Saturday, November 17, 2007

Game Two: Hells Yeah

Never again will I do a stupid period-by-period breakdown. I did it last night for something different. I didn't mind doing it really but tonight I decided for purely selfish reasons to forego all that. The difference? Last night when I did so, the team lost. Tonight I didn't, and the team won. I hate listening to all the "plucky", "determined" et al comments from the Gopher broadcasters because even though they're trying to give credit to the Seawolves for the victory it is still condescending; but that dolt Dubay is a joy to listen to. Last night (according to him) it was as if the Gophers had the world on a platter. They were everything they should have been blah blah blah. Then tonight chicken-little starts waving the sky is falling banner. LOL. What a boob. I don't get why ANY Gopher fan would tune into that overly-negative major league "the end is nigh"-chanting putz.

Tonight the Seawolves had 4 seconds of power play. The Gophers had 12 minutes. Whenever UAA wasn't killing penalties they were dominating the play 5 on 5. Last night I talked about UAA going with some trapping but didn't think they'd do much. They did however trap tonight after they got the 2 goal lead. And they did it very well. The penalty killers deserve mad phat props for their work all weekend. They kept the Gophers to one goal on 20+ minutes off man-advantages. Stellar. Great job PKers! Jonny O was sharp all weekend after giving up the one soft goal. He kept the game closer than it would have otherwise been on Friday and tonight he played mistake free and was very good controlling rebounds. There were very few and when they were available it was more often than not that a Seawolf defender handled it first. As I thought was the case last night, I think the defensemen played with maturity and poise again.

I wasn't overly fond of the refereeing tonight not because I think there were any particularly bad calls against UAA but because Hunt and homer-boy Buerline didn't see any of the infractions committed by their favorite team. An actual power play would have been nice to have tonight. I will say bullshit to slashing calls when a guy (Lunden in this case) simply knocks the stick out of the other guys hands. If there is no contact with the body then in my book it isn't a slash. The CFB against Vidmar is quite simply a call that is gonna get made in this league. It wasn't dangerous and maybe a different referee would have gone with a 2 minute minor but I won't dispute it.

This was the sort of effort and execution that UAA will need every night for the rest of the year. Extended play like that and ne'er say die effort (where you keep coming back again and again creating turnovers and making offensive things happen) can deflate the other teams confidence regadless of the logo on the front of their sweater. Tonight the Seawolves accomplished that with their 2nd period 5 on 5 play, the penalty kill and everything they did in the 3rd on both ends of the ice.

Every point in the WCHA is an important one. A split on the road is NEVER a bad thing. The plane trip home has got to be a lot more enjoyable with 2 points in your pocket. Congratulations to the team and coaching staff. Enjoy another bye week!


Jeff said...

haha. So you're saying if you would have done a period-by-period analysis again we would have lost? lol i didn't realize you had that much impact on the team. Anyway i have a player profile on lunden coming out in the northern light soon. It's my first attempt at a player profile so let me know what all of you think and tell me what i need to improve on. It's either coming out in the next issue or the one after it.

Suze said...

Even Woog was commenting when a Gopher player "got away with one", and he mentioned it a couple times tonight. But they won regardless, with will and determination.

Great job guys! We Believe!!

Did you hear Woog's comments on the crowd being so dead? 10,000 fans in the building and you could hear the players and ref yelling on the ice. Woog said the fans looked like cardboard cutouts. LOL

Good to see all of Luke's friends and family there, and I heard that Olthuis dad and brother were there as well.

I wish they were playing next weekend!

Donald Dunlop said...

Lots of people have little superstitions. Which car they drive to the game or what sweater they wear or what they eat on game day. I was just adding a superstition to the superstition "milieux".

I actually don't believe what I wrote one night could have an effect on the performance the next night.

And please remind me when it comes out online and I'll make sure that readers here get a chance to see it.

gopher fan in AK said...

UAA flat out wanted it more tonight. They worked hard and buried their chances. Minnesota just played too uninspired throughout and just ugly in the 3rd.

It will be interesting to see if UAA can use this game to propel them in upcoming games. Also, if Minnesota will learn that talent alone does not equal a win and you gotta get dirty all night long and then let the hard work give you chances to win, like the Seawolves did tonight.

Gotta be on of the great highs for UAA, and definetly an big time low for Minny.

Donald Dunlop said...

gopher fan:
Thanks for the comments as they spurred a couple of additional thoughts:

It occurred to me at the end of the game but I failed to mention in my commentary that I thought the UAA players didn't overreact to the victory. The reality is that it's 2 WCHA points out of 4 on the weekend. Certainly, it was a good performance and they played with passion most of the night. They deserve to be happy but if you look at the celebration from forcing game 3 last year and the celebration tonight there was a big difference.

I hope it is indicative of something that I'd like to see. If and when UAA has some truly important success (McNaughton, NCAA wins/titles) that they act like they've been there before. This isn't the first time UAA has ever beaten Minnesota and it won't be the last. As I noted a couple of days ago ... UAA is (now) 13-7-5 against Minnesota when they score 3 goals or more.

None of this means that UAA is going to shoot up the standings in the toughest league in D1 hockey. It means they took a small step out of the basement and in order to continue to take more steps they'll have to get more good performances and hopefully more points.

My main point here is that I don't think as fans that UAA folks ought to get too fired up about 1 win. Enjoy it for the day. There's much more work to be done tomorrow.

Kris said...

K so after watching the replay on GCI, as far as I can think, this is the best game I have seen the wolves play all year. The way they controlled the puck. It seemed as though the puck kept finding our sticks where last night the opposite was true. The real fear that I have is how many times it seemed as though the gophers should have scored and did not. But Johnny came up strong and the pipe was nice to us.

On another note, how can you manage only 4 seconds of powerplay time. I undertand that on that PP we shortened it by taking a powerplay but I am sure that the gophers committed more than two penalties, they might be they are not perfect.

Hopefully we can keep it up. We have a tough test coming up against CC.

Suze said...

I also noticed and mentioned to Mr. Suze how the team didn't even seem excited about the win. He said that Haider mentioned something about a scrum after the horn, and maybe that was part of it.

Anyway, I was glad to see that as well. As far as Minny getting some good chances and not burying them, the same happened to UAA. They also hit a post or two this weekend.

Let's hope they play this inspired against a strong CC team!

larissa said...

What blows me away about the goof's commentary after the game is how they failed to mention the amount of PP opportunities they had --and that the Seawolves had zero, count 'em ------ ZERO powerplays during the entire game.

BTW, John Hill if you're peaking in here (and we all know that you do ;-) ) you need to get some rest dude.. You looked like crap towards the end of the game when you insisted your ground squirrels would still come back and win the game.

Congrats Seawolves. Hope you had a good flight back to snowy Anchorage! :-)

Suze said...

LOL Larissa. He does look kinda bloated, doesn't he? He always has his nose in the air during interviews, like he has a stiff neck or something. Too funny.

Suze said...

We recorded today's rebroadcast of last nights game for a friend, and it was fun watching it again.

It was evident to me that every player gave 100%. I have never seen so many sacrificing their bodies and blocking shots, and that is the kind of effort it takes in the WCHA.

Lovdahl and Robinson had excellent games, as well as Lunden and Clark. Everyone looked good, and they had the WILL to win. Attitude is everything, and they had a winning, never give up attitude.

Anonymous said...

Suze, the Wooger's comments about the crowd were the best, but at the same time genius! It's our solution at home, cardboard seat fillers and "piped" in crowd noise. The solution has been in front of us all along.

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