Friday, February 06, 2009

SCSU 3 - UAA 1

I've got what I believe to be some relevant but perhaps strongly critical things to say tonight. Before I do though, I'm going to watch the rebroadcast to help me confirm what I think was the problem for the Seawolves tonight. So I'll write more in a couple of hours.

Well. The rebroadcast appears to have been dropped as GCI goes with the "Jewlery Television" instead. Irony ... I love you. Thanks a lot GCI. Oh well ... I hope the folks that didn't go to the game are pissed off that they can't see the game now. They don't deserve to see it. What a ridiculous crowd. Anchorage sports fans are the top of the shit heap.

So here's my deal. Shyiak got outcoached by Motzko tonight. Motzko smartly utilized a high zone trap to hem the Seawolves in their own end. I saw no indication of Shyaik trying to counter it. Instead I saw players again and again trying to work the standard breakout only to be met by forecheckers at the half-wall again and again and again.

There were a few times where UAA blueliners realized the situation and skated through the trapping or even went over it. But that was the exception to the rule.

Down by two goals with a bit over two and half minutes left in the game Shyiak had two chances to pull the goalie ... Jonny O was trying to come off and got sent back. That led to a waste of a good 30 seconds where the team could have had an extra attacker on the ice. That certainly wasn't to blame for the loss. But a coach has got to do the right things from the bench to give his team a chance to win. Dave Shyiak didn't do that tonight in my mind. I should repeat my criticism of him in the Friday night loss to MTU during the last home series. With a one goal lead and a power play and under 1:30 to play Shyiak doesn't call a timeout and tell his team to protect the lead. Instead he sends out guys that are keyed up to score a goal. Then Leinweber gets a shot blocked and MTU goes on a counterattack and scores to tie the game. They Shyiak blamed the mistake that Leinweber made? Nope Coach ... that one was on you too.

It's time for Dave Shyiak to stand up and take some responsibility for this teams performance. Again and again during his tenure we've seen a team in a position to win a game only to have it frittered away by a mistake. You get a timeout for a reason ... use it once in a while to motivate your team or to teach instead of just holding onto it in case you might need it to set up a play from a late faceoff at the end of the game. Tonight the trainer had to run off the ice to get a board so they could diagram the play. What sort of preparation is that?

The Seawolves had enough good chances to finish and win the game. The Wiles breakaway, the Grant penalty shot etc. Jonny O played perhaps his best game of the year if not his career. He made at least three great saves and one that could easily be labeled as the NCAA save of the year. Seriously, it was ESPN Top Ten saves of the year kind of stuff. I really would love to have seen it again.

Dear UAA Bleacher Nazis:
If Mr. Suze and I decide to start a "BULLSHIT" chant in response to a horrible call by the referee don't even think about coming anywhere near me to attempt to stop it. Seriously. We'll end up in court. If a thousand students in Michigan can chant "Fuck You State" for 5 minutes then Bob and I can chant bullshit three times.

44 comments:

Suze said...

The ADN article is already up. I was shocked to read this:

"UAA played without junior wing Josh Lunden, former captain Mat Robinson, a defenseman, and sophomore goaltender Bryce Christianson, who last week backstopped UAA to an upset overtime win at Western Collegiate Hockey Association-leading Denver. All three sat because of unspecified violations of team rules, said UAA athletic director Steve Cobb.

Also, a UAA spokesperson said Robinson was stripped of his captaincy and assistant captains Lunden and Paul Crowder, who played Friday, were stripped of their letters. Cobb said other players would be sitting out tonight for the same reason players were benched Friday. UAA also was without junior winger Kevin Clark, who had to sit out after getting sentenced to a game disqualification in the Denver game last week."

Real good guys, way to go. No wonder nobody wants to bring a friend to the games, the guys have won TWO games on home ice all season. Smallest crowd ever. Sad.

Donald Dunlop said...

What did they do? How many guys? How many games are they going to miss? I'm all about respecting players privacy; but you know what ... at every other school you get details for this kind of thing.

I hate to be a "sky is falling" kind of guy but I can see something like this putting a dagger in the heart of the rest of the season.

Hopefully, something will leak out.

superseawolffan said...

