Saturday, January 17, 2009

Kato 7 - Seawolves 1: FUGLY

This should be short and sweet. Ok well not exactly sweet. That game was one of the ugliest losses I've ever witnessed. How many Seawolves could possibly fall down on their asses at crucial moments? Did the Maverick's trainer sharpen UAA's skates? I realize here that if a player's skates weren't sharp, he'd know it and take some action. But I can't remember seeing that many different players lose an edge and go down ... in ... um ... let's see ... what's the word I'm looking for ... oh yeah ... EVER.

The game was essentially over when Olthuis fell down in the corner while trying to make a long pass to generate a chance. My daughter commented at that point that the way the team was playing she didn't think they'd be able to come back. She pegged it.

I'm not saying here that UAA players weren't trying at times. They were but on the whole whatever they did try was really ineffecitve. I liked what I saw from August Aiken for the most part (the late slashing penalty wasn't real cool). I think he could move up the line chart over the course of the rest of the season. I liked Kevin Clark's fire for the most part (except the retaliatory slash he got called for). I could go down the player list here and mention a positive and a negative for nearly every player. But I won't since you get the point. Let me just end this section with one little tidbit of advice ... um ... try backchecking a little bit eh?

The DRAMATIC change in the way the referees called the game could have had some effect I suppose but they aren't really to blame. I will say that the manhandling that the homer-boy linesman gave Nick Haddad should honestly be addressed by Coach Shyiak to the WCHA Director of Officiating. Pushing a kid into the box who wasn't trying to resist in any visible manner is way over the line.

I wasn't impressed at all with the repetitive, uncreative power play. It was simply the same thing over and over. Move the puck back and forth twice and shoot from the point. It's good that they improved somewhat from past games in trying to get those shots through but seriously, how hard is it to defend against the same thing over and over?

I could go on and on here with regard to the ugliness that the Seawolves foisted on college hockey fans tonight. But I won't. It goes down as one loss. The WCHA mantra is win at home and split on the road. The Seawolves got the split. They might have only marginally outplayed Mankato on Friday but they did get the W. This is definitely one the guys need to forget as quickly as possible. It was embarrassing and frankly impossible to defend ... I'm just happy that time is linear and the game is already in the past. At least HBO is rerunning a "Rome" episode tonight ... Titus Pullo is always sure to provide positive entertainment.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's easy for us fans to judge, but what Troy Jutting did tonight worked. He sat five of his better players and all the freshmen were on the ice.

I realize that UAA is not that deep, but maybe it's time for some of the guys to watch the game from the stands. They had no passion, they let the Mavs beat them to loose pucks all night long. MOVE YOUR FEET guys.

The difference between this team and the one that beat UND and CC is simply amazing. 4 points against Tech would be a nice redemption. Tech has ONE win all season, against UAA. Let's not let them have any more.

BTW, did anyone else hear the announcer mention that Crowder was going pro next year? Is Grant snake bit? He should easily have had 3 goals on the weekend.

LetsGoMavs said...

If you seriously thought your guy wasn't fighting going to the box, then you didn't get a clear feed on your internet picture. They attempted to get him there a couple of times to only have him fight and lunge back. I don't think this justifies the official throwing him in there the way he did but he put weight forward and I think the official thought he was coming again so he threw his weight on him. I don't think he can really get into any trouble for that, considering how many times your guy was fighting with him and the other official.

I really don't get why the coach didn't pull Johnny O. He was off tonight, for sure. Though, some really nice goals went in too.

Overall your guys didn't skate and were outplayed in basically all areas by the Mavericks.

Sucks on the falling down...that was the Mavericks last night. I guess ice is slippery:)

Your boys seemed just fine after the game. I saw them all out and I must say, the Seawolves have some lookers:)

The better team won tonight, fair and fair. Basically the same as last night...just reversed rolls.

UAA fans can blame it on whatever but it comes down to flat out crappy playing by your players tonight.

OMG...word verification: exottict. Hmm...

LetsGoMavs said...

Also, Anon. has a point...many Mavs were sitting for the freshman tonight, so there was a different intensitity tonight. The Freshmen wanted to prove they can play and the veterans on the ice wanted to secure their spots.

Suze said...

