Sunday, February 19, 2006

CC Sweeps UAA

I hate saying squirrelly stuff like "UAA has consistently acheived inconsistency this season" because it just sounds trite. But that characteristic sure seemed to be on display again this weekend. In the paper on Saturday Coach Shyiak said that he thought UAA had been the better team on the ice for 2 periods on Friday night. Then on the radio during the post game interview Asst. Coach Kowal described the Saturday game as one of the most lackluster performances of the year. There's now zero doubt in my mind that some greater power has flown over the School and sprayed it with heavy mist of "schizoprenia". UAA is Jekyll and Hyde ... oops another trite phrase. But it's undeniably the case. We've seen it game in and game out win or lose.

Over the last few weeks of this season we're all getting to witness a nice story. Mike Rosett, the walk-on goalie who last played hockey two years ago in a BC Jr. B league has seemingly become the #1 goalie. Since coming on to relieve an injured Lawson, Rosie has become more and more steady. Shyiak said that "he just needed a cup of confidence" and that sure seems to have happened. CC fan's were overwhelmingly complimentary of Rosie's performance saying that Saturday's result could have been a blowout without his stellar play. This is all awesome for the kid. For UAA fans it certainly has to be the feel good story of the season. The shame of it though is that the team hasn't played well enough in front of him to get him that first win.

When reading Shyiak's comments in the ADN about Saturday's game I was reminded of earlier in the season when Shyiak was saying the team was really "x" number of wins better than their record. I certainly don't disagree but now instead of being dismayed by the cause I think I have some sort of partial explanation. It's the Coach. Actually it's the Ex-Coach/New Coach dynamics that are a big part of the reason. Our current batch of upperclassmen had only ever played D1 hockey for John Hill. By no means am I saying anything negative about those senior and junior players because their expectations at the end of last season had to be that they'd be coming back to the same situation with the same coach. I really thought that the team would get a nice "bump" from the change much like what happened when Talafous left and Hill came in. The difference here though is there were very few players I suspect that "liked" Talafous and ANY coach coming in would have had that sort of positive effect. But there's little doubt in my mind now that there were more than a couple kids that genuinely liked playing for Hill. And no matter how great a relationship Shyiak has with his team (and everything I hear is good) there is still going to effects from the change that can't be expected. This is just the way things work I guess. There isn't much to do for it except to wait for Dave Shyiak to get his players into his system.

Next weekend bring the Gophers to town for the last regular season games of the year. It's a weekend to pay tribute to Seniors and it's Parent's Weekend. I'll have a couple more entries in the next few days.


Runninwiththedogs said...

Sorry to hear about the sweep. I feel your pain. I hope you can at least get one from the Gophers this coming weekend! Good luck!

Chris said...

I really like Dave Shyiak as a coach. I think it's going to take him a while to get his type of players into the program though.

One of the big problems is that I think Shyiak wants to play a more offensive, up-tempo style of hockey, but he just doesn't have the talent to do it. UAA doesn't really have a forward that puts fear into opposing teams. I expect that to change soon though.

This year's team might have been a little bit better with a coach like Hill whose teams were tough and really grinded out games against more talented teams, but in the long run, I see Shyiak's style getting UAA to where they want to be over the style they played the last couple seasons.

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