Friday, February 13, 2009

Seawolves 2 - Minnesota 2

All year long the knock on the Seawolves has been that goaltending hasn't been up to snuff. I don't see anyway that sort of talk can continue after the last few performances by both Bryce and Jonny O. They haven't just been good lately; they've been excellent to spectacular at times. Doug and the Rug called Bryce as player of the game and they were certainly right tonight. He made at least 3 GREAT saves to keep the team in the game.

Though I thought the undermanned Seawolves played well and gave a respectable account of themselves, they were outplayed at times; enough times that one might say the Gophers should have won the game. But Bryce wasn't having any of that tonight. Shyiak shortened the bench in the third period and it turned out to be an effective move. The Seawolves were at thier best in the 2nd and 3rd period. They played well during OT generating one solid flurry with a scoring chance.

Credit (along with Bryce) has to go to quality defensive play by all the skaters. I thought they did an excellent job throughout the game getting to pucks in their own end and clearing the zone. They challenged and won their fair share of free pucks in the slot as well. The Gophers are no slouches when it comes to attacking the net from all different angles and they definitely got their share of chances. Congrats to all the shot blockers and to players who stayed with their man defensively.

I'd classify it as a good tie for the Seawolves since they came back twice from deficits. A point is a point, and you can't turn your nose up at it when it comes on the road.

I'm already looking forward to tomorrow nights game after the last couple of Saturday performances that the guys have put together. The lineup tomorrow will be of particular interest. The 4th line of Selby, Lovdahl and Carlson didn't play badly by any means but I also noticed they seemed a bit lost at times going forward. That's to be expected with a D guy that has never played center and two guys who have seen tons more bench than ice over their careers. Props to them for their efforts.

The PK is to be congratulated as well. I liked how well everyone moved thier feet shorthanded and stayed aggressive. Other than the first Gopher goal on the power play the Seawolves didn't really give the Gophers many good looks. When they did ... Bryce was dead solid.

I don't know whether to expect a gentlemanly game tomorrow night. I agree with Doug and the Rug that neither team tonight really wanted a tie and there was some serious looking chirping at the end of the game with Stoa and Clark exchanging cheap shots.

For tomorrow UAA will have to find a way to increase their possession in the Gophers end. Jade Portwood had a good game in the Gopher end. He was real strong on the puck and effective whenever he touched it deep. Tyler Moir showed all sorts of hustle. Craig Parkinson might be the very definition of a 2-way forward. He wins draws (by hook or crook), blocks tons of shots and goes forward with abandon. Paul Crowder and Kevin Clark both had strong games and like the Gopher scorers were just a bounce or an inch away from scoring on more than a couple of chances. All the blueliners were sharp. Nils and Mat had strong games and both contributed offensively. Lafranchise was effective physically in his own end showing strength along the boards and was smart with the puck. Congrats to Nick Haddad on his 2nd goal ... good freaking eyes Nick ... he really picked up the rebound perfectly to score his goal.

The team should certainly feel good about their chances tomorrow. Does Shyiak go with Bryce or Jonny tomorrow? Tough question if you ask me. I know there's a solid philosophy that says go with the guy who had the hot hand. But who's to say that Jonny won't play equally as well as Bryce did tonight? He played excellent in the loss to SCSU last weekend. If the call were up to me ... I'd go with Bryce.

38 comments:

Wolfman said...

well, it was a great game, hats of to the Seawolves for some great hussle. Saw the game on FSN, it is always better to hear Kurt Hieder (Sp?) call the game verses Doug woo (I believe the name is). Anyway, hopefully we will take two points tomorrow!

GO SEAWOLVES!

Suze said...

Bryce had a .944 save % tonight!

Anonymous said...

We wonder why we don't have a power play that works, but like Woog pointed out, we had two left handed players on the point on our pp unit tonight.

NooksKiller said...

Crappy attitude aside, can we please see Grant in the lineup tomorrow....I'd love to leave with 3

Anonymous said...

grant didnt play because he has a shoulder injury.

Anonymous said...