I don't know about the team violations or disciplinary actions, but I will say that 2700 fans in attendance is pretty damn bad. What the f**k happened to the fan base? I recently saw a UAA promotion of $39 for 4 people. Oh my god, what a great deal! I live in WI., and recently paid $25 for a crappy bench seat to see St.Cloud vs UMD. I will support this wonderful team from afar, because I believe winning is in their destiny. After so much struggle, it has to be. Get off your ass fans, or you will eventually lose your team. Go Wolves!!

Neil said...

Hell, my daughter doesn't want to go to the games because they switched the damn mascot from something likeable to kids to a papermache predator looking thing. I guess her wisdom has saved me a shit ton of money this year

Anonymous said...

For those of you who were bitching about Shyiak benching his players........now we sorta kinda know that he may have had real reasons for his decision and wasn't doing it just to be a dick. I feel sorry for the rest of the players on the team who are serious about hockey. This kind of stuff not only hurts the team but the program's reputation as well. But I have to remind myself that we are dealing with young men who don't always make the right choices. But hell, I'm over 50 yrs old and I'm sure some say I don't always make good choices either. But either way...it's a downright shame. I'm sounding a bit like Debbie Downer tonight. Hopefully we'll have a better outcome on Saturday night. Go Seawolves......still love ya!!!

ZzzzZzz said...

That was SAD, UNINSPIRED hockey... Sad, uninspired coaching too...

First, kudos to Haddad, Wiles, and Portwood, I thought they played a great game and clearly deserved to be the #1 line tonight. Line 2 and line 3 clearly didn’t show up to play, though Aiken skated hard most of the night.

I thought Ken Selby was arguably the best player on the ice for the Seawolves though. He was around the net all night finding the puck, generating chances, and he alone must have attempted half of the shots for the team. Selby and Bales looked to have real chemistry together and created numerous chances even for basically having a “road-cone” on the other wing. Carlson was clearly out of place as a defenseman playing wing in his first game of the season. Why coach would you set a guy up like that??? Where’s Smith? Yet when it came to the end of the game and the teams were playing 4 on 4 Shyiak sends Moir (who didn’t have much of a game either) onto the ice with Bales instead of playing Selby. Ditto for the power-play, no Selby. I guess it didn’t much matter by then, due to yet another game filled with more shoddy special teams play, it was all but in the books anyway….

I think calling-out the “fan base” for poor attendance is pretty much moot point at this juncture. I’ve been faithfully watching the Seawolves loose most of their games for the better part of 20 years now and games like tonight make me think maybe I should have spent my money on a movie ticket instead…

Donald Dunlop said...

Zzzzz:
All good observations. I'll add that Selby didn't get credit for a couple of his shots too!

NooksKiller said...

Same ole same ole. but I know what you mean about these shitbag, lazy ass fans that don't understand what HOME ICE means...If I had a dollar for everytime I had to tell some asshole to go to the library if he wants quiet, I could buy off Albers

Donald Dunlop said...

And OMG ...

The overhead replay of that save Jonny O made was INCREDIBLE ...

I hope to god there is someone somewhere that captures that replay and posts it on the Internet somewhere. WOW ...

NooksKiller said...

p.s. everytime Lasch hits the ice, someone needs to shadow his ass and make sure he eats shit when he touches the puck...much like what the rest of the WCHA does to Tommy

sitkafan said...

I wonder who will have the C and A put on their jersey?

Donald Dunlop said...

Sitkafan:
A good question.

Anonymous said...

I saw Jeremy Smith in the stands with a sizable cast on his right wrist...that is probably why he wasn't out there tonite......

ZZzzz said...

I have to say, for 2700 fans, the amount of sustained noise leading up to Grant's feeble penalty shot attempt was rather impressive...

Anonymous said...

I'll give credit to Olthius...he alone kept it from being 6 or 7 goals...that save was fabulous. But that's where the praise ends. Your team looked slow. We skated all around you for 80% of the game. Now you have a meltdown off the ice with players too. So if its not meltdowns on the ice, it's off the ice. I guess it follows the historical pattern.

Anonymous said...

