Well that was quite the different game from last night wasn't it? At 1:28 of the 3rd period, Matt Bailey buried one of the few really unchallenged shots that the Seawolves got tonight by beating Patterson clean and high on the blocker side. The Seawolves had opened the 3rd with excellent energy at one point outshooting the Gophers 7-2.
That's a pretty hard-fought win for the team and Chris Kamal sure did a great job after not having a start for quite some time. On the pregame show Kurt noted that Kamal's dad was in attendance. Awesome for him to see his son play so well and get the shutout.
It was a stellar defensive effort all night that keyed this win. The Seawolves blocked tons of shots. Last night the Gophers got 48 shots to the net. Tonight Chris faced 30. The Seawolves won the face-off battle once again going 35-28 and that was another important facet that contributed to this win.
On this 4 game road trip the Seawolves played some damn good hockey overall. Last night's game then can indeed be seen as an aberration. Though they didn't get any points at DU, they outplayed the Pios on Friday night and for big portions of Saturday. Tonight they didn't outplay the Gophers so much as they frustrated them.
They didn't allow them to free-wheel in any zone and they blocked lots of shots. Mark Pustin and Curtis Leinweber returned to the ice with Chris Crowell and Quinn Sproule in street clothes for the evening. Tyler Currier played both nights against the Gophers and continued to contribute nicely on the defensive side of the ice. Lots of good efforts all around by everyone really.
There can't be too much praise laid at any individual players feet tonight as once again this season the accolades must go to go to the entire team. That said, I'd definitely give the player of the game to Chris Kamal. He was dead solid for the entire game and came up with 3 or 4 really tough saves throughout the game to keep the Seawolves in it.
Congratulations to the guys on finding a way to make their long plane ride home somewhat of a happy one. No doubt everyone (fans, players and coaches) would have liked to get 4 points out of the weekend but they can take some pride in the gutty performance on this night.
It was an important win that keeps the Seawolves ahead of Mankato and on pace with St. Cloud in the standings. Mankato beat the Bluffskies 6-2 tonight and so UAA and SCSU are tied with 16 points each. SCSU has two games in hand however. The Gophers and Colorado College remain two points ahead tied for 6th with the UND/CC split this weekend.