I agree, coach should have pulled Olthuis. It might have given the team a spark.

LetsGoMavs said...

For the record...hottest Seawolf I saw tonight: http://www.goseawolves.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=58451&SPID=6373&DB_OEM_ID=13400&ATCLID=675388&Q_SEASON=2008

and the ugliest:
http://www.goseawolves.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=58451&SPID=6373&DB_OEM_ID=13400&ATCLID=1150453&Q_SEASON=2008

Just had to share since I know Donald really misses my "Hot or Not".

Born Again said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Tuton hot? LOL Grant has that rugged good looks about him, he fits right in in Alaska. Plus the guy can score.

LetsGoMavs said...

Grant was NOT good looking at all. To each their own though!

I bet Donald is loving this "looks" conversation on his blog! It's going to drive him to smoke.

Also, I didn't say we were at a bar. I just said "out"...remember, the Alltel is in downtown Mankato with lots of different eating/drinking/whatnot places around. I'll reserve my right to not say where I saw the players.

They must like to roam though because pregame my friend saw them all at the grocery store. He thought that was kinda funny. He said they looked "bored as hell" and was surprised to see them there so close to game time. I suppose walking around the grocery store beats staring at hotel walls.

Anonymous said...

The coaches should have done a whole lot of things differently tonite. Pulling Jonny O. for one, and CHANGING UP THE POWER PLAY. God, what does it take? The Seawolves were just outcoached tonite, badly. Too bad.

JSthlin said...

I have been a season ticket holder for over 20 years, and Shyak has done a great job getting skaters, but the only way this team will get over the hump is goaltending. We traditionally had a mediocre team with phenomenal goalies who could steal games. Olthius and Christianson are not up to D1 hockey.

They both occasionally make saves on difficult shots, but cannot be relied on to stop the weak ones.

I have read this blog for the last year and a half, great site, and don't think this will be popular, but if you watched last nights game and listened to the announcers discuss Olthius, They had him nailed as to his ability.

ZZzzzZZz said...

Pull the coach, Free Selby....

Anonymous said...

Olthius should have been pulled after the flop he tried to pass up the ice only to be intercepted by Harrison. That goal really discouraged me as a fan. If the goalie tandem doesn't seem like the answer now, I don't know what else to say. Maybe put in Dusan Sidor and see what happens? I don't think so. We are gonna have to be content with what we have, and, realize that we aren't gonna have a new goalie on the team until 2010. Olthius is like a genius, and will finish his career at UAA. Christianson will be our starting goalie for one year unless Sidor or a freshman can compete for the spot.

Anonymous said...

It is coaching of late. There are goaltending issues, but that is not new. What I am seeing now is a serious change in player confidence and team chemistry. Some of the strongest players are either not playing or they are getting minimal ice-time. The pp is awful and yet the same struggling players are on it. I see players ignoring their wide open teammates on the ice. I see players coughing up the puck again and again and they are still getting ice-time. Coaching.

Anonymous said...

Coaching. With minutes left in the game, the Mavs had all freshman on the ice. The Wolves went with the tried, the true, and the tired. Besides Clark being the punk he can be, there was no leadership from the leaders. And this falling down on the faceoff...

Anonymous said...

Players were falling all over the place. Resting their butts on the bench would have made more sense than letting them rest them on the ice. Coaching.

Anonymous said...

