Thursday, February 14, 2008

SCSU @ UAA Preview: Hey Sue Fans, Shut Up Already

What? Sue fans, shut up already? What the hell does that have to do with SCSU and UAA? Nothing. They just need to be told to shut up. They're an irritating presence on the big series of tubes in general with all their constant complaining which stems of course from them overcompensating for their small penises and/or their Freudian desire to have a penis. Michigan and Miami are 1 and 2 in Pairwise and KRACH. Get some acceptance you whiners.

Conventional wisdom this weekend says that if you shut down Roe, Lasch and Nodl you have a chance to beat SCSU. I won't debate that. As those three guys have gone so has the teams record. They don't put up numbers and SCSU doesn't post W's. With that as a given it means that UAA has to shut down two lines both nights. How do you shut them down? Use your size and strength to it's best advantage. Lasch and Roe are 5'9" and 5'8" respectively. They both play with enough intensity to seem bigger but the fact remains they aren't big physical specimens. Nodl is not unlike his name; he has a reputation (even amongst the SCSU fanbase) for shying away from contact. He doesn't like to hit and he doesn't like getting hit. So if you're a UAA player and you see #9, #12 or #19 on the ice then hit them. Pretty simple stuff. And yes senior Nate Dey is also a legit threat to score but I'd say if you shut down the other three then Dey is going to find it hard to win a game all by his lonesome. So I've talked about 4 players and haven't even mentioned the best player on the Huskies this year. John Swanson was moved from forward to defense early in the season to shore up a pathetic SCSU defense. He has adapted well and given the Huskies someone that can carry the puck out of their own zone and quarterback the PP.

Perhaps the greatest threat this weekend is that Coach Motzko's steady drone over the last couple of years about how his team doesn't take penalties has had an effect on the collective psyche of WCHA officialdom. In league games they've been tagged with an average of 8.8 minutes per game. As proof of this assertion I offer that in the only 4 games they played that weren't officiated by a WCHA referee they averaged 31 minutes per game. So it's clear to me that if your PR machine drones constantly that your team are skating angels then it can be effective. WCHA referee's appear to be easily manipulated eh? Sigh. In any case, the Seawolves will have to stay out of the box this weekend because whether by brainwashing or reality the Bluffskies aren't going into the box much.

SCSU fans like to think their team is some sort of wheel and deal skating genius team. They are bolstered in that belief because they won a game against what everyone agrees is a wheel and deal skating genius team in CC. We UAA fans know that our team can skate with anyone so that isn't really going to be a concern this weekend. The biggest challenge for UAA is going to be scoring goals. In the last 12 games UAA has 25 goals (2g/gm). In the previous 16 games the Seawolves scored 45 goals (2.8g/gm). My favorite hockey radio guy of all-time was the NHL Colorado Rockies Joe Starkey. Whenever the Rockies scored a goal Joe would call it something like this ... "Wilf Paiement digging in the corner, comes away with it and finds Paul Gardner in the slot, Gardner shoots ... and scores ... OH WHAT A BONANZA!!!" It was a great signature line. Well ... the Seawolves could use some Bonanza action this weekend. 4 goals is the number they need to get to. Sure everyone in the league nowadays says "first to 3". But the Seawolves really need to break out of what I'd call a scoring slump. In the first half they scored 4 or more goals seven times. In the second half they've scored 4 or more goals only three times. The leading scorers need to come through this weekend. The upperclassmen need to come through this weekend. The underclassmen need to show they've developed beyond their class standing.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good Post its definitely about Goals right now..The other main thing alot of people are missing (Im sure the Coaches arnt)are cutting down on the 1 to 4 major mistakes in a period leading to major scoring oppurtunities..Ie.breakaways,guys being left alone in the slot areas,players sneakin behind defenses, defense pinching at the wrong time forwards picking up the right guy on the backcheck all this comes under TEAM DEFENSE which most importantly also includes the forwards.. .Any Major mistakes at this level and its in the net..almost all the games have been real close but when you give difference makers Major opportunities its BALL GAME Over..With Seawolf appreciation night hopefully there will be big crouds this weekend..Im challenging all of the UAA bloggers to invite 3 people in Anchorage to the Games this weekend ..send them the info provided by D.D.as every living Alaskan can get 4 free tickets for either night..Everybody help fill the Barn this weekend..Right now if your really a fan spend 15 minutes of your lunch to contact as many Hockey people you can and get them out..The boys have worked there ass off this year and really havnt been rewarded so nothing would be better than to show support in the MASSES..

