The Seawolves final series of the year mirrored their season. Friday night they lost a game where they outplayed to opponent by a score that in no way reflected what happened on the ice. And tonight in a closely played 60 minutes they were every bit a match for the #3 team in the country. But just as happened so many times in 07-08 the Seawolves came up short when they coulda, shoulda or otherwise woulda won. I've said it, the staff has said it, the players have said it and opponents have all said the same things; a bounce here or there, a missed opportunity, an opponent that didn't miss their opportunities. Blah blah blah and on and on. It's a tired refrain but that doesn't make it any less true. It defines the season.
The trend began in the first two conference games of the season. A tie and a loss to Mankato in games that they coulda won. Then a loss and a tie on the road in St. Cloud and one of the games that they woulda won if the referee woulda been someone other than Derek Shepherd. Then after getting a decent split with the Gophers in their barn, the Seawolves play two of their best games of the year and shoulda came away with points against CC at the Sully. It coulda been frustration from the CC series that lead to a 3 point weekend in Duluth. But then DU comes to the Sully and the Seawolves woulda won the first game if Mannino doesn't play what Gwozdecky called his best game of his career. I mean come on ... UAA outshot the Pie-in-ears that night 36-16. Sigh. Then after securing the meaningless Governors Cup from the lackey's up in Squarebanks the team goes to CC and plays it's two worst games of the year; no shoulda's no woulda's, and no coulda's that weekend. Just one team eating another teams lunch. Then 2 games against Wisconsin at the Sully that they sure coulda won before going to UND where they brutally outplayed the Sioux and woulda won if they didn't give up two soft goals. Then the best weekend at home taking 3 points from MTU, but you know what? They coulda and shoulda got 4. No shoulda's or coulda's the next weekend I think. The games against the Mavericks were close enough but they just played better for 120 minutes. Then back home against St. Cloud and two games UAA definitely shoulda won. A freak goal for the opposition that had it not happened UAA woulda won. Then the Seawolves clearly outplay another team outshooting them 31-13 and lose? A definite shoulda. The rest of the games were all coulda's in my mind. If only the Seawolves coulda found the back of the net.
The team was in virtually EVERY game going into the 3rd period this year. Virtually EVERY single one. None of that makes it any easier to swallow I guess.
I'm proud of the way the team played this year; I'm not proud of the results. Sometimes karma isn't with you. I swore at the hockey gods openly and often. Everyone grasps for straws to explain it. What am I supposed to say? Shit ... a few bounces here and there and it could have been a bit different all season long. There are any number of excuses besides the coulda, woulda, shoulda bullshit. The team is young. But honestly it isn't much younger than anyone else in the league. This player or that player was snakebitten. Man ... those were some long lasting snakebites. I can go back and forth with first one excuse and then an equally reasonable point to counter the excuse. It really just comes down to the old "if" equation. "If" my grandma had balls then she wouldn't be my grandma.
There's nothing to do but wait until next year. I'll be back tomorrow with some sort my regular Sunday Potpourri .... I guess. Then during the next week I'll have a final recruit update and then I'll have the UAA Fan Blog Awards. After that I'll have one final entry before retiring for the off-season.