So it's been about a week since I've written anything. There sure hasn't seemed to be a lot to say. The regular season is over and the only hope to continue playing hockey is to win 2 games out of 3 against the #1 team in the country who went 4-0 against UAA this year with a collective score of 21-6. Of course anything is possible. That's what they say. But the last time anything like an upset of the proportions we're imagining here was 1992 when Jamie Ram stopped 9,999,999 out of 10,000,000 shots in a now legendary WCHA performance. Thats the reality of the task at hand.
Two weeks ago I indicated that the only imperative for this squad should be that they don't fly all the way to M/StP just to "mail it in". The coaching staff has had the time now to decide on and implement a strategy. It's up to the players to fulfill that plan and get the respect of their opponents. UAA doesn't have to win to do that. They just have to go out and gut it out for at least 120 minutes. If everyone skates hard I think most UAA fans will have some measure of satisfaction regardless of the result. I'm sure all this sounds like I've thrown in the towel. Come on though ... don't begin to think that I won't be sitting in front of the TV as a game starts believing that UAA can win no matter who they're playing. I'm just trying to have expectations that are reasonable.
But if I can indulge my fan side for a moment I'd tell the team that it's a two game season. I'd tell them that indeed anything can happen. I'd tell them that if they come out and surprise a an opponent in the first game of a three game series that all they have to do is win one game of the remaining two to advance. I'd think of every single metaphor for and example of great sports upsets. I'd pull Knute Rockne out of my ass. I'd remind them at every turn that Seawolf Pride is best exemplified by playing with true character.
I had this whole idea for an entry about USCHO and the pattern of interactions that UAA fans see there every week. I never found the time this week though to do the research so instead of a fully-fledged quality entry about the stupidity that abounds in some fans, I'm just gonna give you a couple of snippets from this week. Click on the links to read the thread at USCHO for the broader context.
From the WCHA First Round Predictions thread:
Originally Posted by wihockeyguy
UAA @ UMN - why bother making the trip from Alaska, I just cant see them getting a single win
I'll tell you right now that UAA won't just "mail it in" against UofM this weekend. Exactly the same as they didn't "mail it in" in the last two times UAA played your precious bucky. Paint Thinner RULEZ!
Then from the Seawolf/Gopher Game thread:
Originally Posted by Brenthoven
Back to the topic (I guess?): I think Hill is swell, and he did the right thing in joining a winning program.
He is swell. Here's three swell things that happened during his tenure at UAA.
A season with ONE win.
14 Underclassmen not returning ... of those:
1 left to play pro - Glencross
2 left because they couldn't hack school
2 just weren't very good
2 were booted from the team
7 left for "unspecified" reasons
Isn't that more of a "trough" than a "swell"?
Then a genius from DU said:
Originally Posted by Chris
Man, and y'all bitched all through the "Tallywhacker" regime as well...when ya gonna realize that UAA won't go any further than when Talafous was the coach, good grief... Sorry to say, but the woofs will always be a 3rd tier product in the WCHA.
Do you have so much audacity that you needed to say that? I suppose Randy's continuous taunting of you must have reached a nerve and your testosterone has gotten the better of you. Obviously you're not a long time DU fan who remember the times that weren't quite so fruitful for your beloved squad. BTW .... I'm glad to know what a gracious "sport" you are for future reference. For now why don't you take your "randymayed" sorry arse back to the DU thread for some more mutual circle-jerking about possibly making the NCAA's. Riding an Alaskan to the NCAA's isn't anything new in Colorado. Be glad that Carle is a committed student and will be back next year (otherwise DU'd finish behind UAA next year) and crawl back into your rat-hole. You obviously know not of what you speak (oops ... "speak" I meant ... spew from your festering pie-hole). A truly committed coach (unlike Hill) and one that knows something about hockey and coaching (unlike Talawuss) will no doubt have success at UAA. Certainly it will take some time to become a consistent upper-crust team but don't be surprised in coming years (with Shyiak as coach) when you find your overrated Pie-in-Ears looking up at UAA in the standings.
A Minnesota fan responded to the Hill post with:
Originally Posted by Maxwell He also brought you the only trip you'll ever have to the Final Five.
Only? Ever? You've gone so far beyond ludicrous that your about to drown in the preposterous ocean. Coattails Johnny (aka Shoe-Shine Boy) is safely tucked away deep inside the Lucia-burrow. It's good there. I hope he stays for a long time.