For all the disruption and lack of leadership of the vets (for months now), I thought the team played well. Our No. 1 line out played and out scoreded Lasch's line all night. Was just getting interesting when that dumb-ass two-referee system reared its ugly head and the outside stripes thought he saw something the ref on the play didn't. All this adversity may lead to something yet. Calling the coach this and that is cancer. You think it's easy dealing with stripping letters? And don't buy the bullshit these are just young kids. There are hundreds of skaters in the junior ranks who would give their eye teeth to skate in the WCHA. Suck it up, boys. Rules is rules.

Anonymous said...

With the off ice antics of the team, there is not much hope of us finishing higher than 9th.
Our only chance is to get our team ready for the playoffs, go with your on ice leaders on the team and give 100%. Playoffs are best of 3 games.

We could have been a 500 hockey team, but with players sitting out and juggling lines every game.
Our focus must be on getting ready for the playoffs.
All the best down the stretch.

Fan

Anonymous said...

I think it was simply a curfew issue. I see it as Shyiak not taking any crap from his players, no matter how essential they are to the team. I think he's making a good statement to his players. I think we'll see a much better game since we'll have Lunden and Clark Back. I'm sure Clark will be back barring that he didn't get in trouble in Denver as well. Crowder will probably sit tonight though.

Anonymous said...

Saturday night in Denver - team comes from behind down 2-0 after being blown out the night before scores another shorthanded goal late in game to tie game and then wins in overtime. The team is elated because of their win over Denver the #1 team in the WCHA. Shyiak puts a curfew of 1:00am on the players. 15 players thats right 15 players stayed out after curfew pretty much the whole team celebrated their much deserved win.

Probably their biggest win so far this season.

Its not like anyone was arrested as in North Dakota in previous years or various other more serious issues that have arisen over the years with teams and players. All these players did was miss curfew by an hour or two.

These players are young men and Shyiak treats them as teenagers like putting a curfew on New Years Eve even tho the first game after the New Year is 9 days away.

Its not like Shyiak or Blair didn't do something similar in their playing days.

Shyiak's response to missing curfew, bag skate the players upon arrival at practice, strip letters and sit 15 players for one game.

Over reaction is an understatement.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please. One win in Denver is a turning point. They didn't win the cup. Missing curfew is just immature. It's an honor ro play on this team. There is one boss. Don't like it? Find another freakin' place to play. Must be a Canadian feeling sorry for the players (and I'm one of those socialist bastards), bleeding heart as it were.

Anonymous said...

What did Lucia do when his players were caught at Blarneys bar drunk time and time again. It was in the news repeatedly and brought shame on the program. No players even sat out a game!

If that is why Shyiak stripped the letters off the captains, that is really LAME.

About the mascot, not attending a game because of a mascot is the lamest excuse I have ever heard.

Neil said...

Anon 8:41 My daughter refuses to go - I am a single Dad, what am I to do? I really think it's funny that even a 4 year old can tell when the mascot is lame.

Anonymous said...

The majority of players missed curfew by more than an hour or so. The coach is ultimately responsible for their safety and well-being on road trips, and having a curfew in place is to make sure he knows where they are at all times. Now if a player were to get injured or killed on a road trip, everyone would have Shyiaks head. It is a privilege to play college hockey, and the players know there are rules that must be followed.

Captians are suppose to help the coach uphold things like curfew. If they are not doing their job and disobey as well, why the hell should they have the letter on their jerseys. I know boys will be boys, but people in leadership positions are held to a higher standard.

All of these players being sat out could be a costly lesson, but its either that, or ya lose all respect as a coach. Kudos to Shyiak for sitting even his star players to send a message. Lets hope the players that are on the ice tonight pull together and win!

Anonymous said...

With a curfew in place and players being hours late, why do hockey players and coaches have cells.
Were all the players contacted at curfew or only a few.
Hard to believe 15 or more players could miss curfew.
Sad commentary on uaa, this could still be a good year. The coach and the players have to pull together and win tonite.
Have faith, there are reasons things happen, pull together and make a run for the playoffs.
Seawolfe fan

Anonymous said...

Wow, how can you reward bad behavior. would you be saying the samething bullshit if something bad had happening. Ya,they had a big win in Denver (couldn't be prouder). But curfew is set for a reason. It's a poor reflection of self discipline and outward disrespect for the coach. Did you think your boss would ignore you being three hours late to work? No f_ _ Kin way. I agree Kudo to Shyiak. Hope Smith's hands OK, love his tough gritty play. It was googd to see Backstrom back on the ice. Good luck to the players on the ice tonight.

tired of the cycle said...

