What can we expect to see this weekend? Better yet can we expect to see anything on TV this weekend or will we be relegated to an aural experience only? There’s been no positive indication either in the local paper or on the GCI website or in the schools weekly press release. So that’s the first question I don’t have an answer to.
The second question I can’t fully answer yet is whether or not Coach Shyiak will be prepared for the Trap employed by SCSU? The “Eaves-variation” (once known as the TalafousTrap) has found another home in the WCHA and coupled with a highly motivated (rumor has him leaving SCSU after this season for a professional contract) season-long performance from goalie Bobby Goepfert the Huskies have begun to make noise in the league. They could begin to make even more league noise if they sweep UAA this weekend. Coach Motzko must therefore be applauded by the home fans for co-opting the Badgers defensive scheme and making it work pretty well in low rent central Minisoduh. The rest of us though think the trap is boring.
The third question I can’t answer this week is ... Will UAA’s efforts to get some WCHA points be fruitful? Will there be a full effort both nights? Will the same UAA team show up both nights? Will everyone give 60 minutes of effort? Will the wheels come off the bus entirely? Ok .. so that was five questions that I couldn’t answer … (though only a small percentage of the total unknowns regarding how UAA will play).
Goalie Bobby Goepfert is having an eye-popping season coming up with game saving efforts nearly every weekend. When St. Cloud visited UAA earlier this year he stood on his head after the Huskies got three FREAK goals from sniper-extraordinaire Konrad Reeder (whose nine goals in his senior season surpasses by two the number of goals he scored in his first three years). Last weekend again Goepfert made more than a few game preserving saves as the Huskies completed their first-ever sweep of UND at either of Ralph’s arenas. Their team is reminiscent of the 98-99 Talafous coached UAA team which used Talafous’s Right-Wing Lock (TRAP) coupled with an awesome season from goalie Gregg Naumenko to have some success. The Huskies have two players that have proven to be consistent goal scorers this seaon. Sophomore Andrew Gordon and Senior Joe Jensen have 12 and 13 goals respectively. The next two leading goal scorers both scored half of their goals in a single series and while they might be threats; they are equally likely to not be a threats (Reeder and Kronik). In my book this makes the Huskies a two line team (though there's little doubt that the whole team plays hard every weekend). If Shyiak can have any luck matching lines it is likely that both games this weekend will be low scoring.
The key to success for UAA this weekend will be the ability to get in front of Goepfert and muck it up down low and around the crease. SCSU won’t have the same success controlling the puck against UAA as DU did last weekend and this should lead to more opportunities counter-attacking which UAA will must finish this weekend. The number of pucks put just wide last Saturday night against DU is a symptom of “gripping the stick too tightly”. Goepfert is good enough that missing the net to make him look better isn't necessary this weekend. There isn’t any pressure this weekend. So hopefully the kids will relax some. Nathan Lawson is out for 3 to 6 weeks with a stasKnee injury. Ales Parez has a shoulder injury that will keep him out for 3 – 6 weeks as well. There really can’t be much of an expectation to win and therefore zero pressure. The guys should concentrate on having fun this weekend. Look up into the crowd and count mullets between shifts. I've seen it suggested by some other UAA fans that Shyiak give Mike Rosett another turn between the pipes. I'm all for that. Maybe just maybe the team will play harder in front of him. The Huskies aren't really a big physical team either so we might expect an emphasis on UAA players finishing their checks this weekend.
One question I can answer: Will there be stupidly monkey-drunk heaps of Huskie-fans at the NHC this weekend? Of course there will be; activity choices are lacking in that part of the world this time of year, if you don’t have a snowmachine then all you can do is drink. That’s a quality Saturday evening in many a dilapidated Stearns country trailer-park. I don’t think anyone in the world (including St. Cloud) would really want it any other way. I’m not being mean here. It takes a wide variety of people and types to make the world what it is; and personally I’m always happy to know where certain “types” are located.
And oh yeah … VIVA Le Satin Polaris Jacquet ...
And oh yeah again ... They call them "snowmobiles" down there. Isn't that a HOOT! It's crazy-world in central minisoduh ... I'm serious.