Friday, January 25, 2008

UND 3 - Seawolves 1: Quick Recap

There are just two keys to the loss for the Seawolves tonight. The first was (and I think it's perhaps obvious to say this) was lack of production. You can't score if you don't shoot and the Seawolves were simply unable to generate a decent number of attempts much less actually get those shots through to the UND goaltender. One play in particular stands out as Paul Crowder was denied on what looked like a very open net when Lamoureux flailed wildly ala Hasek and got a pad on what otherwise would have been a tying goal. There was a post hit in the first period but other than that there were only a few memorable attempts. Luke Beaverson broke in with Peter Cartwright but was denied on his attempt. Josh Lunden managed to get a couple of shots through but couldn't find the back of the net.

The second key to the loss was quite simply that UND played a good hockey game. The Seawolves were pretty effective with their physical play but UND never allowed that to bother them much. They took the hits and continued to play. The Seawolves got screwed a bit when Darcy Zajac blasted Merit Waldrop after the whistle and with the ensuing scrum, UAA got called for two minors. Waldrop got two minutes for receiving the cheapshot and Luke Beaverson got two minutes for explaining the offense to another Sioux player. Weak. Combine that power play with a couple of other dumb penalties the Seawolves took in the 3rd and they just couldn't hold off the 3rd goal.

Bryce Christianson played very well in his first game. I wasn't personally surprised to see him get the start. The UAA coaching staff needed to see if he could play. Bryce answered the call with more than 30 saves on the night and definitely gave his team a chance with his solid play. Bryce is definitely not shy about playing the puck. He is active outside the crease and confident looking with the puck on his stick. I thought maybe there were a couple of times where he looked a little off-balance or perhaps overwhelmed. It's obviously only one game but I'd tend to think he is the type of goaltender that could give those Seawolf fans with weaker hearts a little fluttering in their chests. It's worth noting that his puck handling skills were effective and that he made no serious mistakes with the puck. I'm thinking of nicknaming him "traffic-cop" because during play he constantly was pointing to this side or that side of the net as the puck moved from one to the other. He did well even though 3 got by him. A couple of really nice saves through the first two periods and one awesome glove knockdown in the 3rd that otherwise would have been #4 for UND. He looks promising and perhaps as the season winds down he could potentially challenge Jonny O for starts. Only time will tell though at this point.

With a regroup and some offensive adjustments from the coaching staff I'd think that the Seawolves certainly have the potential to upset UND tomorrow night. Check College Hockey News or collegehockeystats.net for boxscores. I'm out.

20 comments:

Suze said...

I agree about Bryce, I thought he handled the puck well. He passed it up the ice once or twice to jump start a play. He looked solid, and the Ralph has got to be a bit intimidating, especially for your first game.

siouxcrioux1 said...

gotta give ur goalie some credit he played pretty outstanding considering he was starting for the first time.

Anonymous said...

I am glad Christiansen played well. But this team is awful. Last place again. And after tonight a whole two games behind ninth. What is going on. Playing well and finishing last just is not good enough. The team plays hard but that isn't up to WCHA standards. Last weekend they played on there heels against the badgers and lost 2 two goal leads. Is that players or coaching. 3 years in last is troubling.

Anonymous said...

We lack snipers and enough guys to comfortably stick handle in traffic without turning the puck over as soon as they see the opposing teams shadow. Better players but not up to the upper 1/2 of the WCHA standards. WE lack good goaltending as well, maybe Bryce will change that, we'll see.

Anonymous said...

AA is a good team...I would not want to play them come tourney time. Nice 1st outing by the tender. I like AA's style of play...as much as Donald hates the Sioux, they play a similar style to the Sioux. Good game by both teams.

Frankie Dunlop said...

I was very pleased by Donalds pregame analysis but I do think th physicalness went about even. I fel that UAA played a good game though props to UAA and UND for a good game. P.S. dont be like national geographic anymore

Anonymous said...

looks like ur racists comments didnt get u a W. mine ur UAA team really sucks. cant play hockey just hit and hit hard. maybe if they ahd some damn skill they could put a few more in the net and get out of the toilet bowl every year.