I think that Shyiak lost this team long before his disciplinary actions for the curfew violations. I think there is a lack of respect for Coach and the team, otherwise these 15 guys would have been back before curfew. Cobb will let it slide a few more years and we will have lost several players who decide to leave, transfer or just plane quit. And once again we will have to start over. You can't even say "rebuild" because that would mean that we actually had something going at one time. When it's been almost 20 years since our last winning season, we would call it starting over. Perpetual losing sucks!

Anonymous said...

Heres the problem. The Rumor is the Leaders and players havnt been making curfew all year. Its the Coaches fault for not checking on them and haveing the pulse of the team especially the Captains. The coaches depend on the Captains to set the stage but have to lay those ground rules down with them and then enforce it and monitor it. With that being the case a Team Bag Skate was more than enough considering that the Coaches are to blame to. Find new Captains...thats a tough call because they are your leaders and will continue to be. Now what you have is a Public Debacle thats as much the Coaches fault as anyone and now you are taking it out on the team and the program by showing publicly it wont be accepted ??This is puting the TEAM further in the hole both on the ice and most importantly with the Community. Considering the circumstances the curfew should allow for some time for the guys to gather and Team build.. If there was any time to draw your team together it was over this game... Now you are going to sit 17 different players over the course of the rest of the Season and decimate any chances of cohesiveness and drag the incident on for the rest of the Season..That is ABSOLUTELY RIDICOULOUS TO DO THAT TO THE PROGRAM and now you are going to have nothing but resentment fron your players and the fans that cars..Dont get me wrong everybody is for Discipline and we have needed a hell of alot more of it especially on the ice But I totally disagree on further setting the program back over the curfew incident considering the supposedly history of enforcement of curfews and the fallout that will be heaped on the School and the Hockey program. We have a absolute Monster problem with our hockey Program as can be told by the Fans in attendance all Season and its is getting much worse by the game if you moniter things by fans in the Sully. Now that this incident been handled this way alls we can ask now is to get it over with or rethink what price the program should pay for what should have been an internal Team issue.

Anonymous said...

This is kinda off topic, but i'll hit on the one point nobody has all year. Most people that actually played any sport higher than youth/high school will understand that teams are suppose to peak at a certain time during the year. UAA peaked at the beginning of the season, and its pretty much been all down hill from there. Squeeze in some victories here and there, but for the most part they are on the downhill slide. Its unfortunate, but its how sports and all teams go. Look at Wisconsin. They started out the year shitty, and now they are right up there near the top, playing some of the best hockey in the nation. Notre Dame has been somewhat an exception to the rule, but I definately dont foresee them winning a national title. I know the WCHA is a tough conference, and any given night anything can happen, but UAA will be on the road for the play-offs, and will be in the ninth seed.

As far as getting more fans, someone nailed in on the head when they said they need two or three people out there marketing and doing PR. Why not make it an internship for marketing majors, and make about ten percent of their grade the ability to put more fans in the seats. I remember in the late 80's and on into the 90's where UAA hockey was the hottest ticket in town. Give these college students a chance to do some work in their major, and the school wont have to pay much but maybe for some flyers and signs. Small cost considering the potential effect.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it??? Rumors only hurt the team more. Only the players and the coashes know the facts. This is a talented group of young men who want to win. We can blame the players we can blame the coaches but at the end of the day were still in the same spot. The way I look at it is - it was a combine effort to win and a combine effort tp be where they are. Let's stop pointing fingers and help salvage the rest of the season. Communoty support is a good place to start. I thought Alaska fan were some of the best so where are you? Keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

donald, where do you sit at the sully? I want to join "BULLSHIT" chanting group.

Anonymous said...

Cobb, wake up!!

Suze said...

Jonnie O, Selby was the best player on the ice last night. Ken Selby was the second best.

Suze said...

Oops, I messed that up! Jonnie O #1 player for UAA, Selby #2!!

Anonymous said...

The coach allowed the players to pick the captains and assistants, I thought that should be a coach's decision.
When pro teams don's play well that don's sit out all the players.
The seek direction from the coach.
If we do well down the stretch, good for the coach, if we falter more than look in the mirror.

