Does a town in Colorado really have to be named "Colorado" Springs?
Having started this entry twice then deleting the incomplete crappy stuff I'd written has taught me something. This series is pretty straightforward. CC needs a sweep. That's the primary factor that will affect these games in my almost never humble opinion. They certainly should be motivated to play. They have a lot at stake. To lose a game against UAA will almost certainly cause a drop in their currently comfortable RPI Ranking of #5. Though CC barely has a .500 WCHA record and is in 5th place; their out of conference record is nearly spotless having beaten quality opponents like Maine, Michigan, Michigan State, and BU while splitting with Ohio State and losing once to UMass. But in their last 8 WCHA games they've only managed 2 wins.
Missing this weekend from the CC lineup will be Senior Aaron Slattengen who was dismissed from the team and school for unspecified academic related reasons. The relevance here though is that Slattengren had scored 10 goals so far this season. I doubt the CC team is biting their fingernails in a fit of "oh no what are we gonna do?" anxiety; so any sort of after effects of the dismissal likely will not be evident. It's not a HUGE loss offensively as Slattengren was tied for 4th on the team in goals. No doubt he was someone that could contribute offensively and as a Senior was probably a leader but CC is laden with 14 other upperclassmen to fill whatever leadership void his departure creates. What does all that mean to UAA? Nothing that I can think of since the whole thing is likely to have almost zero effect for this weekend.
UAA's Press Release for this series lists Nathan Lawson and Ales Parez as out for the weekend. Shea Hamilton was not listed. He wasn't listed as injured for the last series at SCSU but he didn't play either night that I saw. So was he in the doghouse? Will he play this weekend? I hate to speculate here but "if" Shyiak had Shea sitting then I hope it worked and Hams comes out and puts on a goal scoring clinic. "If" Shyiak didn't sit him then I hope that someone will (please) be more careful on the weekly release. It's possible I suppose that Hamilton played and I missed it due to the incredibly piss poor SCSU broadcast team: Who were too busy pumping up their miniscule puds with overreaching fantasies of SCSU greatness to actually say a UAA players name. There seems to be a crapload of people getting paid in WCHA cities to announce hockey professionally that could benefit from listening just once to Kurt Haider. Apparently these SCSU turds are too lazy to do a half an hours homework before a game and learn the other teams names and numbers? You rule Kurt.
So what does UAA have to do this weekend to get points? They'll have to get some of the infamous "puck-luck". Is there really any point in saying they'll have to play the full 60 minutes. Isn't it redundant to say they'll have to be responsible in their end which means give the goaltender support by blocking shots. Should I repeat what I've said in every other preview? I do think that having nothing to play for should be UAA's biggest asset this weekend. If the guys just give it a good effort this weekend (for prides sake) and enjoys the fact that they're playing D-1 hockey on the road in the WCHA then I'll be satisfied.
So that's a whole lotta nuthin in the end when the facts are that CC needs a sweep and UAA has only pride to play for.