Sunday, January 21, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up: MTU

I was lazy about posting the last week because I just knew the Seawolves could play well enough to sweep MTU. But there was another decent hockey team on the ice this weekend and when UAA gave them an opening on Saturday the Huskies took it. Friday night UAA played its best game. They dominated possession and never looked like there was any chance they wouldn't win the game. Saturday though was different almost from the outset. The Seawolves played well enough in the 1st period though it was "Squirrelly Stick Blade Night". Pucks found their way through holes in sticks and/or launched pucks in crazy directions. At least 5 or 6 ugly total whiffs throughout the game ruined otherwise good scoring chances or resulted in scoring chances for MTU. Credit is due to MTU though for picking up their hitting game and clamping down defensively when they got the lead on Saturday. The tide turned when Kevin Clark was called for a CFB that was at best a 2 minute minor late in the 1st. Then when Luke Beaverson got the gate for a hook (early in the 2nd after a brutal whiff) MTU took the lead for good scoring a 5-3 power play goal.

It was disappointing to not get the 4 points. I've perhaps been hanging onto the hope for a home ice spot but I'm also trying not to overstate the probability. A 7-1 finish in the last 8 games "might" be enough to get a home-ice spot. A winning streak like that hasn't occurred at UAA since forever ago. It isn't impossible though.

There were enough missing regular players to have an impact this weekend. Chad Anderson sat both nights on cumulative DQ's for his two fighting majors. Shane Lovdahl is apparently academically ineligible. And Trevor Hunt is nursing a bum ankle. That situation forced Coach Shyiak to move Nick Lowe back to defense for the weekend. Those openings in the lineup though are giving an opportunity for Ken Selby and Ryan Berry to see more action and I thought they both looked good this weekend. It's worth noting that prior to Charlie Kronschnabel's injury UAA was 7-4-2 and since he's been out they've gone 4-8-1. That's a pretty stark difference and a testament to his on ice leadership. No doubt Charlie and Mr. Anderson will be thrilled to get back on the ice and welcome a few fellow Minnesotan's to the Sully in a couple of weeks. They should feel free to make it a rude welcome as far as I'm concerned.

Josh Lunden picked up 2 goals on the weekend with Paul Crowder and Kevin Clark bagging the others. Kevin was having a good weekend before the bogus CFB playing as well as I've seen him play this year. In the first period on Saturday we were discussing how well Kevin had played on Friday and up to that point he'd had scoring chances and contributed to others. I guess we jinxed him. He is playing more mature and focused hockey than earlier in the season and that's very good to see. I think Josh Lunden worked his ass off this weekend but thank god he didn't connect on one check he attempted as he woulda killed the kid. I really like him paired up with Jay Beagle and Clark. Beagle's PK work and his hard work behind the net and along the boards really makes the line go. When Josh breaks out of the cycle he is a threat to take the puck to the net from virtually any angle. And Kevin's shifty quickness with the puck and great vision round out a helluva nice line. The more these guys play together the more they're going to develop. Corrin, Tassone and Tuton are beginning to turn into a force. Their physical play benefits from the fact that all three of them can get there in a hurry. Blair put MTU defenseman John Schwarz out of the game with a big check on Friday to set the tone and all weekend they were laying it on. In the "Crowder Brother" points race freshman Paul has 10g-10a and sophomore NHL-draftee Tim has 10g-7a. I wonder if and how that "trash talking" goes down.

On the non-hockey front MTU blogger MeanEgirl came to town prepared to see her team swept and got the royal treatment from the online contingent of UAA's fanbase. She got to go to a Mall! Went on cool drive and saw a crapload of mountains, snow and moose. On Friday night she (of human bowling intermission fame), JJ (of "you can't spell failure without UAF" fame) and company (of blog reading fame) joined Richard (of UAA Booster Club fame) and I at a local watering hole called AnnaRae's (of strip mall fame). In order to properly toast the affair five Duck Farts (Kaluha, Baileys and Crown Royal) were ordered. When the drinks were up I noticed that JJ was in the bathroom and said we'd have to wait for him to get back to have the toast whereupon Richard delivered the now (and forever) classic retort,
" ... well he'll be stuck up on the changing table for a while so ..."
Maybe it's a had to be there thing? It was too funny. Richard is way funnier in real life than he is when he posts on USCHO.


MeanEgirl said...

Donald, it was awesome meeting you this past weekend. Thanks for the drinks too! Hopefully we can meet up again someday... F5 maybe? :)

Kris said...

Yes I have to say that the changing table was the best comment of the night, right up there with lunden killing Okposo

Jimjamesak said...

I hate you Donald.

Jimjamesak said...

Actually that joke was funny...

Donald said...

One of these days (years) ... I'll suck it up and make a trip to the F5.

The hating me Bandwagon has been on the road for a while now but I doubt they'll mind you jumping on.

Anonymous said...

Just read the article in the paper and it seems that there were applicants for Coach Shyiaks position. It seems that if an american candidate has applied and meets the criteria that Coach Shyiak will be out as head coach. The University will not be able to sponsor Shyiak. The question is how does it get to this point? Why was the process not taken care of in June 2005. It seems that the administration did not dot the i's and cross the t's in a hiring process. This team has had a good season and unfortunate to have this hanging over the players

Donald said...

Do you really think anyone who really has that level of experience is going to apply for the job? Let's say YOU for example met the prerequisites for the job.

And lets say that YOU displace the current well-liked coach. Think you'd have ANYONE on your side? Think players would be motivated to play for you? Think fans would turn up to watch? Think any qualified candidate wouldn't already know the answers to those questions?

Nobody (except a few nutbags) will have applied for the job. Do you really think that Dr. Cobb didn't realize exactly that before he initiated this process? Do you really think that he didn't work closely with Coach Shyiak?

Why don't you concentrate on your own job's challenges and forget about the minor issues (and this one surely is minor due to Dr. Cobb's adroit handling of the matter). There is NOTHING hanging over the players. YOUR attempts to define it that way though shows what sort of interest you have regarding the UAA program. YOU come here to bash them whenever there is the slightest whiff of something other than roses. It's despicable.

You said in the past you liked reading my blog. I can't say that I'm in any way glad that YOU read it. Your classlessness is beyond my comprehension.

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