Anonymous said...

Great Idea but I Have a better one.Everbody go through your Email directory and send the link above on the homepage to anybody who might be interested lets have a massive E Mailout..!!Donald your thoughts?

Donald Dunlop said...

I've got too many thoughts about attendance and getting people to the rink than I can possibly mention here. One thought I had recently was that if the Athletic Department had someone dedicated to promoting the games that they could run point on this sort of thing.

As it is they Athletic Department announces this sort of thing and it's up to the local media to decide if they announce it or not. Since the ADN doesn't exactly act as any sort of promoter of UAA Hockey you can't count on them. But if a person in the Athletic Department had called the ADN on Monday and then on Tuesday and badgered them perhaps we would have seen something in the paper on Wednesday. That person could have dedicated some time to calling the local TV sports people and getting them to make the announcement as well.

A little actual active (versus passive) PR would probably go a long way. I know in the past i'd volunteered to do some things along those lines. I also think the Blueliner Booster Club could take a more active role. Unfortunately, I tend to see them as just a vehicle that caters to it's membership. I like their radio spots but how many potential hockey fans listen to the radio? I don't know. Free PR is always better than that which you have to pay for but how do you get free PR? You have to be smart about it. I know that the school churns out plenty of "marketing" types. Why can't the Athletic Department leverage that and get some of these future sales bunnies involved for credit? Marketing Lab 401: Real Life Sales ... for example?

I'm a winning cures everything kinda guy I guess. If UAA were in 4th place right now and looking like an NCAA team then there'd be a "buzz" and people would show up. It's a bit of a vicious-circle catch-22 kinda thing. A bigger crowd would help the team win more games at home but a winning team will put butts in the seats.

I'm pretty cynical about the Anchorage sports fan. Personally, I think this place has the biggest percentage of bandwagon fans per capita of any city in the U.S. It is a factor that led to the retirement of Brush Christiansen when he didn't "tear it up" after just a couple of years in the WCHA. The thought was he got us there but didn't have what it took to get to the next level. Then Talafous fucks the joint up. Then John Hill jobs the program with his BS.

If Shyiak can get the boys back to the NCAA's in the next two years then there is hope. Local "studs" might stay instead of going to gayboy schools like DU and UND. And that should help maintain a winning future. Get to the NCAA's and other potential recruits from outside will choose UAA over some other school. UAA can't compete with many schools in terms of educational offerings so it had better find a way to attract top players if we really want a team that is truly competitive year in and year out. And by truly competitive I mean a team that gets to the NCAA's pretty much every year and is a Frozen Four threat every 3 or 4 years. I don't think those sorts of things are impossible to achieve.

I think the year after next is the big "show me" year. If the Seawolves aren't something special that year then I don't know what else can be done. I have a lot of faith that Shyiak can get it done; but that said I also believe it will have to include a strategy that doesn't rely on outworking the other team. And for that to be the case we'll have to have the talent. I like (no love) our guys. But there are more than a couple of players that just aren't going to ever light it up ya know.

All in all it is a difficult difficult situation to coach hockey at UAA. Let's remember that we lost a kid that probably would have put up some big numbers this year when Jay Beagle left. And he left school because he didn't think he was a student. Let's face it ... UAA probably has as easy a set of classes as you could get in D1 hockey if that's what suits you. So there are some fine hockey players who might not be perfectly suited to studying that COULD succeed at UAA.

I really already feel like next year could be something special. I hear Brian Bales is all that he is advertised to be. Jeff Carlson looked good to me and if he is anywhere near as good as Kane Lafranchise then the back line looks hella good next year. As upperclassmen we have to expect big things from Clark, Lunden and Crowder. Mat Robinson will be a senior next year and honestly that kid is as good a hockey player as there is in the WCHA. Shane Lovdahl's growth this season has been tremendous IMO. I heard Shyiak talk some about Shane's skating but you know what? Shane's skating might not be his best attribute but I wouldn't in any way call it a weakness. He is moving up and down the ice better than ever this year. Vidmar is doing a real good job and has obvious skills with the puck. Grant, Parkinson and Daychief should all develop into 30 point a season players and I expect to see 20 goals out of Brad McCabe at some point.

Ok .. so I"m rambling. Bottom line is we're definitely an up and coming squad. There is time left to make noise not only in the regular season but in the playoffs as well. If UAA ran the table they probably still couldn't qualify for the NCAA's without winning the Final Five. And doing that is the stuff of fantasy at this point. But making a statement for next year would be nice to see and is a possibility. It all starts with knocking off the Bluffskies this weekend. Win both of these games and who knows?

