Thursday, February 05, 2009

An Opportunity Arrives

I note here often how it seems that each new series in the WCHA is the most important series of the year. Once again, this weekend the Seawolves face a very important series.

UAA is 3 points behind this weekends opponent the St. Cloud Huskies and only 5 points away from the 3 teams currently tied for 4th place. A 4 point weekend (something the Seawolves haven't had this season) will position the Seawolves for that sniff of home-ice for the playoffs that I've mentioned.

But with opportunity comes risk. Underperform this weekend and you can pretty much kiss dreams of a home-ice playoff series goodbye. St. Cloud faces much the same scenario as UAA this weekend. Get some good points up here and they continue to have a chance at home ice. Lose all 4 points and they'll be in a bit of a hole.

I think that last weekend's benching of Tommy Grant and Josh Lunden should have sent a strong lasting message to the whole team. The proper effort must be given by each and every Seawolf player to hit the ice. Anything less at this point is unacceptable. I have to applaud the coaching staff for ensuring that their team understands the importance of putting out that 110% effort.

Lots of guys had their best games of the year last Saturday night. But let's not forget that more than a few had one of their worst games the night before. In this league, at this level and with so much on the line there can be nothing less than maximum effort both nights this weekend.

It will be interesting to see which of the multiple line-ups we've seen recently take the ice Friday night. I'm not about to try to predict it. I'm also not bothering to check team stats etc... and assign any importance to same here today. I just don't care. Regardless of PP/PK percentages, number of penalties, height/weight differentials and whatever else might be enlightening in the usual sense, the most important thing to know is that a quality WCHA opponent who is just ahead in the standings is coming to the rink. Beat them twice and you have a bit of something going. Fail to beat them twice and it's pretty much time to start talking about upset wins in a playoff road series.

This Seawolves squad is every bit capable of sweeping the Huskies. They just have to believe that and give the proper effort. Not really much else to say. For me, I'd like something other than beating UA_ for the Governor's Cup to hang my fan hat on.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

"This Seawolves squad is every bit capable of sweeping the Huskies. They just have to believe that and give the proper effort. " - you said it all with that line.

Anonymous said...

I am still worried the coach will sit out his top players, and switch all his lines around.
He has done this for 3 years now.
St. Cloud has scored a 100 plus goals this year, look out goalies.
All the best under the circumstances.

Seawolf fan

Anonymous said...

can you say shooting gallery this weekend?

Donald Dunlop said...

Anon@546:
On the whole this year the Seawolves have been relatively stingy in giving up shots on goal. For most of the season the average was around 25 per.

Seawolf fan:
Grant and Lunden won't be sitting out on Friday. Other than Kevin Clark's suspension we should expect to see the best possible lineup.

Anon@440:
I really didn't feel like looking at a bunch of stats and tryiing to find some analysis of all that which would make sense. So thanks for saying that I summed it up well.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to hear that even Gwozdecky switched his lines up last Friday and Saturday. His team is #1 in the league, so I guess that's not always a bad strategy.

akhockeyfanatic said...

Confidence...confidence....confidence.....confidence......confidence. Go get 'em, boys!! We don't want a win this weekend. We want a sweep. We know you can do it.

Anonymous said...

Did you watch the coaches show? Sounds like as of Tuesday when they taped it, Shyiak wasn't sure that Lunden and Grant would be in the line up on Friday.

He made some comment that he needs to be sure they are all on the same page. I hope they play, he sent his message. Seems like sitting them out again would start to cause resentment. I say play them!

Will said...

I want to believe the guys can do it this weekend, but we have been disappointed too many times before. If they play the game we know they are capable of, they can win this weekend. If they have another Friday night game like last weekend we can only wonder why. Don't expect a full house as it is going to take a lot more wins to get the so called Anchorage hockey fans back into the seats. There will be the die hard Seawolve fans there, so give us something to cheer for and we will try to make up for the several thousand that don't show up to see you guys play.

Anonymous said...

