Tuesday, December 11, 2007

University of Denver: Ugh ... Not Them Again

Did I mention on Sunday how I hate DU? It is purely based on UAA's results over the last few years. Too many close losses will do that. I can usually muster some disdain for pretty much every other opponent based on where they're from. But I spent from 8th grade through 11th in Denver and returned for a year after I graduated from West High here in Anchorage, so I mostly like the place. I had my first beer there; snuck into my first bar at 17; went to ridiculous numbers of Green Mountain High school parties; I tried Ganja for the first time on the turf at Mile High Stadium during a concert in 1975; I lost my virginity in a cabin on Lookout Mountain; I "cruised" 15th and 16th avenue downtown with hundreds of other teenagers when those were still streets and not some goofy "mall"; before I drove, I rode my 10-speed all over the place; I snuck into god only knows how many drive-ins theaters; and I played a helluva lotta soccer; and I went to at least 60 or 70 Colorado Rockies hockey games before they moved to Jersey. How could I not think fondly of the place? I did all my rites-of-passage stuff there ya know?

So to be more specific about my hate for DU here's a brief recap of the last three years. Last year with 6 players sitting out a game suspension (from the CC fight) the Seawolves put up a spirited battle on Friday night but just didn't have the legs to finish even though they knotted the game at 2-2 with 13:35 remaining in the third; they lost 4-2. Saturday night the suspended players returned and the game was pretty much a barn-burner with a 1-0 DU lead until an empty netter with 1:03 in the game. Argh. That was a disappointing weekend (the same weekend as this upcoming series). Those were the only two games last year due to the ever-popular unbalanced schedule.

In 05-06 the Seawolves went 1-3. The first series was in Denver and UAA had a less than inspired game on Friday night losing 5-2. DU scored ridiculously early, built a 2 goal lead and the game was never really close. The Saturday game that weekend though was a different story with Nathan Lawson making 37 saves to key the 3-0 win. The next series that season was at the end of January up here and the most significant event was Paul Stastny running Lawson and giving him a knee injury. It happened to be the weekend that John DeCaro was attending to the birth of his new baby so reserve 3rd string goalie Mike Rosett had to step in an play. He did a great job but the Seawolves couldn't find a response to Ryan Dingle's goal with about 10 minutes left in the game and 3-2 was the result. John DeCaro was able to play the 2nd night in a sort of nasty game but UAA came up on the short end of the chippiness and lost 5-3.

The 04-05 season had only the two game series in Denver. Friday night was brutal; at the end of the first period the score was 4-2 for DU, by the end of the game those numbers were doubled to 8-4. The Saturday night game was a completely different story. The Seawolves played inspired that night; Nathan Lawson made 34 saves (oops ... he made 35 but didn't get credit for the last one). The game went to OT and on DU's only chance of the OT period, Nathan made one of the all-time great saves you'd ever want to see. He flashed his glove hand low on a point blank chance (within 2 feet of the net) moving from right to left and the puck went into his glove and out. Play continued and UAA had a couple of good chances of their own. Then came a stoppage and Gwoz got Todd Anderson's ear long enough to get him to use the new-fangled experimental video replay system to check if there had been a goal scored. Can't blame him I guess; Nathan had made what looked to be an impossible save. The replay showed the puck going into Nathan's glove and coming back out. Nathan's glove was directly between the overhead camera and the goal line. So even though our good buddy Todd couldn't see the puck (it was in Nathan's glove) he somehow intuited that it had crossed the line. Those cool sunglasses that in last Sunday's "Potpourri" post I mentioned Todd owning, apparently keep his superman x-ray vision intact.

It seems like these games are more often than not some pretty rugged hockey. In the last 8 games the teams have combined for 119 penalties with 6 misconducts issued.

Last year during this series LetsGoDU blog and I did a swap. Damien Goddard wrote here and I wrote there. It was a good experience overall. DG posted a bogus (I thought it was obvious) entry indicating that Coach Shyiak was holding open tryouts for any eligible students to replace the suspended players. Apparently a couple of readers believed it and almost showed up to try out. There was over 1,000 hits on this blog that day after someone posted a link on Fark.com with the same open tryout theme. In response, crafted a faux-investigative journalist entry on his blog about some UAA students on a mission to find DG and improve his grammar. The last time I communicated with DG I think the subject came up about whether to do the swap again and I guess I was reticent enough about it that it never came up again. That's fine. I like driving my own rig. I did notice today though that DG removed my write access to his blog; perhaps he thought I'd sneak something onto it in the middle of the night? It hadn't occurred to me but kudos to him for being security conscious. I was much less trusting as I removed his access last year at the end of the blog swap.


Kris said...

We only have two goalies available again. What is the betting line on how quickly they run Olthius out of the game?

In DU's defense they played cleaner last year, but after watching the SCSU highlights, it looks like it is back to the same old DU.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I am worried about that as well. Hopefully Gwoz has more class than that.

Post a Comment