Saturday, December 02, 2006

Pulling No Punches

There is one stat to look at in order to understand losing this game 7-4. UAA took 40 shots and got 4 past Stalock (one with 2 secs left in the game). UMD took 19 and got 6 past Lawson and 1 past Olthuis. UMD had 5 shots in the 3rd period and scored 4 times (Lawson 0 saves ... Olthuis 1). The Seawolves dominated territorially all night long. The 40 shots weren't a bunch of fluffers from outside. There were multiple goal mouth scrambles in each and every period in front of Stalock. But he was up to the task. Lawson wasn't. Stalock had lots of top-notch saves; Lawson had none that I can recall. On Friday UAA won a game they probably didn't fully deserve. Tonight the Seawolves donated two points to the struggling Bulldogs. Lawson can't be blamed for every goal. But at critical times he didn't come through. On the Bulldog's first goal he was screened by Jay Beagle and didn't get the five hole closed. UMD's 2nd was a pretty tic-tac-toe on the power play. And after UAA tied the game 2-2 (on Jay Beagle's PP goal) the Bulldogs came out flying after the ensuing face off and the Seawolves were flatfooted seemingly satisfied that they'd scored 21 seconds before. And while Lawson didn't create the situations in the 3rd (3:32, 4:45 and 6:06) he sure didn't come close to saving either of the two clean breaks (one on a real poor line change and the other on a turnover at the Bulldog's blueline). So ... goaltending was the clear difference. The freshman Stalock outplayed the junior Lawson. End of story. But of course not the end of this blogger's thoughts.

The second period was pivotal tonight for 2 reasons and unfortunately both of those reasons had to do with newbie referee Brian Thul. Merit Waldrop was absolutely blasted into the boards from behind. Thul was standing less than 10ft away from the play but apparently this newbie didn't get the word about CFB's. No call instead of a 5 minute PP. Waldrop was shaken but luckily not hurt. I'm not quite sure why the linesmen didn't make the call as it was both brutal and obvious. The second pivotal moment was when UMD's #17 Meyers blatantly speared Kevin Clark behind the play. The referee was 20ft away but since the action was up ice he had his back turned and didn't see it. Again a case where linesman could have advised the referee but either they didn't bother or the Thul wasn't listening. If the spearing event had taken place in an NHL game I can guarantee that Meyers would be hearing from the league office tomorrow and serving a multiple game suspension. There is no place for that sort of play in this league and it's unforgivable that there is nothing in place to review that sort of thing after the fact. I'll happily grant that every referee isn't going to see every infraction. But when players are allowed to spear opponents as happened tonight there should be some recourse. The game was close during both of those incidents and unfortunately they affected the play. UAA certainly should have overcome both of those poor calls (the second resulted in a "slashing" penalty ... the first was a complete no call). I heard that Meyers tried to "apologize" to Clark but that just ain't enough. Don't hold your breath that Sandelin will do anything about it. Meyers played regularly after the incident.

I had noticed this weekend that Sandelin was the only coach I've seen in the WCHA that walks across the ice (instead of around the boards) and I was going to give him props for being "Manly" enough to do that. If he is a "Man" then he'll bench Meyers for UMD's next series. If he doesn't ... then he is a girl. Case closed.


Suze said...

Hopefully the league will review both the CFB and spearing and take some action. Both of those players could have easily had game DQ's.

Donald said...

There doesn't seem to be any sort of defined procedure in the league to review and/or address things that have occurred. There are controversial things that happen virtually every weekend in this league and I have never seen the league do anything about any of them.

The only "justice" that could possibly happen lies with Sandelin.

Suze said...

The only time I think the league got involved was the Robbie Bina incident.

Anonymous said...

Didn't UAA score on the power play that came after Meyers hit the dude who kicked him? I mean, not to defend what Meyers did, but don't act like it was retaliatory.

Oh, and wasn't Meyers checked from behind in the second period, also uncalled?

That's what I thought. Now, back to your regularly scheduled "OMG THE REFS SUCK UMD HACKS!!!111" session. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

anon, there were a few CFB that the ref missed ... both on Friday and Saturday. But the one on Waldrop was the worst I have ever seen and NO penalty was assessed.

Didn't see any kick to Meyers, but did see his bush league spearing.

Anonymous said...

How convenient that you wouldn't see the kid kicking Meyers. Obviously, the officials didn't see it, or there would have been matching penalties. Maybe.

As for the CFB call, it had a long way to go to make it to the Robbie Bina incident. I know you want to believe it was a horrible injustice, and it was a bad no-call, but it wasn't THAT bad.

Suze said...

I didn't say it compared to the "Bina incident", I said that was the one time the league got involved when the ref got it wrong. Don't put words in my mouth.

Anonymous said...


You're right that the league got involved when Adam blew that call in the Final Five. And they should have. Paukovich skated halfway across the rink to hit a guy who was facing the boards. And he left his feet to do it.

The hit on Waldrop, while a classic HFB that should have been a five and the gate, wasn't anything remotely close to that level of ferocity.

I'm glad Waldrop is okay.

Frankly, I'd rather see something done about the Meyers spear. Not because it was more dangerous or anything, but because it was after the play had ended and was excessively stupid, even if you consider the retaliatory nature of it.

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