I didn't watch the Coach's show and didn't hear his comments. But I am sure he has good reason to bench them if that is his plan. We certainly don't know what goes on with the team. Most of us see the players on the ice and that is it. It could be their attitude, could be their effort (or lack of), could be "extra curricular activities" outside of hockey. Who knows? Let's put our trust in Shyiak. He's not going to sabotage things without good reason. His reputation and future is on the line with every decision he makes. We gotta be positive here and put trust, faith and hope that Shyiak and the boys will turn things around for the remainder of the season. The only thing we know for sure is that we can do OUR part in getting to the Sullivan both nights. Let's all bring a friend or two, yell, scream, clap and cheer our asses off.

Anonymous said...

According to the St. Cloud paper, UAA hasn't swept SCSU since 1988. Yikes.

Anonymous said...

Nice summary and I think anything is possible this weekend. SCSU has shown flashes of great play and flashes of down right horrid play.

In then end, I smell a split.

Go Huskies :)

Suze said...

1988? Wow. Still, UAA has beaten every team in the league except for the Badgers. They have beaten teams much better than the Huskies. They have the ability to get 4 points this weekend!

Anonymous said...

As far as the fans coming back its Definitely going to take alot more than wins and ..We have to rebuild the entire PPROGRAM including the following.

Reputation on and off the ice from the Alaska Hockey community

Reputation and Excitement on Campus

Marketing and personel to do it

Band/pep Commitee

Community Liason

Hockey/Facility/program developement commitee

These would be a Start with about 10 sub headings under Each Catagory..Right now we are continueing to lose fans despite an improved product on the ice but there are Serious Issues with the above matters that if are not addressed will continue to downward spiral. This is a Full time Job for 2 to 3 of the right people that would pay for themselves with increased attendance..Thats Right Pay for Themselves if they were good..If there not good then theres a real big problem...I implore The University to Make Big Changes because our program depends on it Now and in the future and because there are 3000 people that care...Giving away tickets doesnt work. It didn't work last year and wont work this year. In fact I think it Devalues the product.I am not puting this on the Blog to bitch its because I care and want to see action,a plan,or a completely different approach to everthing to start BUILDING the program like a true WCHA program...

Anonymous said...

Lundin, Robinson, Christianson not dressing for tonights game.

Anonymous said...

Well that makes sense! Come on, Bryce played fantastic last Saturday night. Coach said in his show last night that if one of the goalies had a strong night, they'd most likely get to play the next game.

What kind of mixed message are you sending Shyiak? :(

spoon said...

anon @ 253,

how would u know that?

Anonymous said...

Actually Bryce was the main reason that last Satuday night should go Down as Highway Robbery.

Anonymous said...

In houghton,michigan tech huskies 1 cc tigers 0 after one period of play.

Anonymous said...

So we have lunden and clark out, robinson and the hot goalie out,
st cloud 101 goals anchorage 69, look out could be a blowout.
Wish the team luck.
Why is the coach siting a captain and this is josh's second game in a row.
We can all pray together.

Seawolf Fan

Anonymous said...

The video time on the seawolve site is wrong for the game tonite, does anybody check anything on the website all week.

Seawolve fan

Anonymous said...

UAA can't stop Ryan LASCH.....did you toss your hat? Hehehe

Anonymous said...

tomorrow we should sit out all our top forwards and our top defenseman, and play our second string goalie. Also make sure we get more penalties than them.
9th place looks good on us.
To bad another year wasted.

Seawolf fan

Anonymous said...

He only scored on the pp. (Granted it was 3 times) UAA shut him down 5 on 5. Backstroms penalty was bullshit. What a dive.

Anonymous said...

well in case any of u dont read adn 3 of our captains have beens stripped of their captaincy (robinson,lunden,& crowder) for violation of team rules.

Anonymous said...

With players sitting out for team violations, what responbility doe the coaching staff and administration take for making this a very difficult year for players, fans, and the future of our uaa program. Did we pick the wrong players to lead this team, players make mistakes like all of us, but to dismantle a hockey team in the stretch drive of the playoffs only makes it more difficult to have a successful year.
So close to success this year, one or two games we could have been an 500 team. To all the fans we still have 7 wcha games, left support your team down the stretch.

Seawolf Fan

Anonymous said...

The coach should be able to pick a captain and 2 assistants to monitor his team's off ice activities, if he can not than we should wonder what other internal problems we have on the team.


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