Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seawolves 2 - UND 6

I don't want to say that every Seawolf player on the ice tonight gave up on this game. But enough did at enough times to make a huge difference. All too often Seawolf players looked like they didn't believe. It's got to be hard to believe you can comeback when you gift wrap a 4-1 lead to your opponent. UND didn't make any sort of comeback easy. They smartly opened the 3rd period with a neutral zone trap and played the way you have to play with the lead. There were some signs of belief after the 2nd UAA goal closed the gap to 4-2 but the early attempt to capitalize by pulling Olthuis with 4:20 left in the game sealed the deal.

In one sense I understand giving up. The Seawolves had any number of decent chances to score through the first two periods. And after a while when you can't get the puck to cross the line it's got to be frustrating. There's no secret remedy to cure that sort of disbelief. It's really the first time I've seen that kind of shoulder slumping on the bench. I'm afraid the lack of finishing could become habitual. The Seawolves have scored 4 goals only twice this season in confernce play and in both of those games Tommy Grant picked up the empty netter.

I don't want what I'm saying here to be an indictment of the players but instead I think it raises legitimate questions about the primary offensive tactic employed by the Seawolves. Both last year and this season the idea has been to use our size in the opponents zone to establish the cycling game and create opportunities off of that. On Friday night UAA had some crazy high possession numbers deep in UND's zone but during much of that the Seawolves never generated a shot.

Here's the thing I'm thinking. There's no lack of good skaters on this Seawolf team. So let em skate. Play pond hockey the rest of the season. Run up and down the ice with anyone who wants to play that way against you. Tonight when the game was flowing up and down I thought the Seawolves were pretty much giving as well as they got. If anything I thought UAA outchanced UND in the first period. Tonight again though in the 2nd period the offensive effort rarely penetrated. UND pushed everything to the perimeter and there was just no real penetration.

36 comments:

Neil said...

UND took it to us and we had no answer, we made it easy for them and they gave us nothing. I hate our passive PK, I hated our PP the times when we didn't score. It was just anemic. Why sit Selby and let Vidmar center a line? I don't get coaches thinking and how he constantly juggles lines. Let them skate together, please let them develop some chemistry. What happened to Wiles tonight? Backstrom really looked out of it. Oh, almost forgot, The Susies definitely out hit us tonight as well.

ZZzzz said...

That was an unfortunate end to the WCHA home season. After the great effort last night I think everyone expected better. It has proven to be incredibly difficult to generate consistent scoring when every single line combination has been changing game-in and game-out since the suspensions started. The ongoing punishment by the coach has really ham-strung the team down the stretch. The team hasn’t managed more than 2 goals in any of these 6 games, twice only scoring 1. I think the team would have been much better off forfeiting one game, essentially benching everyone the same night, to punish the players for their transgressions rather than forfeiting the last quarter of the season because of the inconsistency in the lineup due to the never ending suspensions... Are we done yet???

Anonymous said...

What about the injuries?? Has anyone heard how long Backstrom, Tuton and Wiles will be out?

Anonymous said...

The curfew thing has killed us. A good Skate would have been appropiate considering the circumstances.We are handicapped enough in comparison to the teams and programs we have to compete with. Last night was our chance too win tonight it was "to much to soon" to quote the famous line out of slapshot.We got buried.

Donald Dunlop said...

I would agree that forfeiting a game would have been a better way to go.

Chris said...

So I have yet to read any or leave comments this year, so I'm not sure if this has been discussed yet. BUT, has Coach Shyiak lost the room?

Anonymous said...

all these comments have been discussed for the last three weeks, the curfew issue handled this way eliminated any chance we has to move up in the standings.
Players did not know when they would be sitting, we risked injuries to players, and that is what happened last nite.
There must have been a better way to handle the situation. Any suggestions because I have been at lost for words. There would some players looked like they did not care last nite. Clarkie never quit till the last shift and a few others plalyed their heart out.
Fan
Hope some how they can salvage their pride down the stretch.
It will be tough.

Anonymous said...

All the above has truth. Funny thing is, had they won Friday instead of losing yet another close game, all would be sunshine and roses, the coach a genius, the team full of potential. Look, this is a program that will take a few more years to develop. Shyiak has a good crop of rookies and solid prospects on the way. Was he over the top with his curfew transgressions? Perhaps. Yet the message is clear for the future. The program comes first. As far as his system goes, the Seawolves game (usually) keeps it close. You play run and gun with ND and others and you die. The Wolves play playoff hockey all year and a hot goalie at the right time and surprising things can happen. Keep the faith. -30-

ticklethetwine said...

I think UAA is a good team. They are certainly on the right track. I didn't come her to gloat but just wanted to say that UAA is a darn good team and I am suprised at some of the comments. Your coach is a stand up guy and your team is much better then their record indicates. I am sure we will come out on the wrong end eventually against UAA.
Good luck the rest of the way through.

GO SIOUX!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:24 am - Well said! I couldn't have said it better.

