The Seawolves tonight hit nearly all the targets in their gameplan that were necessary to get an important win over UNO. They got the scoring they need from Tommy Grant and Sean Wiles who both hadn't been producing at expected rates. They held UNO to under 25 shots for the game by blocking shitloads (20) of shots. They got solid goaltending from Rob Gunderson. They won the face off battle 33-27 led by Craig Parkinson who went 16-11 on the night. Their penalty kill delivered. And finally their execution was mostly solid in all areas of the ice. When you put all those factors together you get success.
Walking out of the rink tonight I couldn't help but think the score could have very easily been 5-1 in UAA's favor (UAA hit two pipes in the 1st period). But such final score would have been a bit of an injustice to UNO. The Seawolves outplayed them in several stretches but this opponent did not lay down at all. UNO really pressured hard in the second half of the 2nd period and for large parts of the 3rd including the last 6 or 7 minutes.
The line of Naslund, Cameron and Currier was particularly effective tonight and it's work ethic paid off for Daniel with his 2nd goal of the year and the game winner. I was really impressed with Tyler Currier's energy and physical play. He'd played himself into a regular spot on the blueline this season but his return to the wing tonight paid nice dividends.
I thought the game was a bit chippy in places but referees Adam and Walsh looked determined to let the teams on the ice decide the outcome. That was a good thing. But I cannot go the whole season without saying that we seem to have the worst sets of linesmen in the WCHA up here. This miscalled offsides and icings tonight were blatant. And the control of players during face-offs was downright ridiculous. Lots of chippy little shit going on there tonight. In one instance, I saw Matt Bailey really barking at one of them. Mostly though none of their miscalls really seemed to affect the outcome.
Congratulations to the team on a pretty gutty effort tonight. This game may not have been the biggest "war" of a game we've seen this season but it was definitely a battle. Expect nothing less tomorrow night as I'd think both teams will be motivated to play hard again. I also think there might be some individual hurt feelings that could play a factor tomorrow. Hopefully, the Seawolves keep their noses clean and don't respond to the niggling stick jabs and slashes which were evident tonight.
I was happy to meet and re-meet several of the parents in attendance. I'll redouble my efforts to tomorrow. I'll be in the booster room prior to the game for sure so look for the my Yul Brenner head and come say hi if I don't happen to notice your name tags first.
Here's the boxscore.
Here's the UAA post game release.