Friday, February 26, 2010

Rivalry Game Day: Beat The 'Nooks


UAA Seawolves versus UAF Nanooks
Friday, February 26th 2010 7:05pm
TV: GCI Channel 1 Statewide (Tape Delay in SouthCentral AK)
Webcast Link: GCI Portal 


 Media Links


There are three events today worth noting.  At 11:30am in the Fine Dining Room of the Lucy Cuddy Center, the Blueliners are hosting the Coaches Luncheon.  Should be a great event.  There's always the typical Anchorage/Fairbanks jokes bandied back and forth.  No doubt the coaches will give glowing respectful analysis of their opponent while sandbagging their own chances somewhat.  It's $20 bucks a plate.

At 5:30 there are two pregame events at the Sully.  For $10 you can head into the Booster Room on the North side of the arena and attend an "Appetizer Social" replete with a pregame discussion with Dave Shyiak.  They usually have a good caterer for these sorts of things, so get in there and grab some fancy hors d'oeuvres before someone else does.

Or for free, you can just hangout outside the Northwest entrance and partake in the Tailgate Party.  Free burgers, hot dogs and soda will be served up by the always faithful and dedicated Kappa Sigma fraternity.  They did a great job at this season's Kendall Classic tourney.  And while the weather may be slightly more inclement this time around, the hospitality is sure to be warm.  I'll be there snagging at least one free burger, hot dog and soda.  At the Kendall, they were rocking some Tool ... so that was sweet too.  Why can't we not be sober?

All the volunteers and UAA staff worked hard this week to make all these events come together.  So make sure you thank them for their efforts if not directly then indirectly by attending all three of these events if you can.  Nicely done Blueliners, props to the Kappa Sigma frat brothers and as always well done Jane Pallister.


The most interesting initial thought I have about these two games is whether or not the referees will let these two teams play.  Being that the 'Nooks are apparently the NCAA's skating angels (fewest minutes) and UAA is apparently the Big Bad 'Wolves (most minutes), the reputations could come into play.  It's a nice contrast for an intense rivalry, but hopefully the referees don't think about it during the game.

Aside from that potential factor, of course goaltending will be a factor.  Naturally, with his good numbers UA_ fans would imagine Scott Greenham should have the upperhand.  But rubes often think a goaltender's numbers are a direct reflection of his talent.  They aren't of course, it's an equal reflection of the defense in front of him.  It would surprise me if Coach Shyiak plays Bryce instead of Jonny O tonight.  In either case, UAA's defense needs to be prepared to play responsibly and committed in front of their goaltender.

In any case, I'd be surprised if the Seawolves put a huge number of pucks in the net.  Don't get me wrong.  Such a thing is definitely possible.  But the 'Nooks have three years of disciplined defensive effort and experience to draw upon.  For UAA to crack that defensive effort, they'll have to skate through opponents i.e... keep their feet moving.  What few power plays the Seawolves receive, they will have to convert.  This is a must.  If UAA goes 0-fer on the power play they could find themselves in trouble.

UAA's penalty kill over the last few weeks has been rbetter.  Nick Haddad is back and is always a PK force.  Kevin Clark has for the 1st time in his career been playing effective and substantial PK minutes.  Both teams will lean on upperclassmen to lead them this weekend and the results may very well be determined by which set outperforms the other.  This will be the UAA freshmen's first taste of a real rivalry; maybe one (or more) of them will embrace it and make a statement about the next four years of UAA Governor's Cup Seawolves wins?

Size will be a factor, but probably not as much on Friday night as on Saturday night.  That advantage will become most evident in the 2nd and 3rd periods in the 2nd game.  UA_ should come out with enough energy on Friday night to be able to absorb any punishment the Seawolves decide to hand out.

I really don't know what to expect attendance-wise.  I'd bet that out of whatever number of folks that show up that there'll be at least 500 UA effers there.  The Freeze Out promotion's intent is to get UAA fans to be in white and they were selling cheap (but apparently nice quality T-shirts) at the campus bookstore for $5.  Hopefully, some of those will be available at the arena.  If you didn't get one of those then make sure you bring something white with you; as well as for the 4 or 5 friends you bring.


Anonymous said...

If Bryce doesn't play, Olthuis had better be sharp. Personally, I would love to see Bryce get a shot.

Any word on Parkinson?

Disappointing that we didn't see or hear ANY advertising for this series, aside from your great blog. Doyle didn't even mention the white out.

Anonymous said...

Doyle Woody is a tool

Ted said...

Does Doyle Woody know he writes for an Anchorage paper? The Newswhiner article is pro _airbanks. How about a little jingoism.

Anonymous said...

Doyle Woody disrespects UAA so much that he seldom writes about them and when he does it is very negative. I wish they would revoke his press pass. Of course Cobb could care a less. He has no cajones to do anything FOR UAA athletics.

Anonymous said...

CLARK 2 goals and 1 assist
lunden 1 goal and 1 assist.
grant 1 goal

score 4 to 2
go seawolves.


Alaskana said...

Friday 2-Zip UAA
Saturday 3-1 UAA

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Playing Bryce? He hasn't played in 3 MONTHS. Brutal. Not his fault either. Should have put Jonny in after the 1st.

Bubba said...

Way to go Nooks! Now to put the nail in the coffin tomorrow night.

Bubba said...

Alaskana was close on this one....

Anonymous said...

why play bryce tonite, the rest of the team suffered because of the coaches decision.
I guess the govenor's cup means nothing to shyiak.
Johnny will play the wcha games.
clark is 1 goal away from the top goal scorer in the league.
Not sure why we did not shorten the bench in the third.
all the best tomorrow guys.

Suze said...

Shyiak can't win, can he? He sits Bryce and fans complain. He plays him and they complain.

The fact is, Jonnie played very poorly in Mankato, and if Shyiak is going to have two goalies for the playoffs, Bryce needed the playing time.

He made some good saves in the first period, but there were other players responsible for a few of those goals.

Anonymous said...

Can we please talk about a coaching change? It was real clear UAA had the more talented team out there tonight but the guys were flat after coming out charging in the first period. We outshoot and outhit UAF but can't put it away. 7 goals weren't all Bryce's fault, am I crazy or was Vidmar -5 or -6 tonight? That guy can't play positional defense to save his own life. He is awful.

Donald Dunlop said...

By my reckoning Vidmar was even on the night. He was on the ice for 2 of UAF's goals and 2 of UAA's goals.

Playing defense is not only the defensemen's responsibility. Forwards have to pick up their men in front of the net.

And yes ... not Bryce's loss as far as I'm concerned. Shyiak made the right decision playing him even if he hadn't played. Bryce wear's number 49 for a reason. This was the Alaska Governor's Cup. If it were the Alberta Governor's Cup then Jonny O should have played.

If I was Shyiak. I'd give tomorrow nights start to Bryce as well.

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