.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Justin Bourne's 2010 Letter To The Seawolves

Back at the end of November in 2010, I asked Justin Bourne if he would write something to pump up the team prior to a series at the Sully with Wisconsin.  He was exceedingly generous and fulfilled my request and on December 1st, I published it.  

Coach Shyiak put the letter up in the locker room (maybe Coach Eaves did too?) and on Friday night of the series UAA won 2-1 with goals from Craig Parkinson in the 2nd and Tommy Grant at 19:51 of the 3rd.

The next night Bucky won 3-1 which included an empty net goal at 19:59.  They were two really tightly contested hockey games. Grant's late goal in the 1st game was heroic. Anyway, I don't think J.B. would mind me reprinting an edited version nearly 4 years later (I think I recall him telling me he took some heat from the maternal side of his family for certain expletives used).