Vidmar was sitting and he is right-handed on the point on the pp. He will be back tmw. With all the suspensions, the pp unit keeps changing game to game. Hard for any success as this screws up the pairings. Apparently Grant has a separated shoulder.

Suze said...

Yeah, Woog said he was benched, but as usual he didn't have his facts straight. Grant is injured.

Donald Dunlop said...

Not having a clue who else still must serve a game suspension is a pain in the ass. For players that have already served their time in the stands ... I've got:

Crowder
Clark
Lunden
Robinson
Grant (injured as well)
Smith (injured as well)

That's all I can think of at the moment that have already served so add anyone you know has already sat out please.

Anonymous said...

vidmar

Donald Dunlop said...

Duh .. thanks

So:
Crowder, Clark, Lunden, Robinson, Grant, Smith, Vidmar ...

That leaves 8 more or are we still missing someone that has already sat out?

superseawolffan said...

Great way to battle. I thought the wolves played awesome. UAA skates hard and competes with anyone. I just think the seawolves are great this year. They're skilled, fast and strong. The future should be bright- just need more fans.. I remember going to the sully in the early 90's, seeing the crowd just lift the team up. If the team could draw closer to 5,000 fans a game, it would make a HUGE difference. GO SEAWOLVES!!!

Anonymous said...

Doyle already has a nice article up. According to him, Bryce should be our #1 goalie. The stats he gives puts Bryce's save % in the last three games at 0.940!!

Suze said...

I looked up the save % for Jonnie O in his last 3 games, and it's only .866 compared to Christiansens .940. Honestly, I love Jonnie O, but I think the team plays better with Bryce. He handles the puck better, giving the team a 5th D man on the ice. I hope he gets the start tomorrow, he's earned it.

Will said...

Bryce should be in the net tomorrow night as he gives the team the best chance of getting a win. The team can't afford to have a goalie just play a good game but not get a win when it is needed.

The guys need to have better puck possesion and more shots on Kangas. The tie was better than a loss and a win tomorrow night would make for a another good weekend on the road. Step it up another notch and get the win guys. We know you can do it.

sitkafan said...

I think Bryce sat out one of the games last week, I think Sidor got to dress. So there is another one who had to sit out.

But all things considered, or team statistically does better with Bryce in goal. Whether is because he allows fewer goals or has a better save percentage, I don't know, but whatever it is, we are a better team with him.

Not to mention, with the playoffs a month away, are we going to split time there too?

akhockeyfanatic said...

As corny as it sounds, I am so proud of the boys and to be a Seawolf supporter! It wasn't their best game but it certainly wasn't their worst either. I am anxious to see how they come out to play tomorrow night. Many of us keep repeating ourselves but I'm gonna say it one more time: These guys can beat anyone in the conference!!! Come out strong tomorrow night and skate like there's no tomorrow!

GO SEAWOLVES!!!!

akhockeyfanatic said...

Oh yeah, I almost forgot --- Congrats to Haddie for his 2nd goal in as many wknds. Keep it up, Nick!!!

superseawolffan said...

I just would like to say thanks to Donald for his wonderful blog. He is a great writer, very positive and articulate with a strong dash of sarcasm. He obviously has a great hockey mind. It doesn't matter the league,whether it's the UAA Seawolves, or the Spokane Chiefs, or the Diamond Lynx, I just love hockey. Thank you for your great and informative blog. GO SEAWOLVES GO!!
(Also: GO CHIEFS GO!!!)

Anonymous said...

western michigan 3 UA_ 0....... how do you like them donuts??????? GO SEAWOLVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Its not even close bryce has been the first or second.star in the last three games the so called rotation should be over

Anonymous said...

I think the already sat list is:
Crowder
Clark
Grant-also injured
Robinson
Lunden
Smith- also injured
Vidmar
Bales
Bryce

Suze said...

I don't remember seeing Lunden last night, was he sitting out again, or just not unremarkable on the ice?

Anyway, I didn't mean to come down on Olthuis, he played his best game of the season against SCSU. His save % is down in large part to the 6 goals that were scored in the DU game, several of which were not his fault, the D hung him out to dry. But as I said, the team, for whatever reason, plays better when Bryce is in net.