Anonymous said...

Regarding your assertion that SCSU fans think the team can skate with anybody cuz we beat CC...that wasn't the point. The point was that CC plays a wide-open game and does not use the body much, making it feel like a Euro game. That CC-type gane goes along with SCSU's strength of skating up an down the ice in a pass, skate, and shoot type of game. CC doesn't use the body all that much, so it makes the game up-tempo. It has nothing to do with actually beating a team....it has to do with playing the same style of game. If UAA wants to check and grind more, so be it. SCSU will have to deal with it, but it is not SCSU's strength. If UAA wants to play wide open so be it also, but that plays into the SCSU strength more.

Also, I watched both UAA games at St. Cloud earlier this season, and I thought SCSU really outskated them and overall looked quicker. UAA had the clutch and grab alot because of it and headed for the box in those two games for hooking and slashing penalties. But that plays into your reffing conspiracy....or so you say.

Suze said...

I have heard Sioux and Badger fans say that UAA is two good forwards away from being a contender. Signing a kid like Haider would be HUGE for the program. Hopefully he will play for the home team when it's time to decide.

annabelle said...

Set the tone of the game in the first shift. Come out hitting and being aggressive, and keep that momentum going. All players need to work harder at maintaining posession in the opposing end. Control the puck there. Good luck this week-end boys. You are deserving of better outcomes.

GO SEAWOLVES!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Haider will end up going to CC or DU as he is a stellar student and the level of academia is far higher at these schools. Don't look for him in Green/Gold, you'll be disappointed

Donald Dunlop said...

I'll bet money he doesn't go anywhere in the WCHA if he goes somewhere other than UAA.

Anonymous said...

He better not! I actually heard from a very reliable source that he was considering UAA.

Donald Dunlop said...

I'm just saying if he doesn't go to UAA that he definitely won't go to another WCHA school.

Harvard or UAA. If he chooses Harvard I wouldn't blame him. If he goes to a DgayU or CgayC then god help his poor dad. But that said, part of the reason that he stayed home instead of going to juniors is because he likes it here (and at home).

Of course that isn't necessarily strong enough on it's own to keep him in town for college. But, if he doesn't choose UAA it isn't the end of the world. Like most 18 year olds he has a little maturing to do before he is ready for D1. But come on ... playing for the hometown school with your pops doing the games on radio and TV has to have some appeal I'd think.

Anonymous said...

John Swanson skated at forward last weekend against CC, and is tabbed to skate at forward again this weekend against Anchorage. He will probably skate with Nate Dey and Ryan Lasch on the top line.

Anonymous said...

So? Who cares about Swanson?

:rollseyes:

Anonymous said...

Read the article by the blogger, dummy. He mentions John Swanson playing defense, which he did for a decent amount of the season. He has returned to playing forward now.

Anonymous said...

Robb has along way to go before hes able to play in the WCHA..He has to tear up the BCHL or the USHL before a top level College team like DU or C.C even considers him..Very few top of the line NAHL players play in the WCHA.. High School Hockey in Alaska is many steps below Junior A Hockey so talk of him playing at this WCHA level is great but he has alot to prove at the next Level which is Junior A..It seems considering everything he would be much better off at a Ivy league school..Im thinking the real test for Rob will be dealing with the ups and downs of life after Anchorage Hockey..Juniors for most is a tremendous rollercoaster and quickly becomes job after high School.. Besides skill, For most its strickly perserverence and desire aand with his grades maybe hockeys not going to be the route for him. Congrats on your season Robb and good luck in the future..

Anonymous said...

Check you PIM average total's the Huskies got an average of 13 PIM's in the 4 non-WCHA reffed games, not 31.
Probably a simple slip of the finger. :)

Donald Dunlop said...

I said in the non-conference games not referee'd by a WCHA ref. Both of their Bemidji games were ref'd by Brian Thul. So what I said was dead on accurate.

Anonymous said...

Memo to UAA in case you need to be reminded: DO NOT LET SCSU GET POWER PLAYS!

Thanks, UAA hacks...you basically gave us the game.

Anonymous said...

What a crock hearing all those Huskies fans leaving the arena tonight. You think they'd won the national championship.

Memo to SCSU fans: You're still in next to last place.

Anonymous said...

Believe me tomorrow will be different all around..

Anonymous said...