JStehle you may be a fan for 20 years but im not to sure you know much about Hockey..You cant be lumping Bryce and Johhny O together for several different reasons..Stealing games?? What about the Michigan Tech game in Houghten Bryce absolutely stole...Early on the College Hockey News credited him and Grant with two of the biggest reasons to the best start in UAA history in the WCHA..That wasnt long ago...He played good in Wisconsin friday night and great here in Anchorage on Friday night..If there was any type of power play UAA gets points both those nights..Before the Wisconsin series he was above a 900 sv pect but was thrown to the wolves On Saturday night when Johhny got Bombed in Wisconsin and the team quit in the third period..They got 3 goals on 5 shots and the two saves he made were on a breakaway and 2 on 0 so it could have been worse..That is one of the Reasons his stats are squed...Good for the Coaches not throwing him in to Mankato to clean up after Johhny O again.. Both of the first two Goals were on Johhny and he should have to finish his mess...People forget that Bryce is still a Rookie as he played his first game for the Seawolves less than a year ago as he joined the team in Mid Season..With almost all Rookie Goalies at any level consistancy is always an issue early on..Johhnys played over 50 games and his at the end of his Junior year.. Any one at the Sully and around Hockey or who has some Hockey MOXI knows Bryce is the Guy now and in the future..As far as the comment on Sidor getting a chance from the fan/expert you need to go watch a practice and then spout off..He isnt even close yet and he was one of the best Goalies in the NAHL..UAAs issues are SIMPLE..In comparing the first half and the second half it all comes down to Scoring at opportune times especially on the powerplay..When you go a MONTH WITH OUT ONE POWERPLAY GOAL i dont care who you have in net your not going to WIN in the WCHA...And for all the Brain Surgeons/Hockey Experts you cant compare the Goalies on UAA or lump them together as one is a Veteran and has had his chance and one is Barely 10games into his Career and is still a Rookie in my mind and that is a fact..

Anonymous said...

I've seen freshmen goalies who play fantastic from day one. Bryce has had enough time to establish himself. I do feel he is stronger than Jonnie O, as he can at least handle the puck. But he got both starts against Wisconsin, and we got swept big time.

Look at the WCHA goalie stats, UAA is at the bottom of the barrel, and they haven't had anyone consistently solid since Lawson's freshman year. That's a LONG time ago. I hope the coaching staff is looking for that special goalie to help turn things around, because this team has some serious talent.

There does seem to be a different feel to this team since the break, they don't look confident, and they don't look like they are having fun out there. They are hanging their heads when they come off the ice. But what can the coaching staff do with a short roster? Daychief and McCabe bailing really hurt this team. They only have about 3 guys sitting out each night. Jutting sat FIVE of his better guys and replaced them with freshmen last night, and it gave the team a huge spark. Shyiak doesn't have that luxury. The only player I would like to see get more ice time is Selby.

Vidmar makes mistake after mistake, and Carlson hasn't shown anything special. You need 12 forwards for 4 lines, but UAA only has 13 on the roster.

Bottom line, the team has got to get the special teams working, and they need more players to step up and score some goals. Clark, Bales, Parkinson, Wiles, Portwood, etc. And the passing needs to get better!! At this stage of their careers they should be capable of making a cross ice pass STICK TO STICK. Not behind of or in front of the player!!

Anonymous said...

The forwards need to score. With the current power play there is no hope in hell of scoring. Put Robinson and Lafranchise back on the pp together with Grant, Crowder and Portwood.

Anonymous said...

I like that combo, why is Haddad on the PP anyway?

JSthlin said...

Rather than insult any hockey knowledge of anyone out there, or try to defend mine, I do agree that Bryce is marginally better than Olthius, and my preference in goal, but He has had plenty of games to prove himself, and his Save % and GAA just do not show it.

As far as being "the guy", I assume he will be here and compete for the position until he graduates, as I think his dad worked a pretty good deal for him to come.

As vehemently as he is being defended, I suspect a little nepotism at work in your post.

(Big word for family).

Anonymous said...

Hey Dipshit we got swept because Wisconsin scored on there powerplays end we didnt..End of Story..

JSthlin said...

Big Man for anonymous.

Nuff' said, guess we just have to agree that you disagree.

ZZzzz said...

The bottom line is teams like Wisconsin convert on almost all of their quality scoring opportunities, UAA doesn’t. Say what you want about goaltending, but if the offense doesn’t convert their chances the game is usually going to go the other way. I think no small part of this is how the coach uses the players he has at his disposal. Has he done a good job of that? I would say NO.

