Monday, March 10, 2008

Black Bear Fans Adopt UAA

Regular readers will recognize that I really dislike referring to CC by their current nickname (Tigers). I think it is just a stupid nickname. A couple of years ago I saw a CC fan with the moniker "Black Bears" on USCHO who apparently doesn't like the "Tiger" name either. All that is really unimportant in terms of this post except for me to clarify which Black Bears I'm talking about. The title of today's post refers to University of Maine Black Bears (you could probably tell by the picture huh?). Their season is over and in respect of SUZE's contributions to their season thread on USCHO and their fondness for departed assistant Campbell Blair they have officially adopted UAA to cheer for this weekend against the "Tigers". Thanks Mainuh's! If I'm not mistaken UAA is the most western school in D1 hockey and Maine is the most eastern. With CC's relative central position perhaps some mysterious vice-like fandom mental energy can come into play this weekend. So in honor of the support of the fine Maine fans I thought I'd share my one Shawn Walsh story.

Back in the D1 Independent days it was always difficult to schedule opponents. For several years UAA made an east coast road swing playing various teams over a week or week and a half. Gawd ... they must have missed a lot of school! At some point though someone arranged for Key Bank to act as some sort of sponsor and Maine and UAA played 2 games against one another at home. Key Bank found it useful to promote it since the two areas represented their most eastern and western branches.

I'm fairly certain the events I'll describe happened in the 2nd game of the series here in Anchorage (but if my memories of the events are different than yours please jump in the comments section and correct them). It has to be noted again here that this was back in the "Independent" days and to be honest occasionally there was some home-cooking by the local referees. It was usually just appetizers ya know but once in a while they laid out a full spread. UAA had beaten the Black Bears on Friday night and a win or a tie would wrap up the Key Bank "championship" since the Seawolves had split earlier in the year in Maine. Seawolf teams under Brush Christiansen were never known for their subtle physical play. I remember a bench clearing brawl with Air Force once at the Sully and can distinctly recall a radio description of goalie Jeff "Buff" Carlson chasing a UMass player up the ice and giving him a wicked two handed slash across the back. Sometimes it wasn't pretty but you could walk away from the rink satisfied that if your team didn't win the game on the scoresheet at least they won the fights.

In any case, on this particular Saturday night UAA had built a 2 goal lead on the strength of it's power play and Shawn Walsh was not too pleased. I hope my memory isn't fooling me but with time left on the clock in the second period Walsh led his team off the ice to the astonishment and ire of a full Sullivan Arena. I don't think I've ever heard sustained cat calling and booing for as long. Since the time on the clock for the period was relatively short (around a minute) the referees just called the period and UAA headed for it's locker room. When the ice was Zammed and the intermission was over the Seawolves came back onto the ice and took their places on the bench. But no Black Bears. The joint was going nuts with Booing and many a colorful description of Walsh's manhood were being yelled. It took several minutes but eventually the Maine team came back out onto the ice and wound up losing the game. The 3rd period was perhaps the only period that weekend that was called straight up fairly by the referees.

So thanks for not holding that ancient screw-job against us Maine fans! We appreciate your support and postive mental energy for the Seawolves in this weekends series against a team that should be called Black Bears. We UAA fans are aware of what it's like to get homered as it happened to us last year in Colorado Springs when the referee called a series of ridiculous "interference" penalty on face-offs and sent UAA players to the box both nights early in the two OT games. The first night the Seawolves overcame that crap calls and won. On the second night CC pulled out a victory but UAA won the fight! You can read (and/or participate) in the USCHO thread by clicking here.

I'll be back tomorrow with a list of reasons UAA will win this weekend and advance to the Final Five.

20 comments:

Sioux_Me in GF said...

Some of us here in Sioux Country will be cheering for the Seawolves, too (not that WE want to play you again -- although we will take on all comers, I'm just sayin' if we have a choice...). Besides, unless someone lights up Bachmann a few more times, JPL will never get serious Hobey consideration! He can rehab his win percentage by winning out through this next weekend -- and beyond. Go, Seawolves! Too bad the Gophers won't be there for you to whip up on in St. Paul should you succeed in your mission this weekend!

Donald Dunlop said...

The Seawolves will be the darlings in St. Paul this year. The crowd will be solidly in UAA's favor when we meet UND in the semi-final game and beat them.

Anonymous said...

