Friday, November 10, 2006

UAA Wins Ugly 3-2

I thought tonights game was disjointed, scrappy and otherwise just plain ugly. Nils Backstrom came through with his first goal of the season 31 seconds after the Mavericks had tied the game 2-2. It was a pretty physical game with plenty of good open ice hits. I can't remember a game when I saw the puck intercepted, passed poorly and bounced around as much as this one. It almost was as though both teams were playing a bit drunk. UAA looked good in stretches managing to "play their game" but more often than not a gritty Maverick team broke up or interrupted promising looking plays. I thought UAA looked faster in those brief stretches were the game wasn't bogged down. In particular there were a number of good chances where Seawolf defenseman carried the puck up the ice ... beat Maverick defenders wide and then pulled the puck back to the front for scoring chances.

I was pleased with the efforts of the upperclassmen as I thought Kronschnabel, Bourne, Waldrop, Cartwright and Lowe all contributed through their hustle. Charlie was also good on faceoffs I thought. Credit should be given to Mankato's PK as UAA hardly generated any good scoring chances even with a 5 minute PP to end the 2nd period. On the defensive side I thought Chad Anderson and Mat Robinson were the standouts though I'd give a shout out to Shane Lovdahl for his best game of the year so far. Smith and Beaverson were solid (shot blocking especially) but I have to say I didn't notice Nils as much (though he layed on a couple of nice hits) until he buried the game winner. Mankato's first goal came though when Nils was caught flatfooted at the redline and Kalinski broke in cleanly on Lawson. Nathan poke checked the puck cleanly off Kalinski's stick but it hit a skate and dribbled past him to his amazement. Lawson made a couple of stellar saves in the third period to help secure the win and should feel good about his efforts. He also kept his head and waited patiently during the goal review which was important to do.

Jay Beagle was the best underclassmen on the ice contributing with his speed, size and penalty killing. And Paul Crowder maintained his consistently excellent work with the puck while finishing nicely on a 3-1 break. Kevin Clark made an exceptionally smart play when he followed up a good forecheck by firing the puck low on a stickless Tormey that got through his legs and sat in the crease for Waldrop to knock home. Jared Tuton continued his excellent forechecking and physical play and helped generate a number of decent chances. I think the rest of the squad played well enough but nobody else's effort stood out in my mind. Props to every Seawolf who went down in his own zone to block a shot (and there simply too many good ones to mention any single player).

There was a bit of controversy when for the second time in the evening Jon Kalinski bowled over Nathan Lawson and the puck went into the net. However with the "Faux-lay" cheer still going the referee (who'd already had his arm raised for a major penalty when the puck dribbled into the net off Kalinski's skate) reviewed the play and correctly determined that Kalinski had charged Lawson before the puck crossed the line. The replay's on Mankato's broadcast showed the same.

If I were a Mankato fan I'd be a little concerned about how much Travis Morin tried to do by himself. On at least 3 or 4 occassions in the 3rd period he carried the puck into UAA's zone and was oblivious to any teammates waiting for a pass. I'm tempted to call him a puck hog but would instead characterize him as just trying to do too much by himself. All of the rushes I'm speaking of ended with him being surrounded by three Seawolves and a transition the other way.

The most important thing about this victory was that UAA came back to regain the lead so quickly after Mankato had tied it. When you do that on the road vs. any WCHA team then you've got a nice accomplishment to build on. It took a team effort to win the game and that's exactly what the UAA players did. They played as a team. I really have no idea how tomorrow's game might look but when you can get 2 points on the road it really doesn't matter if its gritty and ugly. Does it? Congrats to the guys. Go back out tomorrow and get another couple of points!

15 comments:

Suze said...

Good to get the W, but the guys have a lot of work to do as the games only get harder from here on out. Crisp stick to stick passing would be nice to see. Don't want to be down on the guys, but they can play better than they did tonight.

Donald said...

I just read the USCHO recap ... the guy did a good job writing up the game but with two errors that I have to point out somewhere.

First ... it was Clark (not Beagle) that shot the puck when Waldrop knocked in his goal.

Second .. there was only ONE player that ran over Lawson on the no-goal. He wasn't pushed in or otherwise helped ... he was the ONLY player that was involved as Clark came in at the end of the play and landed on him.

Lastly, I feel like I need to say that I like it when I make an observation without hearing what Coach Shyiak had to say and then he says the same thing I said. It sure makes me feel righteous. And now I'm done tooting my own horn.

Anonymous said...

What is it going to take for the WCHA to do something about the cheap shot artists of Mankato? Players around the league have called them "the dirtiest team in the league" for years and tonights game in Mankato against UAA was a prime example. The deliberate crashing of goalie Nate Lawson three times, one of them a full-on, full-speed, straight to the goalie blast is not atypical for this bunch who have as the only common denominator over the years, Coach Troy Jutting. Remember that he and his team were the ones pounding their sticks on the boards and cheering while Pete Talafous lay unconcious on the ice after a vicious, dirty hit by one of the Maverick goons several years ago. Something needs to be done about this before one of these kids gets hurt seriously.

Donald said...