6 wcha games to go after this weekend, not all is lost.
Anchorage has done well in a short playoff series. Good things may come from this situation.
Be postive

Seawolfe fan

Anonymous said...

maybe everybody will pissed off and we come out and get points. I agree its over and I THINK THERES MORE PRESSURE on more People than people know about so lets support what we have and Good luck to Everyone tonight.

Anonymous said...

hopefully we will get more fans tonight. Those who attend....let's rally like we did when Grant went for the penalty shot. That was awesome and we should be that loud EVERY game whether there is a penalty shot or not. I am optimistic that the team will come out and play tonight and will WIN. Let's give them our continued support.

Donald Dunlop said...

I tend to think that if the players thought one win over DU was reason for some HUGE celebration then they're setting the bar kind of low.

I agree that a one game suspension for 15 or 17 players seems a bit harsh on first glimpse. But I'd have to say that if they've been late on curfews all season then it's justice I guess.

All I really know is that the Seawolves were definitely better than their record last season AND that is one way I DID NOT want to be describing this years team. For me, I judge by whether or not I think the team plays up to it's potential. And so far this season they haven't played up to their full potential very often.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather the UAA coaches take a page from Lucia's rule book and simply handle the players privately and "internally".

Anonymous said...

Last night was dismal on attendance. Hopefully the $39 four pack (tickets/hotdogs/sodas) promotion will help in the coming games-it is even good for the UAF game. I stuck that out on Craigslist to spread it around a little more. And for all who have kids who are skaters, Sunday (2/8) from 1pm to 3pm you can skate with the team at Westchester Lagoon. So lace them up and come on down.

Donald Dunlop said...

anon@401:
I can think of any number of punishments that would be equal justice to making 15 or 17 (whatever) players sit out a game.

Strip the C's and A's is all good but then how about...

6AM (30 min) conditioning practices for two weeks?
17 players "volunteer" at Beans Cafe?
Assign them to haul all the equipment for the TV Students?

Anything that would teach the discipline/leadership lesson without hurting the team on the ice. Lunden and Robinson were missed last night and perhaps could have been the difference if given a chance. Sitting players out hurts the teams performance.

Losing games because of discipline WONT teach the team how to win ... and after all ... that was what this season was supposed to be all about. We're heavy with juniors and sophomores and will have a huge upperclass.

If we want to accomplish anything next year with that advantage (and it will be an advantage) then it is important that we have some sort of "taste" of that this season.

I'll assume that Shyiak wants the best outcome from the situation. So I'm concerned about what will happen with the transgressing players attitudes. Hopefully, they accept and respect Shyiak's punishments without it affecting the whole coach/player team relationship dynamic.

My bottom line is ... I want to see this team win.

englishdelphinium said...

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!

I agree that there are other ways to impose discipline. Benching may have worked with just 3 last week, but benching half the team will have a huge impact. This happened a few years back under John Hill over book purchases or something. Yes, make the players do something positive for breaking curfew. The coach should have ordered pizza and watched the overtime win with the team last week.

Anonymous said...

to: Donald
Sitting out key players has only hurt the chances of the whole team having a winning season.
Yes, the coach could have chosen other ways to discipline the players individually, he chose this path, I only hope it will not create animosity amongest the players toward each other.
For three years the coach has chosen the easy way out.
To motivate and teach is the primary responsiblity of the coach.
All the best to the team tonite.

Seawolfe Fan

Anonymous said...

On the ice tonight, and last week-end the boys seem to be playing harder to cover for those sitting. Teamwork. I don't think there is animosity. It doesn't show on the ice. To those given the extra ice good on you for performing well. To only allow 10 shots, good job.
It must have been a hard call for the coaches to bench players but I see their point. Ultimately they are responsible for the boys when they are away. With so many returning players next year, to clamp down now is probably a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Only a few more players to sit out, than on with the playoffs.
The big guns will be back next week for minnesota. Both goalies played well the weekend. We could realy play spoilers with minnesota and north dakota. Kevin Clark did well as a color commentator with Kirk. This team is starting to jell at the right time.
Good luck in gopher land this week.
Seawolve FAn

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