Nice not to go to overtime. Really fucking nice. I thought the game tonight was a battle. And honestly ... it was a win justified by the overall flow of the game. UAA deserved the win. And I think that applies to more than just tonight. A couple of losses we took were brutally undeserved and from the standpoint of a fan, it kinda helps make up for it. And winning a game that was a battle like that? Good for the soul of the team.
Both teams worked hard with possession deep inside the others zone several times in each period. There were at least three times each where a defensive team took shifts of 1+ minutes. There was a lot of open ice contact and of course it was physical on the boards. Both teams got up and down the ice but not often unchallenged through the neutral zone. Neither team had any big advantage in odd man rushes or clean breakaway attempts. Both goalies came up with big saves but I think Gudmanson was the harder pressed on the night.
No bad mistakes really cost either team. On UAA's first goal there was maybe a split second of complacency at the Badger blueline but Luka Vidmar did a nice job to win the puck get it in the zone and time his shot near perfectly for Craig Parkinson to get the rebound. It was a perfect little shot designed to do exactly what it did get a rebound. Luka chucked it right at Gudmanson's five hole and he controlled it well mostly but with Parkinson coming he just got his glove on top of the puck and Craig poked it through.
Wisconsin's lone goal came on the power play when Craig Smith fired a waist high wrister from the top of the blueline and Jordy Murray got some sort of something on it to make it change direction.
On the winner, Luka Vidmar generated a turnover at the Wisconsin blueline which was picked up by Jordan Kwas rushing down the right hand side and with Tommy Grant streaking down the middle Kwas feathered a pass from the goal line and Grant tipped it in for the win.
Good game for a lot of guys once again. But both Wiles and Portwood went off with what looked to be shoulder related issues after going into the glass. I'll look the exact numbers later but I'll tell you right now that the Seawolves won a helluva lotta face-offs. I counted 5 in a row at one point.
I noticed Mark Pustin a lot doing good things defensively in the neutral zone. He stripped quite a few pucks clean and made good things happen going forward off those chances. I watched Tyler Currier on defense and I think he's playing back there with some confidence. He did well. Curtis Leinweber was a healthy scratch? I didn't get any info about that.
Wes McLeod looked solid in his return and cranked off a couple of hard shots that unfortunately didn't get through. He's so smooth skating and almost makes things look effortless. He took a big hit in the corner that I think may have tested the health of his shoulder a bit but continued to play and looked none the worse for it.
There were some lapses here and there that led to chances for Bucky but like I mentioned before nothing too dangerous came from any of them. And mostly because a good defensive play usually negated the mistake immediately. Good game for Luka Vidmar in contributing to both goals because he did have a couple of those lapses.
The Seawolves did generate a good number of chances on the rush throughout the night. Five or six teams they went for close-in tip plays. The majority of those ended up being quality chances. They all kept Gudmanson honest that's for sure. He played well, but hey ... a goalie stole a game from us last weekend in Colorado Springs. We were due and Grant really made a huge effort to get there for the last close-in tip. Happiness.
The team looked motivated and energetic and focused from my seats. Shyiak was up and down the bench patting backs and helmets encouraging everyone. I understand a certain letter from a certain hockey playing alum was taped up in multiple places in the locker room. I can't confirm that but it's what I heard.
It's a shame hockey fans in Anchorage missed out. No it's shameful. Full hearted props here for the people that were there who really made themselves heard down the stretch. What crowd there was put everything they had into letting the boys know how much we appreciated the effort and the win. And I guess it's just tough shit for the wankers who think they know hockey and pass up going to a top notch WCHA hockey game where their team wins.