UAA got outplayed, up and down the ice. SCSU's ability to stick handle was phenomenal, they handled UAA's physical game and the goalie really wasn't challenged all night. Olthius is not the answer for UAA. It looked as though some of the UAA plaers have cashed it in for the year as well. Maybe tomorrow we'll see Selby, Haddad and a few others that haven't had much ice time this year. Couldn't be any worse.

Anonymous said...

I dont think Charlie Brown could have worst luck.

Anonymous said...

Lets not get too excited about Haider. He is too small and doesnt have a lot of hockey sense. When he gets back to playing against kids his own age and older he will fade away. If he would have made a junior team in the ushl he would have been playing junior hockey this year. These are the best hockey days he will see

Anonymous said...

What was the deal tonight when UAA had their best pressure of the night, they decided to do a massive line change deep in the the Huskies end. Instead of cycling one guy off at a time and trying to maintain the pressure we jsut basically said "screw it" I need a rest, no we all need a rest, NOW, here Huskies, here is the puck, we can't score anyway. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

what is the score?

Anonymous said...

Haider doesn't have "hockey sense"??!!
Are you kidding me...that was his strong point all four years. Obviously you know nothing about hockey.
He's been playing against kids his own age all along, and shines in comp hockey with kids his own age and older. You've got to be joking with that post.

Anonymous said...

Haider is too small. Right.
Chris Connor was too small too.
Too small to play at Michigan Tech.
Too small to play with the Dallas Stars.
Haider is just the right size to prove you wrong.
Why the negativity toward him?
Did he help South beat your team?

Anonymous said...

Can any one name the last senior who stayed and is playing in MaJOR Div 1 College Hockey?? players dont develope in Anchorage High school hockey in the schools when 40plus kids practice everyday..If your a blue chip kid then to develope you have to be pushed and Sophisticatedly Coached..Almost all the kids who stay for there Senior year are not going to make it to the WCHA..The comment about Haider in the paper not losing his opportunity is very unimformed..He lost a Major year of developement..other top players his peers from Alaska such as David Carle,William Wren and Adam Murray are proof of this as they have already recieved scholarships to Major Schools while being in HIGHSCHOOL .These Alaskans will then refine there skills in Juniors probally the USHL..Take a Hard look at hesinbergs highly accurate recruiting site.. 89s,90s,even 91s and 92s are being snatched out by the quality programs..For most kids High School is great..but the sacrifice of moving away unfortunately is one of the prices you pay..Bottom line is every one has there own path but age is a big factor in the days of College Hockey Crystal ball recruiting..This Is 2008 and yes everything has changed..Its going to be fun watchin the rest of your career Robb hopefully you will prove this post wrong..GOOD LUCK!!!

David said...

I talked to Robb tonight for the news he is very wide eyed about playing in the WCHA. Of course that is all speculation until he can get in a year of juniors. Be patient, he is a pretty cerebral young man. He will do what he thinks is best for him. Plus, it will be his choice, his parents aren't the type to try and force him anywhere. Give him some time. This time next year everyone will know where he is going to take his immense talent.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That Anchorage math is amazing. 52 total minutes in 4 non-WCHA reffed games. Looks like 13 minute average, not 31 minute average to me.
Clarkson - 16 minutes
Clarkson - 20 minutes
Miami - 6 minutes
Harvard - 10 minutes
Total - 52 minutes
4 games
13 minute average

Donald Dunlop said...

RE the Robb Haider argument:
Lets not anyone fool ouselves about Robb Haider; he is a legitamate D-1 prospect by any definititon of the phrase. Coming from someone who admittedly watched ZERO high school hockey this season and is just relying on stats I'd have to recognize the fact that several other players (in some casses 2 years behind him) scored the same number of goals as Robbie H.

And I think that fact isn't negative since he provided and equally high number of assists. Future development isn't guaranteed but I'd say that he has a pretty likely future of contributing positively to potentially any D1 hoockey team in the country.

With all that said there isn't a reason to despair if UAA doesn't "land" Haider. Alex Young and Youngmun(sp?)(and ohthers) are out there and they all put up some decent numbers and are (if I'm not mistaken) equally regarded to Robbie.

I don't necessarily believe (again on looking at the stats and not having seen a single game and only basing my opinion on what I've read) that Robbie Haider shouldn't be expected to have the same kind of talent as a Chris Fournier or Scotty Gomez but, the fact remains that he is a 2 time winner of Alaska High SChool Player of the Year and his leadership contributed hugely to his teams success.

FWIW that's my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Mr. Blogger is "dead on" with that PIM math. 31 minutes is a far cry from the 13 minutes you so accurately described. Nice job....what else should we not believe on here without checking the facts?? Hmmmmm...