This tandem of goalies reminds me of Doug Teskey and Chris Davis. Teskey was really the stronger goalie, but Chris could get hot and steal a game, but the team played better in front of Doug. Why does that happen? Am I out in left field here? Maybe.

I feel this UAA team is something special. Look at who they have beaten this year:

Colorado College
Denver
North Dakota
Mankato
Duluth
St. Cloud
Michigan Tech

Unfortunately, UAA got the Badgers when they were hot, AND after UAA had been off for 35 stinking days. Any team would struggle after being off that long. But they have got it back together and have only lost 2 in their last 7 games!! They are on the cusp of something big here.

Hey, I woke up at 4 am from a dream that UAA was up 5-2 against the Gophers! Boy was that sweet. I have been known to have my dreams come true. A few years ago I had a dream the morning of July 4that my best friend had a baby girl, and she had a baby girl on July 4th!! Make it so Seawolves!!

Believe in yourselves, because you have the talent! (It was interesting to hear Woog talk about how quiet Minnesotas almost 10,000 fans were).

Anonymous said...

Totally agree, Suze (2/14 0706. This team IS something special and I get the feeling that they are starting to believe that themselves. 5-2 sounds feasible to me. Let's hope it becomes a reality! GO SEAWOLVES!!!!!!

jjack said...

Anon @ 12:36: I saw some girl in my chem lab Thursday night wearing a Nanooks tee shirt (this is in Montana mind you). So I did my duty and laid into her about it.

But just a little bit =)

Anonymous said...

anyone planning to watch the game tonight somewhere- Pepermill? Peanut Farm?
Dan

Donald Dunlop said...

I understand there is a regular game watch party at the Pepper Mill hosted by the Blueliners.

I'm not promising there is though.

Anonymous said...

Suze,
Lunden was out there and was noticeable at times but did not do anything overly eye catching.

Suze said...

There is a get together tonight at the PepperMill with door prizes.

Other Events:

Parents Weekend: Feb 20 & 21
Jersey Auction: Feb 21 after the game
3 on 3 Challenge: Feb 21 1-4:40 @ Sullivan

Anonymous said...

BTW, I think I read somewhere that the games at the PepperMill don't have any audio. Anyone know if that's true?

Anonymous said...

clark,lunden and parks are going to lite up the goal lite tonite.
bryce is hot this weekend, keep it below 2 goals and we will win.
all the best.

fan

Anonymous said...

Probably the worst outing by the seawolves ever. No chemistry at all. But what can you expect when every time you turn around your linemate(s) are different. They had a hell of a time maintaining of any sort possesion of the puck. They lost all confidence in the 2nd and 3rd. They haven't been scored on 5 on 5 for a few games and then 3 goals against tonite. Serious lack of confidence. What the hell happened tonight?? Seriously terrible line combinations and pairings.

Anonymous said...

Line combos are messed up because of injuries and players still sitting due to curfew issue.

Fergusons punishment of having UAF players cleaning the Carlson Center plexiglass is starting to look like a really smart choice right about now.

HOPEFULLY all of the suspensions are over. We have our last home games this next weekend, and if we want season ticket holders to renew their tickets, and want to attract new fans, they have to WIN games at home. Can't do that with players sitting in the stands.

Anonymous said...

Don your in idiot lovdahl played center in juniors get your facts start.

Suze said...

Shane played defense for Cedar Rapids for three years. He was the USHL's highest scoring defenseman his last two seasons.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=69767

Get YOUR facts straight.

Anonymous said...

yeah but before his last two seasons he played center half way through the year as a center!

Anonymous said...

LOL

Donald Dunlop said...

I love the "your" an idiot part. I'm confused why the person thinks I was somehow demeaning Shane Lovdahl.

Do me a favor anonymous idiot calling overly defensive person --- type Shane Lovdahl in the search window at the top of the blog and read what I've written about Shane over his career. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

i wasnt saying you were putting shane's defensive skill down but you were putting him down as a center, you said "That's to be expected with a D guy that has never played center" i was simply correcting you that he has play center and in a good league. sorry for getting overwhelmed about it im just a CR fan that still likes to keep up on older roughriders!

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