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.