Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday Potpourri: Do or Do Not ... There Is No Try

Included I have a picture for you. Suggested by a comment yesterday it was. A poll too started I have; of it a true Jedi must avail themselves. Known the truth must be. If think you the picture accurate be, then vote you must. If think you the picture inaccurate be, then vote too you must. The way of the force it is; And yes the answer think I. The younglings when learn the truth might by storm take the CCHA. Clouded is the future, but the only hope for it, he is. Skating more laps envisioning I am, and a youngling frustrated there be. Seen in his eyes the doubt, and says Coach Yoda, "Do or do not ... there is not try". If happened it hasn't, be patient it will. In the den of the rival, behind the bench I see Seawolf fans many, pictures of Yoda holding they are.

The Seawolves tied they are with Boston College for lead in the nation in number of games tied. Ok, all that Yoda talk is a bit tiresome at this point. UAA and BC both have 5 ties each to lead the nation. Good thing, bad thing? I tend to think good. Shows how close we've been in 5 games that we didn't lose. I referenced it before and this is the time of year when mathematics of ranking teams starts to become more accurate. I was looking at KRACH today and saw a pretty interesting thing. 7 of the 10 WCHA teams are ranked one after another starting at #13 Minnesota, #14 UMD, #15, Wisconsin, #16 St. Cloud, #17 MSUM, #18 UAA and #20 MTU. Quite the cluster and confirmation (if the league standing weren't already enough) of exactly how much parity exists in the league this year. Conversely, you might prefer to look at it as how much WCHA teams beat up on one another. I'm betting the end result is only 3 WCHA teams in the NCAA's. Unfortunate but true think I. Oops ... Yoda snuck out there again.

Only 8 series remain for the Seawolves. First is another bye week then a trip down to Colorado Springs followed by hosting the Badgers at the Sully. Then it's off to the great windswept flatlands for a series at the Ralph. Michigan Tech visits then the squad is off to Chuck Wepner U before St. Bob comes up. Then back to the Colorado front range and Denver to play in front of their morgue-like crowd. The last regular series of the year is when Minnesota comes to town on Feb 29th/Mar 1st. So that's only four more weekends of hockey in Anchorage. Unless ... the Seawolves earn a home ice series by finishing 5th or better. With only 6 points separating 3rd from 10th place it is completely wide-open as to which teams will finish 3rd, 4th and 5th. I can envision hosting Minnesota in the last regular season series for UAA and having that series be something really important. Of course, lots has to happen to make that eventuality turn into a reality. But wouldn't it be sweet to have something on the line against the Gophers for the last series?

Except for 10 minutes this past weekend there wasn't a ton of stuff on the ice to get excited about. The games reminded me of the two earlier in the season versus Mankato. Lots of close checking play and neutral zone action with very little pretty hockey. Oh well, at least this time the results were reversed. There is a lot of work to be done in the second half because the team lost so many points in the first half. We should have gotten more out of the Mankato series, as well as DU and CC. We'll likely need a couple of sweeps at home and will have to continue to get points on the road. So far this season the guys have gotten points in every WCHA road series but have only managed one point in our barn. Yikes. That sounds really bad. I guess if we hadn't really been "in" all of those home games going into the 3rd period then I'd be worried about that stat. Every team that is coming to the Sully for the rest of the year can be beaten and/or swept.

I think it's just a matter of the Seawolves playing with confidence and belief in themselves. For the 2nd half every guy is going to have to look into the mirror every day and tell themselves, "Yes we can". The opportunity is there waiting to be taken advantage of. I think it is going to have to start with the upperclassmen. Having toiled through some tough times our Senior and Juniors should really know that this season is different. They've got to see that there is a lot of talent in the underclass that just needs their leadership in order to develop their own belief. So far this season the leadership has been great. It hasn't been often that Tassone, Tarkir, Cartwright and Waldrop weren't showing leadership through their efforts but those guys need to step it up another notch now. It's the stretch run and each game they play will be another game closer to the end of their college career. Go out with a bang fellas. Each one of you brings something unique and valuable to the overall effort. Each one of you is already playing the best hockey of your careers at UAA. You can each contribute and lead. I love the maturity you've shown and the leadership of your play on the ice. No doubt the younger guys look to you for leadership. I know you can help make it happen. You should know it too. Don't doubt. Do or do not ... there is no try. If you "do" then the rest will take care of itself. Your belief and attitude will seep into the rest of the team. Be the leaders of the first Seawolf team to bring a WCHA playoff series to the Sully. I believe you can. And I guarantee the joint will be packed if you do.


Suze said...

This was entertaining, as always. Let's hope the Seniors step up as you suggested. It sure was nice to see the big smiles on their faces when they hoisted the CUP!

Donald Dunlop said...

To entertain you my pleasure it was.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to all! My new years wish is tons of success for the Seawolves. A playoff stint at home would be great too. All players just have to dig deeper. They absolutely can do it. Any news on Matt? Have a safe night everyone.

WhiteBeard said...

The party started early you have? The years in shorts your brain has frozen? The beaver you’ve forgotten?

Doc, nailed you have ;))

Anonymous said...

Happy new Year Donald. I enjoy the blog--always entertaining. We can only get the games on the radio so it's great to get your comments after each game. I agree that the seniors, although leading for the most part, have to step it up a notch. The freshmen are doing great and have been successful so far. I would like them to play a little more though. I do realize though that as the next couple of months unfold the seniors will be relied on to get those crucial points as they have the experience. It's just good to see that the freshmen can step in as they have with respect to injuries and hold their own. The Seawolves are looking good and deep with talent. This can only bring good things in 2008

Donald Dunlop said...

anon @ 1:21
Thank you. A happy new year to you ... as well as to all my readers.

I look forward to the next couple of years in particular but I believe there is an opportunity this year in the league. CC looks to be a little bit vulnerable perhaps. I don't think DU is as good as their record. UND was overrated at the beginning of the season and that remains the same IMO. Obviously UofM is not what they normally are. It's all up for grabs. A young skilled and hungry UAA squad ought to be able to jump on the opportunity.

Suze said...

This was posted on the BCHL thread tonight:

"Bryce Christianson has left the Vipers for UAA as of today. The Vipers have called up "AP" Goaltender Anthony Manfredi. Manfredi has been playing with the KIJHL Kamloops Storm. Manfredi was on the Vernon bench for tonights game vs Merritt."

Welcome Bryce!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there will be any other player movement as the trade deadline approaches.

punk said...

trade deadline? this aint the pros anon.

Anonymous said...

punk- I'm talking about players leaving college to go play elsewhere. Jan. 10th is the deadline for any movement in a lot of these leagues--those are the trades I'm talking about.

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