Wednesday, January 21, 2009

MTU/UAA Series: Back To Basics

*image stolen from College Hockey News (Tale of the Tape)

Like many years the WCHA has bunched itself into three tiers of points. The top tier contains 5 teams with only 3 points separation between the top and bottom ... DU (23pts), Wisconsin (22pts), Minnesota (21pts), North Dakota (20pts) and Colorado College (20pts). The second tier has 4 teams separated by only 4 points with Mankato (16pts), UMD (15pts), SCSU (14pts) and UAA (12pts). The third tier is comprised of only Michigan Tech (5pts). UAA is among 6 teams that have played 16 games. The other 4 teams have played 18 games. Michigan Tech has played 18 games.

This weekend's series is once again the most important games of the season for UAA. A failure to gain the maximum number of points and UAA could find itself in the third tier along with MTU. Get the 4 available points and (depending on results in other games) UAA could move to the top of the 2nd tier just a bit more than a sniff away from the 1st tier. I'll be experiencing a high degree of fan anxiety this weekend. It'll be a couple of more weekends before everyone has played the same number of games which will clarify things quite a bit. But for now the Seawolves have to go into this weekend knowing they have an opportunity to do themselves a fair bit of good.

Though MTU has struggled this season to get wins they are far from being a walkover for anyone in the league. The Seawolves will need to play their best two games of the season to accomplish the necessary points gain. As always, this Jamie Russell coached team starts with defense and solid goaltending. Rob Nolan is perhaps as talented as any goaltender in the WCHA. He is a kid that is capable of standing on his head in any game. MTU is the least penalized team in the WCHA. Their GAA is better than UAA's though they are the lowest scoring team in the NCAA.
When you match up the teams on paper UAA is scoring 2.8 goals per game and MTU is giving up 3.12 goals per game. MTU scores just 1.38 goals per game while UAA has given up 3.3 goals per game.

It must therefore be a return to basics weekend for the Seawolves. They must give up as few power play chances as they can. They have to be committed in their own end to deny the Huskies shots. They have to possess the puck in the MTU zone and go strong to the net. If the Seawolves can execute the basic facets of sound hockey they should come out on top in both games. Of course the Seawolves will have to get good goaltending from whomever is between the pipes. MTU obviously isn't a scoring machine but what scoring they have accomplished is reasonably spread throughout their lineup. It isn't time for fancy power play changes. Nor is it time to open the game up to play run and gun pond hockey. Back to basics baby. Back to basics. Play hard-nosed physical hockey. Own the ice surface in front of your home fans. Fancy shit isn't needed or wanted here.

The all-time record between UAA and MTU is 24-23-8 in favor of MTU. Wouldn't it be nice if this coming Sunday the all-time record is 25-24-8 in favor of UAA?

25 comments:

seawolvesfan said...

on paper, or should i say computer screen, the boys should woop the tech huskies. but stranger things have happened before, so there are no guarantees. kinda sad to see that uaa has no winning record against current wcha teams.

Anonymous said...

The Huskies are going to clog it up and IF Nolan gets hot the Huskies are hard to beat. UAA will sweep though.

Runninwiththedogs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Runninwiththedogs said...

The deleted comment was me. READING COMPREHENSION is important.

But, still, take care of my girl while she's up there.

Anonymous said...

We shouldnt have won both Games in Tech the last time the teams met..We were way outshot..This Series is going to be very tough to get a sweep in dont kid yourselves. Very tough.

Anonymous said...

Sadly it appears that the coaches may be going with the same old same old.......

waste of time said...

Lol. Who cares? UAA vs. Tech? Neither team is going anywhere. Don't get your panties in a bunch.

NooksKiller said...

Apparently waste of time only shows when teams are WINNING...I hear theres a junior high girls basketball team thats winning, maybe you should jump on their bandwagon and quit making stupid posts on Donalds blog

waste of time said...

NooksKiller:

My team IS winning.

Suze said...

Well, UA_ looks pretty good in the CCHA standings, but then they have played a lot more games more than everyone else. That always helps a lot. :)

seawolvesfan said...

WASTE OF TIME: who the hell is your team? the baby bears are playing IN THE FREAKING CCHA. thats why they have the record the have

NooksKiller said...

waste of time

your team might be winning but you will never be a winner....better you that you waste time elsewhere...might I suggest you post on stucknut.com, I hear they waste plenty of time

Donald Dunlop said...

LOL.

So the guy whose team is winning comes here to taunt the 9th and 10th place WCHA teams?

Man oh man ... I really attract the idiots. I think it's fairly telling that this dolt is from North Dakota as well.

Gee WasteofFargo ... what is UND's record at Ralphies place against UAA this year? What? 1-1 you say? How'd your team do against MTU? Yeah ... that's what I thought.

Suze said...

The Huskies are really hurting with injuries. I hope UAA doesn't look past them. The Seawolves need to develop that playoff killer instinct.

Donald Dunlop said...

You're right Suze. A sweep is needed for reasons other than just the four points it would give the team.

Will said...

I would like to see the team we watched early in the season. The guys had confidence, good D, shots on goal, and believed they could win. Bring that team back this weekend and the rest of the season. We know you guys can do it.

Anonymous said...

HOW ABOUT SOME PHYSICAL SEAWOLVE PLAY!!!????

BetterHockeyMindThanDonald said...

Pep band tonight or Saturday does anyone know???

Anonymous said...

Lets look at some quick numbers that never show up on the blog. Scoring off. in wcha play 9th. Scoring def. in wcha play 9th. Power play 9.3 % in wcha play 9th. Penalty kill 76% in wcha play 9th. Probably why this team is sitting in 9th place. Add in a save percentage of 87%. The question is it a lack of talent or a lack of coaching. I would think it is the latter as specialty teams and systems is the base of playing def. and manufacturing scoring and playing you up or one down on specialty teams. Huge weekend. I would say a sweep is essential and anything less would be huge dissapointment.

waste of time said...

Oh, come on guys. Lighten up a little. I hope you guys crush tech.

Donald: you're right. Sioux fan.

Off topic question for you Alaska people: Do guys hate the other schools in your state as much as UND/NDSU hate each other?

Suze said...

I heard that the pep band (at least the Front Row Seats) is not happening this year. A huge disappointment. I have no idea if they are trying to get a highschool band or not. I guess we'll see tonight. My guess is no.

seawolvesfan said...

WASTE OF TIME: FUCK UAF! funny thing is that one of my favorite teachers here at service got her teaching degree at UAF...but its all right cuz shes a RED SOX FAN

seawolvesfan said...

lets see if my game day curse continues: unofficialy 0-4-0

Anonymous said...

seawolvesfan
quit jinxing the team you fucker.




insideseawolf

annabelle said...

GO SEAWOLVES!!!! !

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