Thursday, March 17, 2011

Season Ends With Tough 4-2 Loss To CC

A perhaps forgotten bit of a plague from the first half of the season overtook the Seawolves tonight early in their Final Five game against CC.  Then later they found themselves playing against some sort of mirror image of themselves.  Scoring chance after scoring chance went unfulfilled for more than a few guys.

Great efforts, smart passing and creative plays resulted in only a goose egg in a 1st period where they virtually tilted the ice in their favor.  But with a 2-0 lead CC was able to play a bit like the Seawolves in their own end and for the game blocked quite a few more shots than UAA especially in the later stages.

Not finishing might not have doomed the boys except there was this other team on the ice that used opportunism (a strength for the Seawolves in so many games this season) to build a 2-0 lead.  Mind you, the game certainly wasn't over at the end of the 1st period.  And even when a shot that would have sailed wide otherwise clipped Craig Parkinson's skate 12 inches off the ice and bounded into the net making it 3-0, the game wasn't over.  The Seawolves played valiantly all night long and deserve so much credit for not giving up on the game.

At the 14:57 mark of the 2nd they finally got on the board when Mickey Spencer sweetly tipped a Quinn Sproule shot on the power play to make the score 3-1.  Much like the 1st period the Seawolves efforts in the 2nd gave them some territorial advantage as well as nice scoring chances.  Alas, none of those quality chances found their way into the back of the net.  Then came the back-breaker.  With just 18 seconds in the period, CC scored their first "honest" goal of the night to make it 4-1.  The Black Bears first two goals weren't flukey, so by not labeling them "honest", I just mean that they were the result of good bounces and opportunistic positioning by the scorers.

That's hockey though.  Sometimes no matter how hard a team plays and/or even outplays their opponent the result doesn't favor them.  Credit CC for getting the job done on their scoring chances.  This year saw the Seawolves in that very same position leading to some victories.  It is what it is.  The game of hockey.  There's at least 5 Seawolves sitting somewhere right now who'll have nightmares about not finishing some really glorious chances.

Chris Kamal and Rob Gunderson (in relief) did their jobs well enough.  Neither can be expected to be a superman.  I wouldn't want to use some trite phrase like "they were just human".  Their play was good.  But the game sort of "got away" from the whole team tonight.  Not in the sense that they were out of contention but instead just that because they lacked finishing a comeback just wasn't going to happen.

It was a valiant effort.  I'm very comfortable saying that.  Brave would be apt as well.  I could see how much of their hearts they were pouring into out there tonight.  Sad blogger is pretty sad but I'm also proud of their character.  I'm proud of what they accomplished in the 2nd half of the season.  I'm proud of the growth they had from the beginning of the season when inconsistency and flashes of brilliance were intermixed.  They learned to play within themselves exceptionally well and live up to their potential as a team and showed important progress game by game.  It is something that should serve them all very well next year.

It's goodbye to Tommy Grant, Craig Parkinson, Nick Haddad, Sean Wiles and Luka Vidmar for us fans.  We'll all miss each of these guys in our own different ways next season.  Yet at the same time, there's got to be lots of optimism about 2011-2012.  Congratulations to all for building something you can be proud of as well as build on next year.

I have some things planned to wrap up the season here on the blog that I normally do each year.  I'm not in any particular hurry to wrap things up here but that said, I am ready to step away from the keyboard.  I so plan for my off-season posting to be pretty light.  Before I take a pause there'll be some report cards, blog awards and a staff evaluation.  I'll of course let everyone know about any news worthy events.


Anonymous said...

What an outstanding year. All the Seniors should be very proud, I know that we fans are. We will surely miss you all but you will be forever in our hearts. Thanks for the memories. You are all Seawolves for life!

arcticfox said...

I agree 9:18 pm. I could not be more proud of our team this season!

And not to be a debbie-downer, but it's kind of a bummer if you stroll into the archives of parts of the 09/10 season on here. :(

I was thinking back on that time period and I just couldn't recall reading that many optimistic predictions for the season we just ended tonight. -Well- except maybe for Donald.. and Suze. And maybe someone else. I forget who-

You know what though -- It makes this season, even ending this evening, all the sweeter~ ♥

I wonder what would have happened if we weren't in a "one and done" playoff format? - - Who knows. Then again. We all know of a dude down in the Springs that is VERY appreciative of the 'one & done' thing. ...Tonight he is anyway. ;)

Donald ~ I know we're heading into that time of the season where you take a breather from the keyboards here. But do you think we can possibly - maybe - have something like 3 threads over the summer that are titled "Open Discussion for April/May 2011".. one for June/July & a last one before the season for August/September?

Just a thought..