By the way, SCSU is not in "next to last place"....that would belong to the Goofers. More UAA fan errors on here....wow.

Anonymous said...

For once can UAA play like they have nothing to lose.. BECAUSE YOU DONT After the shaky Goal last nite the whole Seawolf team basicly mentally lost it....
SHIT IS GOING TO HAPPEN...St Clouds defense was running for cover the first period..Most of that team wants nothing to do with any form of body contact.Especially all the 5'8 guys..Hey a win tonight will give you points in 3 out of your last 4 WCHA home games..Thats a START!!!!!

Anonymous said...

here is a good article about players leaving HS early to play juniors. http://www.startribune.com/sports/preps/15683952.html

Anonymous said...

When I posted SCSU's standing, the USCHO didn't have the rankings updated yet. So sue me. SCSU is ONE point out of second to last place.

One of their worst seasons ever yet you'd think they won the league last night. Big whoop, they beat a struggling UAA team. The Huskies are swooning more than ever this year. They will not make the final five.

Anonymous said...

I cant pull the article on leaving highschool up up what is the adress again?

MeanEgirl said...

Goddammit, Anon @ 11:18 PM,

It's Conner. Conner. It's spelled with a goddamn e. An E, not an O!

Argh!!!

That's all.

Anonymous said...

D.D.Who do got startin in NET

Donald Dunlop said...

Yes. I miscalculated the penalty minutes. Because of the order collegehockeystats had them listed, I mistakenly added Canisius minutes to SCSU's minutes. I wasn't looking closely enough. It was a mechanical error on my part. I apologize for getting it wrong.

The Bluffskies truly are skating angels.

Anonymous said...

must admit they do have a nice skating team, but their fans must have escaped from St Cloud juvenile tech.
com'on wolves stay out of the box, geez louise- too many men on the ice?

Donald Dunlop said...

Man understanding of the "fans" you mentioned is that they were a bunch of drunken local G.I.s. Woohoo, thanks America's Military. Stationed locally and instead of being respectful to the local community you come out to the rink get drunker than monkeys and make asses of yourselves?

I tend to think they are probably reasonable examples of the military types who often attend Aces games. Stick to those games in the future and if there is karma in the world your next assignment will be to a base in North Dakota.

Anonymous said...

I haven't even seen that kind of childish actions at an Aces game. What a bunch of dweebs.

Looked like they entered one of the apartment complex's nearby. Let's hope they get drunk at home tonight, and stay there.

Anonymous said...

Guess the "realistic" home ice expectation is officially out the window. A distinct possibility of a last place finish for the 3rd consecutive year...congrats on setting that WCHA record.

Anonymous said...

asshole

Suze said...

Anon who wrote: "A distinct possibility of a last place finish for the 3rd consecutive year...congrats on setting that WCHA record."

Get your facts straight. Here are the other WCHA teams who have come in last 3 years in a row:

Michigan State, North Dakota, Colorado College, and Michigan Tech. Information taken from the WCHA Hockey Yearbook.

Gee, it seems like even the best teams have their struggles.

Anonymous said...

Big fish in a real small pond, High School hockey....Congrats to South and good luck to Haider if he choses to go on with hockey...I don't know the kid or have seen him play. I do know the next step is huge from high school to juniors and then on to D 1....Only a few will make it and very, very few go from high school at 18 to D 1...Look at the average age of the D 1 freshman it is not 18...Haider has a lot of work and prving to do...Who is to say he wont't make it...Sounds like he likes home and Anchorage and maybe in a couple of years he might be on UAA..Either way good luck to the kid and his family on his next chapter going to college..

Anonymous said...

How Big time is the WCHA...It really seems the other teams have a couple guys who make the difference every night..Sat nights game was a great College Game..UAAs luck will change..they are closer than people think...it might not be this year.but it will change..The arena was really alive and I hate to credit the ST.Cloud Buffoons cheering section but untill the last 4 min the whole arena was having alot of fun...They need to expand the Alcohol section..Denver, North Dakota all sell beer in there arenas wekk take all the fans we can get..

Suze said...

Yes, the game was really fun, as have been most of the games at the Sully this year.

Anonymous said...

Well, if we had no bad luck we'd have no luck at all. Sigh....

However, I believe our luck is about to change. Go Seawolves!

Anonymous said...

Yes, your luck "is about to change". It will soon be the end of the season and you won't have to worry about "bad luck" losses anymore. You'll be put out of your misery soon.

Anonymous said...

asshole.

Anonymous said...

Losers...

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