Anonymous said...

Uaa has no skill is right. Though, they have more skill than this blogger. Donald is just a jealous, bitter person with zero class. I wish someone else, with decency would take over. Poor rep. Of Uaa fans.

annabelle said...

Good game Bryce. We do lack that one player that can get that goal that will change the outcome of our games. That is the only difference between our team and most of the other wcha teams. We do however have a team of guys capable of more. We just need our players to play with the passion it takes to win. The only thing about our team that sucks of late(anon@7:26) is our power play. Change it up. We need players a little more mobile out there who can keep the puck in the zone. I am hoping for a better outcome tonight. GO SEAWOLVES!!!!

Anonymous said...

Heres the deal.Christianson has shown he can steal games at the junior level but we have to score three goals plus to beat almost anyone..Look the Seawolves need passionate fans.lets not beat the donald up to much souix fans.If dave can find a couple of scorers the Seawolves have the foundation for the future..How about a couple of the 20yr olds leading the BCHL..Theres got to be a Diamond in the rough out there. anybody got a crystal ball..

Donald Dunlop said...

The 20 year olds in the BCHL that are high scoring this year are no better than Winston Daychief or Craig Parkinson. Good hockey players ... but learning to score in the most defensively oriented league in Division 1 is a tough task.

Every night in the WCHA is like NHL playoff hockey. Every team plays a good defensive game. Minnesota must have had 65 attempted shots yesterday vs. Wisconsin but only got one goal.

Lamoureux was two saves better than Christianson last night but the Sioux were much more effective offensively. Shyiak didn't seem to think the team "competed" well. Hopefully, they have a little extra jump in their step tonight. Nothing wrong with a split on the road if the boys can manage it.

The Seawolves have been in EVERY game this season. EVERY single one. Experience and veteran leadership is important in the WCHA. All UAA's leading scorers are sophomores and freshman. Without it being a criticism the fact is that UAA needs Waldrop, Tarkir, Tassone and Cartwright to score. And for any of those guys to do so they would have to have breakout seasons as none of them has scored more than 8 goals in any of their previous seasons. I think all four of them are playing the best hockey of their careers but it isn't like sniper genes were suddenly going to appear in their DNA.

Next season our leading scorers will be juniors. Lienweber and Moir look to be 4 star players (out of 5 stars). The year after all our leading scorers will be seniors (Clark, Crowder and Lunden will be dominating-type players as Seniors). Bales will be playing next year. And the year after Mickey Spencer and Gustav Bengtson (both of whom are goal scorers) come into the program. Things look bright down the road and everything the guys do the rest of this season will be experience which builds toward that future.

Donald Dunlop said...

And oh yeah ... UAA won't finish last this year.

Siouxfan_inDenver said...

Honest question here. Who do you think will finish last this season then? Mankato gained some ground last night with SCSU falling apart like the did. Like I said honest question.

Anonymous said...

Donnyboy you have a point..There is no TJ Oshie or Ryan Duncan or even a Evan Trupp that can be a immediate impact player available for UAA...but by getting some top notch Alaskans who can play to stay home is a great start in developing the Alaska pipeline ..There are a ton of younger(Midget Age Alaskans) that need to be sold on UAA and could be real high end players after a year or two of juniors..in 4 to 6 years you could have 10+ that play nite in and nite out so its great to see the Coaches giving guys like Bryce and maybe a prospect like Kyle Bailey a chance to play..these guys have younger brothers who may be potentilly high end kids who may bring a flock of great Alaskans THAT CAN PLAY with them.. I like the Bales addition he will probally be in the top 9 amoung forwards ..That being said its all Baby steps and unfortunately winning solves everything.Those Coaches are earning everdime they are being paid..this could be the toughest Coaching job in Hockey..but if Lake Superior State can win a National Championship then it can happen in Anchorage to..ever been to Soo ...HOLY...makes Anchorage look like Miami

Anonymous said...