Thank you again Seawolves, Coaches, UAA hockey staff, Donald, JJ, and fellow bloggers. ♥

Anonymous said...

Was at the game, UAA deserved to win. This was the best I have seen them play in 15 years. they are up and comers. bambam SCSU fan

Suze said...

I agree, this was a great season, and we were treated to many home fun games. The guys played hard last night, and they should be proud of themselves for what they accomplished!

I am truly going to miss our seniors, but I wish them all the best ... I'm sure hockey will continue to be in their futures.

FLUAAF said...

Tough loss. We had so many chances and it was like our good luck came to a crashing halt.

I am going to miss Tommy Grant--what a class act, hard worker and leader. Like all of you, I am stoked for the future; I don't see any reason why they won't be better next year.

RR said...

Tough loss. They could just have easily won that game. Too many grade A scoring chances that didn't get buried. I thought Grant and Portwood played especially good games.

Coach Shyiak is a good coach. Need a few more high end scorers like he played with at NMU and he'll duplicate what they did there. There was a lot of that NMU team in the way the Seawolves played this season. Like going back in a time machine. Nice season. Better things ahead.

Big G said...

You bet it is tough to see these Senior move on, but I believe they will be successful in whatever they decide to do. They are all winners with me and definitely represented well this season.

Next season we look to Curtis, Jade and Brad to provide that Sr. Leadership and I believe they will do a great job as well.

Thanks to the Seawolves for an interesting season that went from 'who knows' to 'who knew', from a building year to an almost .500 year. You beat many teams you were not supposed to beat and ended up opening some eyes and changing some perceptions while doing it this season. What a great step up to build on! I'm really looking forward to the next few seasons because, if you decide to contine improving at this rate, you will be one of the teams to beat in the WCHA and nobody is going to want to play aginast you.

To next years Seawolves:

Remember, this group of retiring Sr.'s have been great mentors. They are handing you a legacy which includes their exemplary leadership, heart, courage, committment, determination and, to borrow from FLUAFF, the CLASSY way they have managed their time at UAA especially in the toughest situations - now you have the responsibility to build on their legacy moving forward, I know you won't let them down - just sayin'

Ted said...

The second half of this season has been the best in my 10 seasons of following Seawolf Hockey. The players showed such heart and grit. I am really excited about the class coming in. The best to all of the Seniors as they move on. I hope they all graduate and pursue their dreams with the same gusto they pursued the puck.

Anonymous said...

Nice job...sometimes it just doesn't want to go in the net. Oh well we moved the puck out of our zone and through neutral ice like we never have in the past. GREAT scoring chances. No PP goals though and that really hurt. Nice season guys and good luck to the senior class. Thank you for choosing UAA.

Jeff said...

We're losing some great talent, but I believe we're also gaining talent next season so I believe this team won't miss a beat and build off of this successful season.

Anonymous said...

You know it was kind of crappy watching the 3rd goal slop in, we played a great game but couldn't get any breaks, but what an nice season for the guys huh? Nice second half streak, swept the goophers at home to get into the final 5 (or 6 or whatever)... dayum UAA hockey steps up their game!!! Congratulations to all of you players, and good luck to the senior class in what it is you decide to do next. For next years seniors keep building on the tightness of the "team" for future UAA hockey. Thank you coaching staff for a nice year, I'm excited to see your incoming recruits. Also all the young men that were on the team but did not dress for every game A Big Shout Out, you're part of this team, work it over the summer and bring it hard next year, make some of those freshmen sit. Take it easy over the summer fans...Mike... out

Anonymous said...

You all are good. I am a cc fan you outplayed us. However, your cheap shots are uncalled for. Those checks from behind were awful. Next time show some class

Anonymous said...

As long as you stay on your skates and don't hit to the head at mid ice...for 2 minute minor:( ??? Just saying ...

Suze said...

I really feel bad that Kane wasn't able to be a part of the team making the WCHA Final Five this season.

I also hope that Pickering is doing okay health wise, since we never saw him play after that injury in Denver.

Great season guys, it was very special, and you will always be part of the Seawolf family!

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

Very good artcile on Kurt Haider in the ADN today:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when and where the guys will be coming home?
Sure would be nice if we all got together and welcomed them home.

Anonymous said...

11:45, I was thinking the same thing yesterday. It really would have been nice to get a gathering together for an airport greet!

Even if they had stayed for yesterday's game, it's probably too late by now. Shoot! :-(

Atlas is here said...

Great season Seawolves!

Any discussion about the Big 10 pulling MN and Wisconsin away from the WCHA? The press release from the big 10 makes it sound as thought they will work to continue to support the rivalries between the current WCHA teams even after they leave?

Will UAF leave the CCHA and join the WCHA?

Anyway, congrats to the Seniors and good luck in future endeavors!

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