Results matter. Much as I usually try to find positives, the bitter truth is that the score at the end of the game is the bottom line. And bottom line this weekend, the Seawolves came up with zero points at a really important time of the year. Yet, no time should be spent looking back at these two games. Next weekend, the team plays for pride against it's only natural rival. Beyond that, the only objective now is to go into the playoffs with some confidence. Sweeping the nooks would go a long way to helping that sort of confident mindset. The finish the home season with some success against Duluth and then ... who knows?
I don't know what I want to say about this weekend's performances. Just ignore it and move on? There are some things that maybe ought to be said. There are some things that maybe ought not be said. A lot of commentary about who did what right this weekend doesn't take the sting off the results. And griping about this or that serves nobody well at this point of the the season. We'll all get our say about those things at the end of the season ok?
The team is where it is. They still have an opportunity to have some success to hang their hats on. The Final Five still beckons. In my book, the best chance for that to happen is through Duluth, Minnesota. If UAA could choose a travel destination for the playoffs ... Duluth would be it. The little ice sheet is tailor made for UAA's style. The Seawolves have had some late season success in that joint. There are a number of things that would have to happen for UAA to get to Duluth and it's possible from either 8th or 9th place.
There's actually a scenario where two UAA losses to Duluth would guarantee a road trip to there. Do you lose on purpose in order to get to their building for the playoffs? Not a choice a coach really would consider ... would he? There are other more likely scenarios though. As I go through it, I see UAA travelling to SCSU as perhaps the most probable. With UW being second most likely. Going to Denver would be more palatable than either of those two.
It's a crying shame that this weekend's two losses mean that Mankato controls UAA's playoff travel arrangements. They're only one point behind UAA now. And they have eight points at stake with Denver and SCSU on their schedule. UAA has only 4 points at stake when Duluth visits in two weeks. There will be a mighty battle now for 5th place in the league between CC, UND and Minnesota. CC and UND will both have a chance for some separation when they play this coming weekend. Don't count the Gophers out as they finish with Duluth then Wisconsin.
Ok, I'll talk about the positives. Number one for me was Kevin Clark's continuing ability to make things happen. The goal he scored from his back tonight was pretty sweet. From his back. I repeated that like three times when it happened. I didn't see the first goal on Friday night but his assist tonight on Josh Lunden's goal was a perfect little pass that Josh finished easily. Kevin will continue to be productive down the stretch.
I really liked seeing Kane Lafranchise rush the puck deep. When he did so this weekend and found an option then scoring chances resulted. Without an option he showed skating that could allow him to make a more aggressive move to the net for his own scoring chance. Something good will come of it if it continues.
Lots of guys played with heart. I don't think I saw anyone dogging it. At least on Saturdy night they were in the game right up to the end. Guys shouldn't feel down about the effort they gave.
Crowell looked like he took a nasty bump to the knee when some scum cross-checked in small of his back to send him into the boards hard. Interference they called it. ... whatever. Then :10 seconds later there's a make up call by the other referee to give UAA a 5 on 3 power play. Just start getting it right the first time could ya refs? Please. I like a 5 on 3 as well as the next guy if my team would actually score on it but I'd prefer the right call in the first place.