Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Seawolves Travel to Bemidji

The Seawolves hit the road this morning on their way to Bemidji.  I'm curious if they get off the plane in Minneapolis and jump right onto a bus for the 225 mile trip to Bemidji.  Or if maybe they stay in Minneapolis find some ice to skate on; then overnight there before heading up to Bemidji on Thursday. I'd tend to think 5+ hours on a plane then 5+ hours on a bus combined with all the departure and arrival nonsense would be a bit much. 

I spoke briefly with assistant coach Ryan McKelvie yesterday and he classified the squad as "healthy".  Hopefully that means that all the dings, bruises and hoits are gone after the week off and Coach Shyiak can put his best possible lineup on the ice.  If I were an intrepid journalist I'd have been prepared to ask better questions like the one above that occurs to me this morning.  In any case ...

The last series versus Mankato was truly a patchwork affair with four defenseman out of the lineup.  Senior Kane Lafranchise is of course still ineligible but injuries to Brad Gorham, Wes McLeod and Drew Darwitz meant two forwards Alex Gellert and Tyler Currier saw their first ever action in those roles on the blueline.

Looking back, I was pretty pleased at the way both of those guys filled in.  Gellert used solid defensive moves to pinch guys off the puck along the boards more than a few times and Currier was energetic and strong in all areas.  But having two of the more talented and experienced blueliners ready to go is a good thing.

The Seawolves should be damn hungry on this first ever trip to headwaters-land.  With but the single victory over Air Force in their pocket and a single WCHA point in four league contests you can bet they'll have some fire in their guts to turn that around.

This weekend they face a team coached by the brother of the coach of the one team they have a win over this season.  Hopefully, that illogical minor intangible comes into play somehow by rising out of the quantum foam of possibilities.  

I had an interesting but unrelated email exchange this week regarding the undefined, little understood universal tendency and collective physics force called "Clumping".  My recognition of and invocation of it here is meant to encourage that probable natural law to clump a couple more Seawolves "W"s onto the Serratore brothers.  Stay tuned tomorrow for my both extended and brief email exchange with Bemidji's head coach.  In his words, it was unique.  For me it was my first (and probably only ever) interaction with a WCHA opposition Head Coach.

Let's get to what Bemidji brings to the table this weekend eh?  The Beavers are slightly more than a one trick pony at this point early in the season.  They've only played six games but 10 of their 13 goals in those six games have come from 3 players.  The #1 line of Jordan George (4g,5a), Ian Lowe (3g,4a) and Matt Read (3g,3a) has been buoyed only slightly by 2 goals from senior forward Emil Billberg and a single tally from Jamie MacQueen.  

That's a pretty stark constrast to the Seawolves who have 12 players with at least one goal each.  Only one Bemidji freshman has any points at all with rookie Sam Rendle having one mark in the assist column.  Seawolves freshman have accounted for 7 goals and 15 assists.

Bemidji is clearly a team that has looked to it's upperclassmen to perform so far this season.  Their first games of the season came at home on October 15th against UND, they had an off-week then hosted UMD before hitting the road for their 1st WCHA road series and knocking off SCSU in the 2nd game at the National Concrete Center.  The combined scores from their 1-4-1 record are 13 goals for and 22 goals against.

We've all been saying it here.  Coach Shyiak has been saying it as well.  This Seawolves team appears to be better than it's record.  With 7 of 8 games being decided by a one goal margin and/or being a tie we've all expressed that belief.  Well ... this is perhaps the perfect weekend to show that.

It could be that some Bemidji players are a little less wide-eyed in anticipation of this series.  Their first three contests have been against teams that were widely lauded as the probable top 3 finishers in the league.  Perhaps they may drop their guard slightly thinking a series against the Seawolves is a bit of a drop.  If that the case it could be a recipe for a nice weekend for UAA.  

Mix their under-anticipation with the Seawolves believing in themselves and being hungry ... I'm just sayin.  Maybe a couple of them are looking forward to their trip to visit the almighty powerhouse DU who if you remember were last year called the greatest assemblage of Division 1 talent ever.  I'd love to make fun of the Pios a bit more (who by the way can be classified as nothing other than struggling badly at this point) but let's move on.

Both of the last two season have seen the Seawolves come up with a series sweep on the road.  Last year UAA went to Houghton and swept the original Huskies on January 15th and 16th.  The year before that saw them go into Duluth on March 5th and 6th and take 4 points.  There were no such sweeps in the 07-08 season but one during the 06-07 season over UND at the Ralph.  

The series this weekend presents a solid opportunity to get another rare road sweep.  With the highest focus and effort both nights against Bemidji that could very well be the case.  And after all, shouldn't it be?  There's no reason to allow these WCHA noobs to get valuable points that UAA needs.

And yes, both games are on local TV for those of us in the Anchorage area on GCI Channel 1.  Thank you Bemidji for being better than Dull-uth in that category at least.  I'll have the other appropriate links on the Friday game day post for the audio and video webcasts for you fans that are not in Anchorage.

Go Seawolves!!!


Anonymous said...

I predict that Bemidji is going to run over the Seawolves this weekend.

Donald said...

I predict that in the future you'll attach some sort (any sort) of name to your comment or it will be deleted.

Suze said...

Hope to catch the games on Friday with Mr. Suze. Will be at a MudBugs game on Sat. though.

Good to hear the team is healthy. Go Wolves!!

Anonymous said...

I predict that Burrmidji has a nice little Green & Gold surprise in store for them this weekend!

marooned said...

UAA crushes the first night. Tie the next.

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