Fans, let's pick up the tone a little. We are sounding like the boys looked last night. i know i sound like a broken record but we do have the talent and we are so close in so many games. I know that doesn't give us wins but we ARE much better than what is down on paper. The team is beating themselves up right now. They don't need any help from us. We, as fans, should BELIEVE, SUPPORT and KEEP THE SEAWOLF SPIRIT ALIVE. We are a much better team that what is on paper.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how in depth the comments are, it is to bad the coaches do not feel the same way.
These players bought in to the program to win now, it is nice someday the program will get better.
The players who have only 1 year remaining have been here three years, they have played hard for this team, some will go on to play
pro hockey, some will be sucessful in business. We want them to remember the postives about uaa, a great university, a beautiful city. The season is not done. Let them win the govenor's cup. Beat minnesto-duluth on the road. They have played well the last two years in the playoffs. Invidually and as a team, this group of players have a lot or pride.
All the best the next three week.
Fan

Anonymous said...

Fan,
Agree.....key point...."The season is not done". For starters, we WILL be victorious next wknd which will be a huge boost for the boys heading on to a road trip to Minnesota.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is we need to score goals. Period.

Anonymous said...

To Score goals lines must play together, constant switching of players different centers, different wingers. Put a solid 4 lines together other than the powerplay units and let's get on with it.

Fan

Anonymous said...

Clark and Lunden have played together 3 years now, they average almost a pt. a game. Put some of the other teamates together and develope some chemistry and we will see some results.
Example grant and crowder.
Backstrom and Robinson
Fan

Anonymous said...

Heres the lines..Parkinson clarke crowder..lunden bales Grant. Hadad portwood wiles...Selby,Aiken, Moir,...Moir hasnt produced despite being on a top line all year time for the fourth line All three of those guys can give you energy but they dont give you points same with the CRASH line of portwood,Haddy,and Wiles ...Keep the skill guys with the skill guys and the plumbers and hitters and the fouthliners together who struggle for points.

Anonymous said...

yesterdays game was a true evaluation of where the season is. This team has a chance to make some noise in the last few weeks if they can get some continuity on the rink. 3-11-3 in the last 17 games is telling that the team plays very hard but are not getting the final results. Is it talent, hard work , technical factors , coaching. They play real hard and that gives you a chance but they have to get some results in W's

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong--it will take a few years to develop to the level of teams like ND. (A rink on campus would help too.) The good news is Shyiak only loses two players next year--what a crop of seniors it will be in 09-10! And don't dis the third and fouth lines--these kids have skill. However when you're out against the opposition's top lines your job is to keep them off the score sheet. Period. None do it better than Donald's so-called WHiP line.

Anonymous said...

It would be fun to hear from a player to see what he thinks the lines should be this weekend. Maybe there will be anonymous entry from a Seawolf??? It would be interesting to see how close we are with all of our varied opinions ...... do the players read this blog??

Anonymous said...

I doubt whether the players read these blogs, is there any chance we could lose crowder, grant, lunden or clark next year. It would be great to have them all back.
Fan

Anonymous said...

Oh, they read 'em. You can be sure about that. If people were writing publically about your performance, you don't think you'd be interested? The coaches on the other hand dismiss this diatribe.

Suze said...

I know for a fact that players, (not just UAA but most schools), read the USCHO, so I'm sure they read this blog as well.

Stay positive. This team is better than their record, and they have taken points from every team in the WCHA except one, and have beaten every team except two. When was the last time we could say that about any Seawolves hockey team?

Put this weekend behind you guys, rest up the next few days, and then get ready to beat the Nanooks! Nothing cures like beating our arch rival.

They have been shut out eight times this year, get solid goaltending and we walk away with the W up there, and at home. So guys, lets shore up the D and help out our goalies this weekend.

Good luck! A special note to Nils, Jared, and Sean ... get well, our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Suze said...

I know for a fact that players, (not just UAA but most schools), read the USCHO, so I'm sure they read this blog as well.

Stay positive. This team is better than their record, and they have taken points from every team in the WCHA except one, and have beaten every team except two. When was the last time we could say that about any Seawolves hockey team? These guys are seriously underrated.

Put this weekend behind you guys, rest up the next few days, and then get ready to beat the Nanooks! Nothing cures like beating our arch rival. When, as a team, you put your minds to winning, you can accomplish it!

_AF has been shut out eight times this year, get solid goaltending and we walk away with the W up there, and at home. So guys, lets shore up the D and help out our goalies this weekend.

