Thursday, November 15, 2007

Game Plan: Make Them Go 200ft

I watched the Dave Shyiak Show last night; click this link to view it. When asked what the game plan for the Gophers was this weekend Coach Shyiak said, "Make em go 200ft". They discussed what that meant a bit and here's my take. It means to get the puck deep into the Gophers zone as often as possible and possess it for as long as possible. It means to cycle the puck down low. It means a good offense is the best defense. It means to challenge them (i.e... put a body on them) every time they touch the puck. It means to forecheck like a bat out of hell. It means that the Seawolves will have to skate with the Gophers when they transition but limit those transitions as much as possible. The cycling offensive strategy shouldn't be anything new by now for us UAA fans. I've talked often here as well about the hitting game. Going with what they do best and what they've been practicing is what it is all about this weekend.

Knowing the hitting game this weekend will be an important factor; I took a look (as always) at the College Hockey News "Tale of the Tape" and it reveals that the Seawolves are a fair bit bigger on average than the Gophers. UAA is 2nd tallest team in D1 and the 6th heaviest. UMTC is 10th tallest but only the 38th heaviest. UAA is also about 10 months older per player. Size and maturity are advantages that UAA will need to utilize. Looking at various trends in past statistics revealed only one really meaningful thing to me. When the Seawolves score 3 or more goals they are 12-7-5 against the Gophers all time. So far this season the 'Wolves are averaging 3.38 goals per game. Let's hope both of those statistical trends are continued this weekend.

Last week was the NCAA's official Fall Signing Period for recruits. Coach Shyiak discussed a bit about their recruiting philosophy and mentioned that last week he was on the road talking with players (and I assume "signing" some of them) that Campbell and Damon had previously identified. I don't know how many new signings to expect. Perhaps only 3 or so even though there are 5 seniors to replace. As after every signing period I'm hopeful we'll hear something via an official release sooner rather than later. Last year though, the release came out on December 5th.

This should be a big weekend for Luke Beaverson. Luke is the lone Minnesota born player on the squad this year. He's from Vadnais Heights and it is on the Northeast corner of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. I can't help but imagine that Luke will have a good portion of his family and friends at the Mariucci to see him play. He hasn't played the last two series due to his ankle injury so I have to believe that he'll be psyched to get back out on the ice and what better place than in your hometown? He doesn't just hit the ice as another Minnesota boy though, he comes to town as the Captain of a WCHA opponent. It has all the makings of a nice story. Last year he scored an OT goal to give game 2 of the WCHA playoffs to UAA and hand the Gophers their first ever WCHA home playoff loss. If he can lead UAA to some success there this season then it is all stuff that'll show up on his permanent hockey resume. Good luck this weekend to him. I hope he has a great series and enjoys every minute of it.

Finally (instead of saying "lastly" like I usually do), in case you didn't see this fun tidbit. Last weekend when Lucia's shoeshine boy John Hill was being interviewed by FSN ultra-homer Kevin Gorg he mentioned that they "had to do a lot of tinkering with our units tonight". That knock on his noodle that he took here last year when skating at the Sully seems to have done more damage than we first suspected.

7 comments:

hockeymom said...

Go Seawolves Go!!!!

rr said...

Coach Shyiak played on a darn good Northern Michigan team that always played a very physical game. What I saw from the Seawolves during the play-offs last year was very similar to those great Northern Michigan teams coached by Rick Comley.

The only things missing were scorers such as Scott Beattie,Jim Hiller and Dallas Drake.

I expect a lot of penalties and bad blood. Just like last year.

Frontroguy said...

Donald,

Good luck this weekend. It looks like I will be able to make it to tomorrow night's tilt, and watch saturday's from the comfort of my own couch.

I agree that the game will be physical. The Gophs have been pretty good, or pretty terrible this season, with not too much inbetween. They seem to be better when they are throwing some body around. Okposo got going a bit, and that is not a good sign for your squad.

It will be good to see Beaverson at Mariucci finally.

What are the odds you (personally) will make the final 5?

Jeff said...

I want to see clark own okposo again. That was hilarious last year

Donald Dunlop said...

jeff:
While I agree it was sweet; I'd prefer that Clarkie manage his game this weekend with the back of the net in mind. That said, he was the best player on the ice that weekend.

frg:
Um .... better than 50/50 would be my guess. I expect I'll be able to contribute around 50% of the fundage so hopefully readers find what I do here worth the other 50%

Jason said...

I was wondering if anyone of the UAA fans could help me. If you have pictures or stats of former seawolf players Chris LeVasseur, or Tom and Bob Madsen, please send to jason@grhshockey.com. Those three played at Grand Rapids HS in Minnesota and I'm working on the web site alumni section. Thanks.

Suze said...

Sorry Jason, I don't have any yearbooks that go back that far. Good luck though!

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