There's no doubt that Kalinski made almost zero effort to slow down (but for a quick dig with his skates at the top of the crease). I specifically watched for two things during the replays ... I watched for Campion's arm going up for a penalty. It did go up right away. And I watched to see if the puck crossed the line before Kalinski contacted Lawson ... it was nowhere near the line.

I've seen "dirtier" games. But I have to say that I was definitely thinking that a UAA player should have made note of Kalinski's number tonight. Then again, it's better to rise above such things. And the easiest way to rise above them ... is winning.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the elbow to lawson's head from kaliwhatever his name is. and i think that the last few years DU has been up to MSU as dirtiest. They went after lawson just as hard last year until he left and rosie came in, then no contact with goalie (hmmm suspicious). Not to mention does the name Bina sound familiar, a cheap DU hit knocks a guy out for a season and a half!

Anonymous said...

I agree MSU was realy dirty this game. Its a toss up between DU and MSu. I can think of situation before this game on UAA golies from both schools. The thing that bothers me is I dont think the League will ever step up and say anything about it, untill some thing like the Bina incident. After Bina got hurt they stepped up theinforcing of the CFB's.

Jimjamesak said...

You are right on about Morin trying to do it himself. Countless times he kept trying to skate thru 2-3 guys to shoot. UAA kept him in check pretty well.

Anonymous said...

"But this is where the storyline differs from recent years for the Seawolves. Instead of folding down the stretch on the road, UAA responded just 31 seconds later."

"That's kind of the difference between this year and the past," Kronschnabel said. "Tonight we didn't play our best and we still found a way to win.

"It's a positive thing that our team is developing a winning attitude, a winning mentality, and finding a way to get things done."

couple quotes from ADN, show some positives about the team even after an ugly win. And how true has the first quote been, what has Dave been feeding these guys??? Three EAGs, that is a no die type of hockey that was not present last year when it was fashionable to lay down and die as soon as the other team had a lead in the third, or sometimes if they just scored. This year the boys got heart!!!

LetsGoMavs said...

Hey now Donald...you assume I'm talking about ONE play the Mavs got screwed on. There were many...or just some bad penalties...or ones UAA got away with that was nuts. Campion did a CRAP job, any way you look at it. I saw it up close and in real life. Lots of stuff going on from UAA that he ignored.

Not saying this is UAA's fault...I think they figured Campion out...he calls more on the Mavs than the other team. I would take advantage. I've seen this game after game with Campion and the Mavs. Now, you (and others) may think this is a crazy theory..but I'm convinced that the refs (especially Campion) call more stuff on the Mavs because they get TORKED at Jutting always screaming at them (I mean, come on...how would you like to have him screaming at you after EVERY darn whistle..I mean, it's not like every call is bad). Makes sense to me. I think the refs get fed up with his crap and start calling more on the guys. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems to make sense. If Jutting could keep his mouth in check more...I think the Mavs would get a more fair game and then wouldn't pull some of the stuff they do, because I think it's out of frusteration at times.

Who knows though...not like I'm an expert.

LetsGoMavs said...

Also, you guys didn't get screwed on the first goal. The goal off the skate counts when there's not a kicking action putting it in...which there wasn't. That was just a bad luck angle for Lawson when he poked it.

LetsGoMavs said...

One more thing...sadly, you're right about Morin. I have no idea what's up with that...but it needs to end. No one likes a puck hog. Normally he's not like that at all and infact, passes when he maybe should have taken the shot. I have a feeling Jutting told him and Kalinski to do a 2 man show last night...

Your boys just have to watch out for Kalinski. He's a pesky little player that'll get under their nerves and get to them. That's just how he is...a little trouble maker. They guy you love to have on your team but HATE to play against. I don't think he meant to charge Lawson (atleast I hope not, cuz that's just not cool) as much as when he kicks it into high gear he doesn't give himself a chance to stop. I've seen him go flying into the boards all by himself for this reason. I think he just gets away from himself when he's riled up and then can't stop. May seem like a weird thing, but that's how he was at the SCSU game at home...couldn't control his body at all...it was to the point where my friend (who's a SCSU fan) goes "um, so was he smoking pot before the game or what? He has no control over himself. He's just zipping around and smacking into stuff...even when no one is there!"

Neil said...

"Dirty", "cheap" teams with reputations confuse me: the refs should be throwing the book at people to try and at least make cheating a bad strategy, and if they aren't making the calls, we can easily dislike the team for continuing to do it but can we blame them? Players in the NHL try to end careers all the time, especially veterans. I guess what I'm asking is, if you're losing a big game and the ref isn't making the calls, do you start running the goalie and take your lumps from the other teams' tough guys?

Anonymous said...

MSU cheerleaders are lame.

Hockey and cheerleaders is not a match.

LetsGoMavs said...

Anon: I couldn't agree with you more...sadly it's not just MSU,M cheerleaders that are lame. All the schools have lame cheerleaders...and you're right, they don't belong at a hockey game. Most fans I know would rather have them gone because they're annoying.

Anonymous said...

When Robinson got that goalie interference penalty, Tormey should have received one as well for embellishment. It was obvious, but he got away with it.

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