How does one measure a cow? Google doesn't know. Wikipedia doesn't know. Of course, I've got an idea how. Every week during the College Hockey season I visit the opponent's websites and blogs. I look to see what their coaching staff has said about the team in earlier weeks. I read what fans are saying in fan forums. Sometimes I find gems. Sometimes not so much. During the early season it's difficult to size up an opponent. The Mavericks have played only two games. MTU beat them last Friday 2-0 and spanked them 7-1 on Saturday. That doesn't mean a lot. It's a small pool of data ya know? One of the tools I turn to more and more often during the season is the College Hockey News "Tale of the Tape". CHN provides this side-by-side comparison feature from it's Schedules/Results section. They have recently updated the Tale of the Tape to include three important statistics that only CHN keeps. They've added average age and average height/weight for each team. I emailed editor Adam Wodon about a week ago and asked if they could add this. Every week before a series I'd go to their Almanac section and look up this information about UAA's opponent. Whenever you've seen me reference such things in the past that's where it came from. Adam emailed me this morning to let me know they'd added those categories and I couldn't be more pleased. I know it's just a couple of less clicks for me but it really makes an overall good feature even better. I not only prefer CHN for this sort of information, I also use it's link for the post game boxscores that I'm interested in perusing. Unlike another popular website, CHN links directly to collegehockeystats.net for it's boxscores. I prefer seeing the whole thing rather than a watered down reformatted boxscore. Thanks Adam for liking my idea and adding those stats to your already great "Tale of the Tape".
This week the tale of the tape shows us that UAA is about half an inch taller and almost 6lbs heavier. Last week the Seawolves were more than an inch taller but only 3lbs heavier than Fairbanks. The physical game was one aspect last week where UAA dominated. I'd have to assume that this weekend we should see a similar story develop. There's not a lot of reason to expect that the Seawolves won't have their way in that department. Conventional wisdom (which I pretty much always dislike) pegs the Mavericks as in a rebuilding year. My question is ... who the hell isn't in a rebuilding year pretty much every year in the WCHA. Maybe 2 teams this year? So conventiontial wisdom is worth a spit and that's about it. UAA is a tad bit older than MSU-M but game experience is probably pretty close. They've got 7 upperclassmen skating and UAA has 9. They've got 9 sophomores on the roster and UAA has 8.
So what to expect? If you'd done your Chuck "The Bayonne Bleeder" Wepner research then you would have learned that he was a 70's boxer who was a notoriously difficult opponent. His unorthodox style meant he'd throw punches from unusual angles and at unusual times. If you nailed him with a good shot he'd come up smiling and you were more likely to bloody him than knock him down. That's what Mankato (errr ... Chuck Wepner University) is like. Sound a bit like Rocky Balboa? That'd be because Wepner was the Philadelphia boxer on whom the story was based. Loosely of course, since Wepner ended up cauliflower-eared and punch drunk.
If you haven't clicked on the "Bitty Browser" to the right to find out the answer to "What the Hell is a Seawolf" then do so or just click here. It's really just an email Q&A from LGM to me. Lastly, I'll break my no Alumni coverage here rule this one time to point you to another blog where a bunch of my words showed up. Bethanys Hockey Rants has a profile of former Seawolf Curtis Glencross and she quoted me from the emails we'd exchanged. She's now officially a UAA fan. I added a link to her in my Other Hockey Blogs links even though she buried a link to me! I tease.