No goal???????????????? UNBELIEVABLE!

Anonymous said...

The coaches have to sit back now, WATCH THE VIDEOS of the last 6 games, see who's playing, who's losing confidence and who should be playing. They have goal scorers not scoring, offensive defensemen not playing much, our power play is in dire need of an over-haul, etc. We can be out-shot, we out-shoot and we still lose. Sigh.... It is hard to remain hopeful but I will. We still make a win for any team extremely tough..that is positive, but I believe unless some changes are made, we may lose some good talent.

SZzzz said...

Getting the highest quality Alaskan players to stay at home to play for UAA is going to take several winning seasons. Unfortunately, until UAA is a program with a rich history of winning hockey games it is going to be very difficult to keep the best Alaskan players "at home". Let’s face it, everyone likes a winner - and when the top Alaska players are getting offers from the best teams in college hockey coming home to play for a perennial doormat is not a viable alternative. Until Alaska's youth hockey players grow up watching their home team win hockey games the kids aren't going to have a great loyalty or adoration for the program. Until UAA can create a tradition of winning, kids aren't going to grow up wanting to come back to play at UAA. Why do you think Minnesota doesn't have a problem keeping top local talent??? Because from the time their kids can skate they grew up watching "their" team win hockey games. They idolize the players, they idolize the university, and they dream, for their entire lives, of playing hockey at that school. Realistically speaking, I don't think there are many local Alaskan kids that feel that way about the program at UAA - and until we can create a tradition of winning we are going to watch an endless parade of talented Alaska players go to other schools to play hockey.

That brings up another crucial question: How do we create a winning tradition without them?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not so simple....

Donald Dunlop said...

szzzzz:
I think you do it exactly the same way that Brush did it. You get the local kids that want to stay and you find the diamonds that other teams miss. Nobody recruited Dean Larson but UAA. Brian Kraft got dissed by Rick Comely and came here and "owned". Jeff Batters wasn't on anyone's radar. Mike Peluso got ignored by every team in Minnesota. Paul Williams had no choices but UAA. Think anyone wanted Derek Donald? You find the overlooked guy or you find a guy like Gustav Bengtson before anyone else. You put "character" guys with experience in the lineup. Winning regular season titles may never happen. But winning WCHA playoff games, Final Fives and getting into the NCAA's will and hopefully that's enough to convince future "Matt Carle's", "Evan Trupp's" and the like to want to play here. Until then I'm happy with the "Merit Waldrop's", "Peter Cartwright's" and the like. These kids play for hometown pride and do it with their whole hearts. Matt Carle will likely never live in this state again. He is a "Denverite" now. Just the same way that Dean Larson and Brian Kraft are Anchorageites. It'll happen. Shyiak has them on the right path.

Anonymous said...

Be happy with where this program is at and be in last place year in and year out. This program has troubles and the future is cloudy. Every team is young and every team is bringing in top level players and UAA will battle this. Last place is awful and it is becoming a habit over at Sullivan.

Donald Dunlop said...

anon @ 809:
If the program weren't it only its 3rd year with a new coach and 2nd year with new recruiting staff then what you say would have more validity.

Truth is you have to give an NCAA coach at least 5 years to show what he can do. No program can be built in any less time. John Hill abandoned the program (and before that Talafous ruined it's reputation) and Shyiak has had to pick up the pieces. It is impossible to look to a time when Clark, Lunden, Crowder (and Bales) are seniors and our current crop of excellent freshman forwards are juniors and not believe they will be in the NCAA's that year and make some noise.

When you look at the past few years you see a plethora of elite offensive players that didn't make it to their senior years for one reason or another ... Glencross, Fournier, Walsky, Beagle ... UAA would have had different season if those guys had made it to (and through) their senior years.

Now if (and here's the rub) the guys we have now somehow don't get through their senior years then we have the same situation as the past and what you say now becomes valid.

Shyiak has the program going in the right direction.

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