Good luck! A special note to Nils, Jared, and Sean ... get well, our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

On the note that the players read this blog...........I have been involved in sports since I can remember. I have 2 athletic (non hockey) kids and threw myself into their sports while they were growing up by volunteering, fundraising, attending every home game, travelling to away games and experiencing all the wins and all the losses too. They both were fortunate to earn college scholarships. One is still playing in a D-1 program. I can tell you that I haven't been this excited about a team or sport in a long while. My kids teams included. I have never been a fan of hockey but you guys have changed all that. I rarely miss one of your games. And if I do, GCI 1 is on at 10:30 pm. The TV is on for televised away games. I'm hooked.... you guys have the talent, you guys have the heart and you guys can beat any team in the WCHA. Remember that in these next few weeks. You may not get a full house at home games but you've got lots of people who believe in you and support you no matter what. REst up this week. I'll be seeing you in Fairbanks on Friday and back at the Sully on Saturday. You guys are the best!

Anonymous said...

crowder may be leaving, lunden went to phoenix coyotes camp last summer and clark went to washington capitals camp, as for grant he is having a good season goalwise but hasnt been himself as of late. you just have to wait and see what these four will do.

Anonymous said...

I can see Crowder and Lunden leaving, but can't see Clark going pro past the ECHL level. He has really not played up to his potential at the college level.

For the sake of the team and the University, I hope all of these guys come back and get their degree. You never know when you're gonna need it. Just ask Justin Bourne. Things didn't exactly turn out the way he planned in his pro career.

Anonymous said...

Where the heck is all this Crowder, Clark, Lunden garbage coming from?? Is ShyiAK really twisting the screws that hard? Man, if they are headed to different pastures, good luck, but damn fella's, we want you back. Top, top, top seniors and juniors, not to mention great jrs' and sophies'. Keep your heads up, you know you can hang. Start banging the bodies again, officials be damned!

Anonymous said...

Whoops, i meant to mention great Sophies and some very exciting freshman.

Donald Dunlop said...

I think the truth about run and gun hockey for the Seawolves is that it is SCARY for the coaches. We have 2 games against UAF coming up. They aren't going to allow UAA to run and gun. Then we go to Duluth on the little ice ... not exactly a run and gun rink.

I suggested it because it occurred to me to be the opposite of the disciplined cycle game we've watched for 3 years.

There is a critical mass you reach at some point as a Coach when you believe that your team has enough talent to skate with anyone. As an observer I know this team has the wheels to run and gun. I guess I just wonder that since cycling isn't leading to scoring that a different style might. I didn't suggest it as a way to win or lose but just as a change of pace that might have a positive impact on the team's mental state. Losing a game 7-6 can at least give a team confidence in their ability to score. Scoring no more than 3 goals in EVERY conference game doesn't give ANY forward confidence he can score.

Unless of course Shyiak thinks there is no talent on the team he recruited?

My expectation is that the cycle-game is a temporary bridge to a strategy that utilizes the team's talents.

Anonymous said...

clark is only 21, crowder 24, grant and lunden are 22, great to have them back next year. Let's support our players, sure they will all get chances to turn pro, beagle, lawson, left early and did well. Anderson, beaverson and others are doing well. We want this group all to graduate next year and succeed at what ever level they choose.
All the best down the stretch.

Fan

Anonymous said...

I dont think it's Shyiak. It's more that these guys may get offers to play at a higher level and then have to choose..... I felt the same way when the season ended last year. I think there was rumor of Lunden leaving. We can only hope that the guys who have an opportunity to move on decide to stay and finish their degrees. How awesome would that be to lose just a couple of players and have the majority return???? Wow...we would definitely have a kick ass team that would be capable of taking it all. Anyone hear how Tuton, Backstrom and Wiles are doing????

Anonymous said...

Let’s have a good week of practice and go north to that town circled by dumpsters and Kick the Dump Bears ass’s. Send a message to the CCHA…….You aren’t that good.

Anonymous said...

You guys are funny. Talk about Bandwagon jumpers.

seawolvesfan said...

"Parkinson clarke crowder..lunden bales Grant. Hadad portwood wiles...Selby,Aiken, Moir,..." some CAPED and others not hmmmmmmmmm.

"You guys are funny. Talk about Bandwagon jumpers.

February 22, 2009 7:18 PM" What the hell do you mean by that UND fan? guessing your dirty. we have real fans even if there quiet at the SULLY. half of those fags and cows in the ralph are bandwagoners douche.

Anonymous said...

Ya, it was a tough weekend but it's behind us. So let's look forward. Why bitch and complain.
I hate to see any player singled out on this board unless it's positive. The players and the parents read the blog. Someone mentioned there were only two seniors but in fact there's three. Robinson, Smith & Lovedol. Someone also mentioned something about leaving the goal scorers together and the hitters on a another line. That can be good or bad you need a good mixture. I feel that every player has contributed and brought something different to the game this season. This group of players are talented. Soooo onto this weekend. Let's kick some ass in Fairbanks and bring the momentom back to the Sully. Keep workin hard.

Anonymous said...

Beat fairbanks, beat minnesota-dulth, win your first round in the play-offs, everything said or done this year will be forgotten. This team has been 1 goal a game from winning half their games.
We have some talented players on the this team and some great leaders.
Go get them seawolves, start this weekend and all will be forgotten, because the past is the past.
The future is now, make us believe in you.

Fan

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