The Seawolves played three really solid periods of hockey tonight but came up short. The University of Denver scored with just 9 seconds gone from the game clock. With both teams scoring 2 goals each over the remaining 59:51 it was the difference in the game. It's not appropriate to call it the game winner but in essence it was the difference in the game.
Matt Bailey and Mitch Bruijsten both tallied for UAA. At 9:48 of the 1st Bruijsten finished a 3 on 1 rush in the first period from the high slot after a couple of perfectly executed passes. I didn't see Matt Bailey's goal at 2:21 of the 2nd (I was slow getting back to the recliner) and they didn't seem to show a replay; apparently Bailey tipped a Brett Cameron shot for the goal. Good to see Bailey score again after a bit of a drought. EDIT: The 2nd goal was changed from Bailey to Cameron with assists to Bailey and Haddad.
The Pioneer's third goal (the official game winner) came on a play that was offsides. It's unfortunate when these WCHA linesmen miss these calls. It happens frequently in Anchorage as well.
Andrew Pickering went down to block a shot in the 2nd period and took the full brunt of the puck on what looked like the side of his head. You could clearly see he was definitely hurting but at one point looked willing to skate off the ice as he sat up. In order to be safe though the medical personnel attending him laid him back down and attached him to a board before taking him to the hospital.
Tommy Grant was ejected from the game following a checking from behind penalty in the 1st period. Most times you see the exact same thing called a simple 2 minute cross-check but as this happened directly in front of the DU bench that just wasn't going to be the case. Grant will be back in the lineup for the Saturday game as he received a game misconduct versus the dreaded game disqualification.
It was another all around team effort tonight. Rob Gunderson continued his very solid play coming up with at least two fantastic saves. Both teams hit the pipe once. Neither scored on their power plays. The Seawolves penalty kill was excellent as they were tested with 23 minutes of shorthanded play including a fairly long 4 on 3.
I liked what I saw from Nick Haddad once again, he had a sweet chance to score in the 2nd but couldn't quite get the puck home. Sean Wiles made a couple of nice chances for himself with his skating but failed to finish. I was impressed with Wes McLeod again tonight. He straight up wasn't going to take any shit from Mr. HighDraftPick that can't skate. I liked that. Way to go Wes. Quinn Sproule was solid on the blueline with Wes coming up with several excellent blocks and a couple of nice breakups of odd man rushes. Daniel Naslund came off the boards during the cycle very strong a couple of times and that led to scoring chances.
I liked the hustle and gritty play by the whole team tonight. They came into this game confidently, they played confidently and well. No reason that they can't turn the result around tomorrow night. They need the points. Good luck boys. I'm sure you'll give it your best on Saturday.