Saturday, October 09, 2010

Seawolves Management Yields 3-2 Win

Matched up against a competitively playing never-say-die bunch of future Air Force officers on this Saturday night, the Seawolves managed a 3-2 victory.  I say managed because after scoring 3 straight goals in the 2nd period, the Seawolves played smart and mostly controlled the outcome.  

They "managed" their lead.  A questioned but allowed EN goal gave the AF boys a brief glimpse of hope and they manufactured a legitimate scoring chances in the last 5 seconds that could have earned them the comeback tie of the weekend award.  But it wasn't to be.

Rob Gunderson was a big part of earning the W tonight.  He looked poised and athletic making one circus save that I apparently missed and several other really excellent saves throughout the game.  I really liked his lateral movement and his positioning was really solid.  He flashed good glove when needed and I liked what I saw when he handled the puck.  Very confident looking and sharp.  A really solid first outing for him.  He was tested and responded solidly.

Sean Wiles two tallies are obviously important keys to the win.  Both of his goals have their roots in excellent individual efforts.  His first, a wraparound was successful because of a little deke he gave as he ducked behind the net that froze the AF keeper just long enough to use his reach and tuck it home.  His second goal was keyed by an excellent attack from Luka Vidmar who beat two AF players with stickhandling and shoved the puck around back for Wiles who carried it out to the top of the slot looking as if he would pass before ripping a shot to the top corner.  Both were "goal-scorer" goals.

But Craig Parkinson's goal was doubtless the prettiest of the night.  Jordan Kwas feathered a beautiful pass past a defenseman to Parky at the top of crease who immediately tipped it into the roof of the net.  Goalie never sniffed it.

If there was such a thing as UAA Hockey Fan Blog Most Promising Seawolf Rookie Of The Weekend Award, I'd have to give it to Jordan Kwas.  He really sparked a lot of quality offensive opportunities this weekend.  I thought he showed good anticipation.  He is dynamic with the puck on his stick and has the eyes and hands to make a great pass.

On the weekend, I thought that Matt Bailey and Brett Cameron both had real strong showings.  They clearly not only looked they belonged, they contributed to the scoring and were in on lots of other chances.  

This was a really good game for the Seawolves in that it was played at a pace that had to be answered with quality backchecking from the forwards.  And the forwards did answer that call.  In the last half of the 3rd period the team blocked (by my count) at least 8 shots.  The Seawolves were also able to generate chances through their possession game and by cycling and working the puck deep.  

Air Force's gritty offensive efforts helped create some good transition work for UAA.  Tommy Grant had a fairly early breakaway on one such transition and it was only an excellent late bump for the AFA's Carew that thwarted a great chance.  On the weekend, less quality chances came from transitions than you'd like to see.  If only one third of your odd-man rushes result in a scoring chance then you've got some work to do.  I think that's an area which needs to improve at this point.  Of course, it's early and the sample size isn't very large. 

Both games gave us fans something tangible for our optimistic hopes at least.  We saw our guys score goals in bunches when they really needed to.  Their ability to lift their level of play and dominate good portions vs. UND was a real good sign.  Their managed effort tonight is an important lesson for them as well.

How we do next weekend in particular versus CC will tell us quite a bit more about this group.  CC is on the schedule 4 more times after the Brice and they may very well be close to UAA in the standings if this level of play holds up for the Seawolves.  So I think that game will be a good measure to get an idea about how things will go.

We have a lot to look forward to at least.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great win. Maybe we need to start a Doyle Woody sucks blog.

Donald Dunlop said...

What's with his whining about the attendance? That was worth a blog entry? And I thought there was close to 5K there versus the "over 4,000" line he used.

Jimjamesak said...

What a dick with that posting. That man is harsh.

Anonymous said...

i missed this... Hockey fans, stand up and HOWL, here come the SEAWOLVES!

very true. i went tonight, and there was a great looking crowd. woody cannot see any good out of alaska hockey. ADN, get rid of him. the drum crew was great. they provided a great atmosphere and good rousers for the fans. they appear to just be students, with cans and shirts they made themselves using tickets they paid a fee for. I am really looking forward to this year... a good looking team, and lets all be there and show the pride of uaa hockey

Britton said...

Good game to watch from both sides. I think UAA's got a good batch of rookie goaltenders that will drive each other to get better to compete for the start each week.

Was I the only one that noticed during the Air Force game, that goals were only scored on one side of the ice? There were no goals scored on the side opposite the Zamboni entrance, all 5 were scored right in front of me... Just an interesting factoid.

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