Saturday, March 05, 2011

Seawolves Sweep Mankato With 4-1 Saturday Win

Tonight's game looked much like last nights in terms of energy and flow.  The Seawolves though overcame a poorly played 2nd period tonight.  Chris Kamal came up big more often tonight than on Friday in my view.  He may have given up a goal tonight but at least there's a nice backstory on that one.  I'm posting this now and will continue to update as the outcome of the DU and SCSU game is still in question and UAA's playoff trip is still in doubt.

DU beat SCSU 3-2.  That means that next weekend the Seawolves will head to the Mariucci for their best of 3 playoff series with the Gophers.  I can imagine that some Gopher fans will be quite nervous when they see Chris Kamal get the nod for one of the player of the week awards in a couple of days.  He stopped 66 of 67 shots on the weekend.  He'll almost certainly get POTW recognition for that.

Just like Friday nights game the Seawolves got their first goal tonight late in the first period.  Daniel Naslund picked up a puck that had ping-ponged a bit in front of the crease and got off a high shot to beat Phil Cook's glove hand with  1:32 left.  The puck was almost in his boots but with his great hands he was able to deliver the high shot anyway.  It was an opportunistic but well executed shot.

Tommy Grant picked up his 2nd game winning goal of the weekend just seconds after a UAA power play ended at 5:32 of the 2nd period.  The power play hadn't been effective until about the last 20 seconds and the unit started to get some possession and pressure down low.  Phil Cook made the save on a Craig Parkinson shot and Grant was stationed to the right side of the post and banged the puck in over a sprawled Cook.

The game was looking more and more like Friday's with each passing minute.  Chris Kamal came up with several big saves throughout the period as it looked like maybe the Seawolves were sitting back on the lead slightly.  Then with 14:34 seconds gone Mankato notched it's only goal of the game.  At the time, I must admit I felt kinda good for the kid who scored it. 

He was playing in what was only his 3rd career college hockey game and also his last.  Brett Peterson made it 2-1 after a couple of pretty wild scrambles around Kamal.  Chris had come up with a couple of huge saves just before Peterson was able to find the back of the net from a pretty severe angle.  I sure didn't want the lead to be only one goal but I couldn't help but feel glad for Peterson's Rudy-like moment.

The Seawolves did pretty much escape the period though and took the 2-1 lead into the locker room.  The game stayed at that score until Sean Wiles made an absolutely beautiful tip of a Quinn Sproule shot.  With his back to the net and while twisting and turning to make contact he redirected the Sproule shot between Phil Cook's legs.  That put the nail in the coffin for Mankato.

Tommy Grant picked up his 2nd goal of the night at 19:20 on an empty netter just after the Seawolves had killed off Mankato's 6th power play of the night.  He picked up the puck in the neutral zone and just had to skate wide for an opening at the blueline before finishing pretty easily.

All in all it was a real good win and an excellent 4 points weekend on the road against a pretty gritty but seemingly unmotivated Mankato team.  Focusing a bit on stopping other teams from scoring might have served that team better this weekend.  Leaves me wondering if that was their problem all year long.  I'm not one to give Troy Jutting any credit for anything so if that was his style of play all year then there's but one person to blame for their 11th place finish.

Congrats to the Seawolves for what was a really nice 26 point season.  It wasn't something I expected when the season started but was hoping for when I picked them to finish 7th.  They missed 6th place though by only two points.  Wisconsin finished in 7th with 27 points and CC wrapped up the last home ice spot with 28.  Who said 28 points would be the number for 6th place several weeks ago?

The Seawolves have a bit of momentum and should be a confident team heading into the weekend.  With a Final Five appearance at stake and the only series between UAA and the Gophs being split at The John back at the end of January there is reason to hope and believe the team can advance.  It certainly isn't going to be an easy task but the Seawolves are 7-4 in their last 11 games.  The Gophers are 5-3-2 in their last 11.

Here is tonight's boxscore.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like we are headed for UM next week......thanks to a 3-2 DU win over SCSU........

9lives

Donald Dunlop said...

A 7th place finish would have put UAA in CC for the playoffs. Having played them 5 times already this season I can't say I'm unhappy that the guys are going to Minneapolis.

The crowd there can be taken out of the game pretty easily and UAA's defense first style will drive both their fans and Lucia a bit crazy. It did in the Saturday shutout earlier this season for sure.

The Seawovles just have to keep playing the same style that's been getting the job done down the stretch. They'll need to elevate their game a bit from this weekend though and play their best possible hockey.

Anonymous said...

You know the word is that the Gophs have to make the Frozen Five (now six) so that people from the cities will fill the Excel. I don't look for any breaks from our striped friends next weekend. We need to go out and take care of business like we did this weekend. Go Wolves.

Anonymous said...

Good job Seawolves! Good luck next week-end!

Donald Dunlop said...

I will say this ... I don't think there is any sort of refereeing that is intended to get the Gophers to the Final Five tournament. I don't believe such a thing has happened in the past or will in this upcoming series.

The Seawolves will have to beat the Gophers this weekend. Not the referees.

AKfan said...

Nanooks getting a half full barn for the PLAYOFFS?

2600 last night and 2800 tonight. Unreal. And hey, Forrest, do something about your classless fans up there. Interrupting Comley's interview to tell him to stop whining? Really???

BBEF said...

Thanks for the write up Donald.

The run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger and Richards look like droopy-eyed, armless children…

It’s 4:30 am here… no joke bro…

I’m an F-18…

We’re shaking the trees… we’re shaking all the trees…

No coke though bro, sorry…

FLUAAF said...

VERY PROUD OF THIS TEAM!! And to be fair, Woody wrote a pretty nice article in the ADN this morning.

The best thing, in my opinion, is that they are a very YOUNG team and they are going to get MUCH BETTER.

How would I get tix for next weekend? Do I try Stubhub, buy them at the arena???

vizoroo said...

Seawolves win in 3 for the trip to the Final Five!

BBEF said...

so what was with the jamie russell business on the chat yesterday? twitch boy maybe?
anyway - check this link for a quick laugh – apparently there is UW women’s basketball player with the same name

http://www.uwbadgers.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/russell_jamie00.html

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

The season has only jus begun, bury those fuckin Gophers in the ice Seawolves.

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