Saturday, February 02, 2008

Seawolves Complete 3 Point Weekend

Tonight the Seawolves completed their first 3 point weekend since December 8th when they beat Minnesota-Duluth to wrap-up the 3 points at the DECC. The weekend increase UAA's conference points from 8 to 11 and leaves them 7 points behind Mankato who swept DU this weekend. The Seawolves head to Mankato next weekend for a what is now a very important series if UAA hopes to make any sort of move up the standings.

Tonight's game for UAA was a story of assists. Two absolutely great assists led to both of UAA's goals. On the first tally, Peter Cartwright was absolutely unselfish dishing a short pass to Jared Tuton who just had to bury it into a wide open net. Cartwright probably could have scored the goal himself but made sure of it with the little dish to Tuton. Very nice goal. Jared owes Peter a Snickers for that one. UAA's second goal came off an equally nice feed. Paul Crowder won the puck in the corner on a good forecheck and with the briefest of looks found a wide open Merit Waldrop in front of the net with a great feed. Merit had a bit more work to do than Jared Tuton but expertly deked Robbie Nolan and beautifully roofed the puck. A Snickers for Crowder is in order as well. UAA held the 2 goal lead until MTU scored at 12:42 of the 3rd and tied it with 4:31 remaining in the game.

In reviewing coverage of last nights game I noticed that Jamie Russell put the majority of blame for thier 4-0 loss squarely on his team's shoulders. But unlike Jamie's rationalization for his teams loss I'll instead credit MTU for earning the tie tonight. There's little doubt in my mind that the Seawolves didn't "click" as well tonight as they did last night. But I won't focus on that part of the equation. The Huskies picked up their play around the 30 minute mark of the game and slowly put UAA on their heels. The effective offensive game we'd seen from UAA couldn't get going with MTU's success moving forward. Ultimately, the game turned on that effort. Part of the difference was Russell's change from a neutral zone trap into a high zone trap for this game. The deeper pressure against UAA's breakout helped to force more mistakes and turnovers for MTU. Credit to Russell for moving his trap forward and basically catching the Seawolves off guard. UAA's defensive corps was unable to be as successful breaking out with the tighter pressure and consequently were put on their heels. That pressure created situations where UAA forwards were unable to mount effective efforts in the MTU zone since they'd spent more time clearing the puck out of their own zone. We saw the exact same sort of high zone trapping in the two games against Mankato earlier this year so I'd think that tonights game is at least an early look at what the Seawolves can expect next weekend. Breaking through that sort of trap will take some adjustments on the back line but I'm sure the staff will be working on that this week in practice.

There were some disturbing aspects to the Huskies play tonight. I suppose after being owned 4-0 on a Friday night you'd want to come out with more attitude and physical play the next night. Unfortunately, in my not so humble opinion the Huskies lost control with some cheap shots at the end of both the 1st and 2nd period. Not anything out of the ordinary perhaps so I won't bitch about that too much. However, there was an incident that should be considered an embarrassment for the MTU program. As MTU's fortunes were increasing but with the score still 2-0 in UAA's favor, Peter Rouleau had been forechecking deep in UAA's zone. His effort was unsuccessful and obviously frustrated at his inabilty to succeed and as he skated off for a change (with the play already on the other end) he threw a "HISSY FIT" and slammed the glass with his stick. Apparently, he hit it just right and the blow broke the glass causing an extended delay in the game while the pane was replaced. Obviously, referee Derek Shepherd didn't see the event as it was behind the play. But there is no doubt in my mind that Jamie Russell knows exactly who acted like a petulant little child. If Shepherd had seen it you could be assured that he would have issued a 10-minute misconduct. But he didn't. If Jamie Russell is the half the man MTU fans seem to think he is then he should have given Rouleau 10 minutes of bench time. He didn't though. So yeah ... I'm questioning Jamie Russell's manhood. At the very least WCHA commisioner Bruce McLeod should review the incident. I'll be emailing him. I would expect that sort of thing from a UND or Mankato player as they're notoriously undisciplined babies. But I had more respect for MTU before this sad display. The key word in that sentence being "had". If Russell indeed isn't a purse-carrier then he'll step up and do the right thing and bench Rouleau for the first 10 minutes of their next game.


MeanEgirl said...

The weird thing is, I'm way more excited about the tie against UAA than I was about the tie against #3 CC. Is that odd?

I'm very disappointed in Rouleau's actions last night. Like Suze says, hopefully Michigan Tech takes the bill for that (as long as my tuition doesn't go up! ;))

And my thoughts on Jamie... I don't know, Donald. I guess maybe he's no Gwoz. As Pete is one of our top playmakers and we were down 0-2 and hadn't scored a goal all weekend, I can't fault Jamie entirely for allowing Pete to play his next shift. We might have even been shorthanded as it was already, if my understanding is correct. I hope you don't hold that against Jamie forever and dislike my whole team because of him and Pete.

Suze said...

You're right Meg, UAA was on the power play when that happened. It totally disrupted it, as it took a good 10 minutes to replace the glass.

The league should review the incident and suspend Rouleau a game. I have never seen that kind of thing happen in 20 years of watching college hockey, and it is UNACCEPTABLE.

Luckily, nobody in the arena was injured.

Donald Dunlop said...

Don't mistake the extent of my ire. Russell sits him and I say "good on ya" here. He doesn't sit him and from now on it'll be Jamie "purse-carrier" Russell whenever I type his name here. Rouleau being a baby does not equal me "disliking" the whole team.

I dislike every other WCHA team already hon.

Sioux_Me in GF said...

Donald - Congrats on a GREAT weekend of Seawolves hockey. I would take issue with your characterization of Jamie R's manhood, but otherwise some good posts. Glad to see your coaching staff has the troops believing! As I have said all along, Mankato and UAA are the two teams nobody should want to play come WCHA playoff time -- again!

Donald Dunlop said...

sioux_me in gf:
There are right ways to act and there are wrong ways to act. When one acts in the wrong way (i.e ... childishly breaking the glass or flipping off the referee) then one must do the right thing in response. Hakstol apologized for flipping off the ref this weekend ... that was the right thing to do. Had Rouleau been caught doing what he did then he would have sat for 10 minutes. I guarantee that. So it's only right that JR sit him. If he doesn't then he's a purse-carrying granny panty-wearing weenie.

SIOUX 7 said...

The streak continues.

UAA makes it 3 in a row. (MTU and MSU-M being first and second respectively)

It appears that after a team gets swept by the Sioux, that they sweep (okay get at least 3-pts)the next weekend.

Now, if Minnesota goes out to Denver and beats up on the Pioneers, that would make it 4 in a row.

....just food for thought.

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