First, there are forwards playing on the top scoring lines that don’t contribute much more than a little “physical” presence. What is the benefit of continually playing guys on the top lines that show very limited offensive potential?? The third line could use a shake-up as well. Each of these guys seems to have good offensive potential but for whatever reason they are not providing consistent scoring as a unit. Why not move Parkinson and Moir around to see if they would find chemistry on another line. With the exception of Grant/Crowder and Lunden/Clark all the other forward combinations should be up for change. As we saw last night in Mankato sitting a few “top” players in the stands for a game can work wonders. This brings me to Ken Selby, a guy that has been stuck in the stands for much of his career. Nobody seems to know why a player who possesses great skills with the puck, a quick shot, and blazing feet is forced to sit in the stands week after week?? I certainly hope he is getting a good “free” education at UAA because the staff has certainly done nothing to foster his once promising hockey career…

Then there is Jared Tuton. Jared is much more of an impact player when playing forward as opposed to defense. For the first two and a half years of his UAA career he was relied on to set the physical tone for the team by dishing out punishing checks on opposing players. On defense, he has proven to be a solid stay-at-home defenseman but provides far less of an impact on the game from the blue line. I realize that Jared was originally recruited as a defenseman, but since his recent switch the Seawolves are missing the crushing-physical forward we need.

This leads me to the next “convert” Shane Lovedahl. Shane has acquitted himself fairly well as a forward even though he hasn’t showed up on the score sheet. Here again, is a player who spent the first 3 seasons of his UAA career playing one position only to be moved in the last couple months. Why? On the backline he’s solid defensively and provides some needed offensive spark.

The current edition of the Seawolves has more offensive talent than we’ve seen in many years yet for whatever reason the coaching staff can’t put together a coherent system to provide scoring on the power-play. This has been a real thorn-in-the-side for the team this season. Can somebody please tell me why you would play a lefty on the right point during the power-play?? To do so ensures that the player can’t one-time a shot from of a cross-ice pass along the blue line….

Fully utilize the skills of EACH player on the team and we’ll find success.

Donald Dunlop said...

There is such a plethora of good observations here that I don't know where to start. It has spurred an idea for a post tomorrow (Monday) that may perhaps be a bit presumptuous and/or provocative (in it's current form in my mind) but hopefully will reflect more than a few of the comments from this post.

Thanks for the thoughtfulness and expression ... THIS is what makes this blog a good place.

ZzzzZz said...

Oops, my previous post was in error, I should have said Lefty on the left point (not right)...

"Can somebody please tell me why you would play a lefty on the LEFT point during the power-play?? To do so ensures that the player can’t one-time a shot from of a cross-ice pass along the blue line…."

Suze said...

Just remembering that UAA did have another goalie in Gordon, but unfortunately he's gone, due to no fault of the coaching staff. I commend Bryce for leaving his juniors team and joining UAA. It was a big sacrifice that he made.

This team just needs to get back the confidence they had in the first half of the season, and sweeping the last place team this weekend will do wonders for their self esteem.

Anonymous said...

The freshman Goalies that have steped in and singlehandly won games are few and far between..But they all have one thing in common..They didnt play for UAA..They played for CC or Denver or a National powerhouse that gave scoring support and had players and Coaches with winning traditions..Things are building here but everybody remember we are the three time defending Last place doormat of the WCHA...With the exception of Wisconsin and there 4 first round draftpicks on defense we have earned points off everybody else this year...The main thing right now is to not Hammer the Coaches,hammer the powerplay, Goalies ect...and dwell on the mostly positives of moving up in the standings and being in the hunt this late in the season for Once...Crowds are coming back and some positive strides are happining...Yes its not fast enough but we are not dealing with a total Talofous debacle either. Every Body stay positive and enjoy things...I mean we are in the Hunt..

Anonymous said...

Crowds are not coming back ... sad to say. Attendance is at an all time low this year, and the only way to fix that is to WIN. So let's see two wins this weekend Seawolves! Give the fans something to cheer for, and they WILL.

Anyone know if we will have the band we were promised?

Anonymous said...

The only reason the pp is being hammered is because it is awful and the coaches are the ones putting the same one out there in spite of it's failure. Goaltending has been an issue and so has lack of scoring by our forwards. But the pp is something that can be changed and should be to try to get some much needed goals in a game.

GoSeawolves Guy said...

Went to Saturdays game in Mankato...my first time seeing UAA since moving over the summer...really should have gone Friday! Nontheless, it was sure fun to see the Green & Gold! They do have talent, despite the lopsided score, and I am confident they'll show up this weekend. On a side note...really thought the atmosphere was fun at the Alltell Center. Great size, good crowd...much different than watching on TV. Wish the Sully was like that.

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