Sometimes you have to remind yourself that there's this whole other hockey team on the ice. Tonight, I think you have to start by giving Wisconsin credit for coming out and playing more aggressively overall but particularly in the 1st period.
They set a tone in the 1st where they mostly controlled the flow of the game. Their forechecking and play in the neutral zone was better than last night and they put the Seawolves on their heels in places. This is not to say that the boys didn't have their chances. They did. They weren't necessarily buckets of chances but they did have more than enough opportunities to win.
Credit to Coach Shyiak for pulling Gunderson around the 9 minute mark. The ensuing 6-on-5 was just what the doctor ordered. Obviously it produced the lone goal but more than that it re-energized the team enough that pulling out a tying goal really looked as if it could happen. Even down a man. Even down a man with the net emptied again. Even ...
But I suppose that's where the phrase too little too late really comes in. The Seawolves only managed 9 shots in the first two periods that included 3 full power plays. Not finishing somewhere in there probably sealed their fate. Wisconsin played well with the lead. They packed it in deep around Gudmanson at times. They blocked a lot of shots. They played a helluva good road game. They barely beat us.
We hit a pipe in the 3rd. So that's something?
This next bit ... I don't want anyone getting me wrong; The referees; they fucked up this game tonight. I'm not claiming they altered the outcome. They just fucked it up. Maybe around 60% of the penalties they called tonight (and they called 21) were actually penalties; the rest appeared to be phantom calls to me. And they missed some egregious shit too. So yeah ... the usual.
Tonights game looked a lot like last nights game except none of the shit they called tonight was a penalty on Friday night. So again, they didn't influence the outcome with their performance (they do like to be part of the highlights don't they?) but they fucked it up. No two ways about it. How can they fix shit like that? Let them play the game please?