Saturday, December 29, 2007

UAA Undefeated in Non-Conference Again

With a 2-2 tie tonight for the second straight season under Coach Dave Shyiak the UAA Seawolves finished their non-conference season undefeated. In both 06-07 and 07-08 the team posted a record of 4-0-2 in non-conference play. Both seasons included records of 3-0-1 against archrival UAF.

It wasn't a good hockey game. It wasn't a horrid hockey game. I guess it deserved to be a tie. At best the Seawolves were uninspired. At worst they were perhaps a little bit uninterested. Except for brief times throughout the game (and I'd be at a loss to be specific about those times) there was never much of a flow to the game. The Seawolves never really managed to get their possession game going. And while both teams managed to create scoring chances there wasn't anything that would really be called pretty. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't ugly enough to put me to sleep. But there just never was any "flow".

I guess Rogers and Olthuis were probably the best players on the ice. Jonny O clearly has a better relationship with metallic elements of the periodic table as the pipes behind him helped out a couple of times apparently; I say apparently because at no time tonight did I really see the puck when it was in either end. I did recognize it a couple of times in the neutral zone when it was close to the camera. I've got no idea if the problem is lighting or the equipment or the operators but it was a shame to sit through two games and only be able to follow the play by watching where the players were chasing a little ghost puck.

I don't really know what else to say about the game except to gripe about the broadcast quality and I've done enough of that already. It was good to see Sean Wiles pick up an assist on Crowder's goal. Hopefully, that'll encourage him and give him more confidence. He looked better tonight on the puck than earlier games he played in. I like his reach and his foot speed looked better. I think Nils Backstrom should change his number from 13 to anything. Mat Robinson is "da man"; it was really heads up to pinch down low on the off-side during the power play and that smart play earned him a nice goal. Peter Cartwright was clearly fed-up with the linesman's puck dropping power-trip. Who could blame him? The guy has been taking face-offs for 4 years in D1 and what ... this linesman guy think he has to instruct him?

Yeehaw!!! No "contact to the head, roughing" calls but the linesman took a nasty shot to the schnoz eh? Glad it came off one of his hometown boys and not a Seawolf stick. Blair Tassone was also "da man" tonight. He should be a great example to underclassmen that want more ice time. He struggled for playing time for his first two years but the contributions he's made the last two years have been crucial to the teams improved play. Some of the freshman tonight did take some distinctly freshman penalties. I guess that's going to happen. No big deal I suppose; but cut it out fellas. I hear that Doc DelCastillo is a hard-nosed disciplinarian who is all about conditioning. Wanna bet that Dustin Molle will be skating a couple of extra laps next week having taken two bad 3rd period penalties?

I was going to mention it tomorrow but I'll fill some space here tonight with a retraction of my whole Say-Thur/Sather thing. Check the comments section from yesterday's post for the exact details but Bruce Cech (UAF radio/TV guy) was right and I was wrong. Luckily for me, it appears that UAF is wrong as well. Oi vey! I'll be back tomorrow with special edition of the regular Sunday Potpourri.


bruce cech said...

asst referee chris milles took a plunk on the nose and it looks to be broken pretty some stitches and they will evaluate
after swelling goes down...3400, 1000 shy of a sell out...guess everybody stayed home to watch the pats/giants football game...kind of a dull game after anchorage took care of business on friday...
the radio / tv simulcast tough this weekend. we need better cameras and i had about a dozen people yelling at me as producers/directors/and bosses...
ya gotta luv it....i am the alaska
aka uaf broadcaster, but i try to be fair...

good luck to seawolves in wcha second half of the season...

bruce cech

Dude said...

I have been brutally hard on Mr. Cech over the years. He is definitely a homer and the UAF fans love him. And that is all good. Since I am not a UAF fan by any stretch of the imagination, Bruce's call of the game bugs the crap out of me. Bruce is definitely excitable and passionate about the game. His delivery is different than our own Kurt Haiders' but it's his own. I really respect him coming on the blog here and posting his views. Good job Bruce and keep doing your thing for UAF.

WhiteBeard said...


Thanks for speaking to a few of us through this blog. I’ll complement you highly on your earnestness, and that you have taken the effort to learn the names of UA_’s opponents. There was a bit less of the play call being completely UA_ centric (UAA loses the puck … UA_ wins it). All in all, _airbanks opponents were more an opposing team and less a bunch of traffic cones. That’s a significant improvement over last year’s two broadcasts.

As you say, life in the recliner criticizing others is different than being on the spot. Like almost everything in life, it’s harder than it looks. It’s especially difficult when your director, replay operator, and camera crew have much skill yet to acquire.

An example I found quite frustrating - Eckford’s goal that started the scoring Friday - was completely botch in replay. The showing before the next face-off, though starting a second or so later in the action than would allow a viewer to register the camera angle and player positioning, at least showed passage of the puck. That replay sequence, repeated a number of times later in the game, was clipped to two seconds of players reacting to a score. That kind of stuff leads to “those guys are idiots” being voiced and all assembled heads nodding.

The goals originally credited to Lovedahl, I thought were likely tips, on replay from the camera framing UA_s goal and shown before the next puck drop. They never appeared again, although I’d guess they were used to change the scoring. Video is really nice when it can deliver what can’t be seen live. Perversely, its clumsy use produces irritation.

Again, I appreciate your willingness to step into this circle of surly wolves, and say your piece. You’re improving. Hang Dude. And, care to up-date us on Chris Milles when you know anything new?

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