HOW ARE WE GOING TO WIN SCORING 1 GOAL A GAME????? WEEEEELLLL.....Heres how Bachman isnt that good...But its tough to get good shots because there D men are really good..He was 16w 15L barely 500 on a good team in the USHL last year..He was good for 13th in GAA in the league allowing almost 3.5 goals..Its been there team!!I say if you can get 2 early watch him get RATTLED...forget scoring the first goal we need two goals quickly...Im not sold on that guy..I dont see a rookie goalie carrying them to the promised land..Hate to say it but its North Dakota unfortunately .....real unfortunatly!!!!Although trupper was a key for them and a HUGE LOSS...

Anonymous said...

YUP,If you get 3 goals on Bachman he loses like almost every other Goalie in the league.. Mich tech lit him up for 5 goals on 14 shots.. they aint no world beaters...

Anonymous said...

CC's average production vs UAA this season: 4 gpg. Might need to get more than 3 on Bachman! UAA's current season average vs CC: 1 gpg. Easier said than done! Tigers SWEEP.

Kris said...

Let's just be honest here, the Seawolves are screwed. We will be lucky to win one game this weekend if we win two it is bigger than the Herby Brooks Miracle. Well here is hoping for miracles!!! I might be one of the few realistic people around here but I can still have some optimism.

Donald Dunlop said...

It wouldn't be that big of a miracle. It wouldn't even be as big as when UAA beat BC in a best of three NCAA series (which is widely held to be the biggest upset ever in college hockey).

I know you don't want to hear that UAA is better than their record but they are. They played two games for shit in the Springs this year but both games up here could have went either way.

CC doesn't have anything to play for. They've won the league. They'll be a #1 seed in the NCAA's no matter what happens this weekend. Missing out on the Final Five just means a weekend off before they start the NCAA's which they'd probably appreciate.

There aren't tons and tons of realistic reasons to hope for a UAA win. There's no doubt about it. But it isn't a big stretch to think that it can happen. And i'm not talking about just one game our of three and walking away with pride like last year against the Gophs. Win on Friday night and you just have to win one of the next two.

Focus, focus and focus again on the Friday game. Make sure it is the only thing on your mind and then narrow that focus to the first period on Friday night. Then focus on a single shift at a time.

All it takes is for CC to be less than focused IMO. If they don't have their shit together and the Seawolves do then we win on Friday. I think it's that simple.

They did what they did this year by trapping the shit out of everyone and playing real solid defense in their end. It isn't a big mystery. It isn't necessarily easy to overcome those two things either ... I'm not saying that. But it can be done with a focused and committed effort.

And if it doesn't happen then I say that UAA should get nasty and knock the stripes off those bastids!

Anonymous said...

i agree, we have no shot this weekend period, Very dissapointing season. Good luck guys , u r gonna need it.

Stan

Anonymous said...

and people u wanna see a real uaa team, check out the uaa basketball team (hosting regions this weekend) at least they are winning

Suze said...

And when was the last time the bb team had a season like this one? I rest my case.

Seawolves, you CAN do this.

Great moments... are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here, tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game. If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team [CC has]. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it.

(Thanks Priceless!)

Anonymous said...

bball team is more consistant

Anonymous said...

Sounds like something Walshy would do.:) He was never against doing what he thought would help his team. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, Walshy was part of the entertainment. Good Luck to the UAA this weekend.

A long time Maine fan

Anonymous said...

The St. Cloud blog had a stat. that said this Seawolf team set a WCHA record. The first team in league history to finish last 3 seasons in a row.

jjack said...

The bball team is D2.

If they dropped the hockey team to D3 and started kicking everyone's asses left and right, would that make everyone happy?

I'd rather lose to better teams.

Anonymous said...

yeah but the bball team has beaten and is capable of being in D1 the bball program will be the bread and butter of the athletic programs @ uaa (always has always will)

Suze said...

The St. Cloud blog is wrong, as I already pointed out. Some very good WCHA teams have also come in last place 3 years in a row.

Suze said...

When was the last time the UAA bb team won their shoot out against Divison I teams?

Suze said...

I had to look it up in the WCHA yearbook, but when Michigan State was in the WCHA, they came in last 3 seasons in a row. So did CC and UND.

Donald Dunlop said...

LOL nice Suze.

St. Nothingelsetodoville is fantasyland.

Anonymous said...

At least we WIN!!!!!
Jealousy is a powerful emotion.

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