Friday, January 05, 2007

This Too Must End

Tonight and tomorrow is (just like seemingly every WCHA series that came before it) the most important conference series so far this season for the team. This weekend it isn't so much the opponent we're playing that makes it important. It's important because getting some points this weekend is likely going to be necessary to maintain 5th place in the standings. The team is tied for 5th with MTU; while Wisconsin, UND and MSU-M are all within striking distance. None of those teams are necessarily favorites going into their games but it's more likely than not that some number of them are going to get some number of points.

This is the first weekend that UAA players ought to be taking notice of the standings. It's best not to worry about that in the first half of the season but with 3/5 of the season gone the guys ought to know what they need to do. This weekend they ought to know they need to get some points.

Earlier in the year when the team went to Colorado Springs they won a game on a rink where they'd never won before. It was a nice little accomplishment that needs to happen this weekend too. UAA has never won at the National Hockey Center. It's an ugly mark that needs to go away. It's useless to pretend that it's going to go away on its own. Believe me, I've tried. Ignoring it just ain't working.

I like the way the Seawolves have shown they can come from behind. They've learned how to win some games ugly. They've learned how important 60 or 65 minutes of effort can be and often is the difference in a WCHA hockey game. Most importantly I've seen this team grow every weekend this season. I've seen rookies step up and play like veterans. I've seen veterans play the best games of their careers this season. I've seen a goalie that I know can get it done. I've seen an incredible turn around in attitude and belief. I go into every series hoping the team wins both games regardless of the "Win at Home, Split on the Road" WCHA mantra; because expecting or envisioning or predicting a loss is just not a part of what makes me a fan. I honestly believe this team has something special in store for them this year. The Seawolves are capable of sweeping this weekend at the NHC. I've seen them play good enough hockey to beat anyone. I'll cross my fingers and hope the team is ready to believe that they can. Because they can.


Suze said...

I predicted a UAA sweep, that should make you happy!

We watched the first UAA/UAF game in Colorado, but missed the second. (There was no internet at my mother-in-law's house). I just finished watching Saturday nights game, and UAA really needs to stop giving up so many odd man rushes. Mark Smith fell down 3 times! Those mistakes are gonna cost us against a better team than Fairbanks.

Anonymous said...

Good write-up DTP. I look forward to seeing a much improved Seawolves team this weekend. I know Lawson had a hell of a series against SCSU up there last year, but I believe he was injured in the meeting down there.

The biggest thing UAA is going to have to do is score 5 on 5. SCSU is the least penalized team in the country and is not giving up much on the PK. It will be a goaltender contest again, but I think SCSU should win both games, but I do think if it was up there the results would be reversed. I am going off what I have heard and read so far this year.


Anonymous said...

I agree that scsu is the least penalized team and so 6x6 play is important, but for the reason scsu is penalized the least when UAA goes on the power play they have to capitalize. If given the chance speacal teams has to come through big. The power play has been a little striky this year in confrance play no shorties this weekend and must get one power play goal that is going to lead to better full stranght play.

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