image stolen from College Hockey News "Tale of the Tape"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.