When you see your team do so many things right yet not get rewarded it's frustrating. A lack of finishing on this night spells T-I-E. And T-I-E on this night was no reward on a weekend when (admittedly biased and homerish as I am) you watch your team outplay the other over the course of 125 minutes.
A point is a point I guess. But it can't be much satisfaction for the squad. Credit once again tonight to Mankato goalie Phil Cook who made some big saves here and there. But that said, I wasn't the only person who thought our guys made him look good by not finding the openings. Cook's a big kid and sure covers a lot of net. He had good positioning all weekend, plays the angles well and didn't easily get rattled.
I'll be surprised if Cook isn't the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday. The Seawolves got 62 shots on him this weekend and only 4 went in. If there aren't a bunch of Mankato players singing his praises on the flight home then they're dicks.
Gunderson got the nod again tonight which should make some commenters here happy. He was solid on the weekend but let's be real here for a moment. Taking nothing away from Rob's play ... he faced 45 shots and 5 got in. I won't for a second fault him for a single goal this weekend but the kid down at the other end faced 62. I'm just sayin ... Phil Cook stole 3 points from the Seawolves this weekend.
So it's another mixed bag this weekend for our young team. I guess they'll probably officially be labeled as "struggling" but I don't see that in their play. I thought they came at Mankato pretty hard all weekend. It's no excuse to note that four regular defensive starters weren't in the lineup. The shuffling around that those injuries create means a lot of guys were playing roles and positions that are less than common for them.
Again, that's not an excuse; every team has to work around it's injuries. The upcoming off-week should be a benefit for the guys. There'll be time for guys who've just gotten back from injury to get in some conditioning work. There'll be time for guys who are dinged up and out (or dinged up and playing) to heal.
How many of the nine goals this weekend were of the "greasy" and/or "flukey" variety? 8? It was that kind of series for sure. I didn't think tonight's game was as entertaining as Friday night. There was much less flow overall. And it often seemed to be a nightmare in the neutral zone for one team or the other at times. I guess it was more of a lunch bucket game versus somewhat of a catered affair the night before ... if I may resort to a bit of a cliched analogy.
Still though there are lessons to be gained every night for the team. I think the biggest of which is that you've got to play the full sixty minutes balls to the wall in this league. On Friday night when Mankato put their foot on the gas the Seawolves got caught reacting. Tonight I don't think they ever gave up but there were more mistakes and lapses of focus that simply have to go away in order to win games in the WCHA.
I'll make an effort to digest some things from this weekend as well as from the rest of the games so far this season and see what offers itself up in terms of analysis for a post Monday or Tuesday.