I don't get the Blueliner Newsletter. That's the disadvantage of being a broke ass loudmouth blogger without season tickets. But thankfully, blueliner extraordinaire Suze is none of those adjectives. She posted this in the comments section of my little rant about landlocked Welfarebanks getting a new boat. And both items are definitely worthy of their own fully fledged blog post:
We will start our season off September 11th at Kincaid Park Chalet with the meet the Seawolves Hockey Team BBQ Potluck. Bring a side dish or dessert and join us for an evening of fun starting at 6:00PM until 9:00PM.I attended the picnic last season and would definitely encourage other fans to go. It was a fun event and hopefully it won't rain continously as it did last year. The second part that Suze posted was a note from Coach Shyiak called "Season Preview". Here it is ...
I think our team and program made some progress last year . We learned how to win in some tough arenas on the road and regained a winning record at home. However, we still have a lot of work to do in order to reach the success we want to achieve in the WCHA. We want to be a team that is in every game and build on some of the achievements we had last year.Our players are starting to understand what kind of commitment and dedication is needed to win on a consistent basis.Thanks once again to Suze for providing those excellent submissions. See you all at the picnic.
Our team will be one of the youngest if not the youngest in the league this year. In saying that I think we will have the most depth we've had in years and it puts a more competitive environment in our practice sessions.
The coaching staff is very excited about this upcoming season and fully expects the team to improve on our finish from a year ago. In order to do that we must be better defensively and score more goals. A big part of that is special team play and I think we need to be much more productive on the power play as well as the penalty kill.
The biggest loss from last year's graduating seniors was their leadership on and off the ice. We have a group a guys in that locker room who we feel can fill that void. Leadership, teamwork , work ethic and consistency will be the foundation of our success this year and we will need everybody to contribute on a daily basis.
On paper, our speed, size and talent is solid and it will be a matter of time where everybody fits into their roles. The make up of our team is one that likes to be aggressive and gets after the puck. We want to be physical puck possession team that is difficult to play against night in and night out.
Forwards: We were able to generate more shots and scoring chances last year. I think with our current roster we should be able to convert more of those chances leading to an increase in goal production. I would like to see 6-8 forwards that can be effective producing offensive numbers. Players like Clark, Crowder, Lunden, Tarkir, Waldrop and some newcomers will be looked upon to lead us in that category.
Defense: Defensively, we can continue to improve on our experience from a year ago. This year's group of defensemen is very solid and brings size, speed and scoring ability. I think Robinson and Beaverson were a very good shut pair against opponents best lines . Both Backstrom and Hunt gained valuable experience in the minutes they played last year. Lovdahl is eligible and is capable of producing as well. Freshmen recruits Lafranchise and Vidmar will get opportunity to play on a regular basis and provide us with puck moving and skating skills.
Goaltender: Goaltending will be a key to any success we have this year as it is with any other team. We need to bring our goal against down and save percentage up and we feel we have capable goalies that can do the job.
Jon O. will get the opportunity to be the number one guy. He played in some tough venues last year and came out of it with a passing grade.
Matt Gordon is an athletic goalie that will push Jon and get some games as the season progresses. Aaron Mayo is a walk on local player that will challenge for ice time as well.
Overall: Our Goals; Win Nye Classic, Defend Governor's Cup, Host Home Ice WCHA Play-offs AND play for a championship in St.Paul (WCHA Final Five)
I would like to thank everybody ahead of time for their support of Seawolf Hockey. We look forward to another exciting season in the WCHA and we'll see you at the Sully!