Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2011-2012 Senior Class


Jade Portwood, Brad Gorham and Curtis Leinweber comprise this year's Senior Class.  Though fewest in numbers amongst all four classes; these three guys are certain to contribute more than their proportional share to success this season.  Each brings a comparitively unique set of skills and experience from the others.  The common attribute they share is leadership both off the ice and on.

The 6ft 3in, 205lb Portwood is a hard charging big winger who's been a key fixture on checking lines throughout his first 3 seasons.  During that time his development as a top defensive forward has grown noticeably.  That growth has enabled Jade to become an important penalty killer who last year lead the team in shorthanded points with 3 assists.  Last season also saw him become a consummate shot blocker; though to my mind he didn't get statistical credit for all the shots he blocked.  Jade skates very well for his size and knows the importance of keeping his feet moving.  He has potted 7 goals in his first three years and last year alone contributed 9 assists.  His experience and leadership will be important factors to the team as well this season.  I expect him to have his best statistical season this year.

The 6ft 1in 197lb Anchorage born Gorham has been a key cog in the defensive effort over the last two seasons after transferring from Ohio State to UAA.  His steady and smart positional play has provided much stability on the back line.  Brad possesses a great ability with his poke checking.  He can be a force moving forward with the puck creating offense.  His skating is excellent and he's got both an accurate wrist shot and a good slap shot.  To me he defines the type of solid hockey player so often produced by Anchorage youth hockey ... gritty and tough.  Uncompromisingly so.  Over the last couple of years I fear Brad has been targeted on occasion and been tagged with some major penalty calls that were undeserved.  This season I expect him to find a balance in his physical play so as not to give any referees an excuse to sit him.

The 5ft 8in 175lb Leinweber will be without a doubt the most dynamic offensive threat from the blueline this season.  Curtis is as quick on his feet and can explode out of the gate.  His puck handling skills are exceptional and his vision is excellent.  As a freshman Curtis lead the freshman class in points and I expect he'll lead the seniors as well this season.  He is the type of defenseman on which gameplans can be built.  If Coach Shyiak can feature Curtis' skills in certain situations it'll result in production for the team.  My focus on his offensive abilities shouldn't in any manner diminish his defensive skills.  He plays positionally smart with commitment and is capable of coming away with the puck in any part of the ice.

To help the team to more success each of these three guys need to have their most possible productive seasons.  All the things you expect from seniors playing Div 1 hockey are evident in each of these three excellent hockey players.  They're mature, experienced and show leadership.  And with the bulk of this years squad being underclassmen, those traits will be key factors.

29 comments:

UAA Jersey Raffle said...

UAA booster club is needing Youth Hockey teams to sell Jersey Raffle tickets Squirt , U 10 and younger. Teams need to be able to be at the Sullivan Arena at 5:30 game night. email rleary@gci.net for more information

Suze said...

Richard, I thought you told me at the Meet & Greet the teams had to be 10 and older. Have they revised that? If so, I may have a team that is interested.

UAA Jersey Raffle said...

UAA jersey raffle is for the small kids teams squirt and U10 and below have a team in mind have them shoot me a email and, the older kids don't work out as well. rleary@gci.net

Suze said...

Okay! I just gave the info and your email to a team manager today.

Suze said...

Richard,

A team manager tried to email you and it came back to her as undeliverable. Do you have another email address, or can you send me your phone number so I can give it to her? My email is suzys@gci.net

Thanks!

UAA Jersey Raffle said...

UAA Jersey Raffle my email, is mleary@gci.net
sorry Richard
I have open dates Squirt and U10 and below

Anonymous said...

Kevin Clark attending Winnipeg Jets main camp,
he skated with ladd and little on there line.
Woody missed this one.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Clark will be playing his first nhl exhibition game tomorrow in his hometown winnipeg when the jets play columbus.

Donald Dunlop said...

Good luck to Kevin ... hopefully he bangs a couple home and gives them something to think about. I'll see if I can find a streaming link for that game and post it here before game starts.

Anonymous said...

How about dusan sidor ?

Suze said...

Congrats to Kevin! We are very happy for him, and very proud of him as well.

Donald Dunlop said...

Anon@612:
I only realized that Dusan was in the Senior Class a couple of days after I posted this. I listed him as a sophomore last year ... was he not a sophomore? I don't know where I went wrong. I felt horrible and still do that I fucked that up.

In any case, I have a specific post in mind to make up for Dusan's unjust exclusion.

Suze said...

There is video on Facebook of the first "official" UAA hockey practice with the coaches.

Donald Dunlop said...

Clarkie scored a goal in the 2nd period to put 'peg up 3-1. It was a pretty goal.

Anonymous said...

Western Michigan and St Cloud to junk name conference it seems.

Commenter at D’s Boone blog (I suggest they be referred to as the Bonnies) wants the McNaughton from Tech, also.

They’d have ~2 years to train an oinker to not smear the lipstick or take a dump, when pulling off the tissue paper that’s overprinted with “For the Good of College Hockey” until the cameras are switched off at the unveiling “event”.

WhiteBeard

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

With St.Cloud gone from the New Wcha, the league will be even more wide open. And finally we can stay away from that cursed National Hockey Center.

Anonymous said...

With today's announcement that Western Micihgan and St Cloud are joining the NCHC for 2013-14, UAF and UAA's month of security regarding a future home for their programs has come to an end. The schools remaining in the WCHA (Northern Michigan, Lake Su, Michigan Tech, Bemidji, Mankato, Ferris State, and maybe Bowling Green) do not have the financial resources to play in a conference for the long term with 2 Alaska schools. Bemidji and Mankato will have a hard time playing in a conference with no other in-state rivals. The UP schools have never wanted to travel up here. They may be tempted to grab Ferris and Bowling Green and look east to the 4 Atlantic Hockey schools who want to offer the full compliment of scholarships. If that happens both UAF and UAA are screwed.

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

Oh how I wish there was a Pac-10/12 in hockey. Anon you are right; that's a major, valid point, maybe that's why there is no ice in the new arena on campus. Maybe Steve Cobb foresaw the demise of our hockey program, and only focused on basketball, track/cross country, and volleyball. Maybe he truly was one step ahead of us this whole time, while most of us were calling for his head.

Donald Dunlop said...

Anon@333:
How about you describe the nature of "do not have financial resources" of those schools?

Oh what? You can't. You mean all those schools will get their travel partially or fully funded by UAA and UAF? If they're managing hockey budgets today then they'll be able to in the future. They all stand to make a few bucks by having extra home games as a result of playing up here.

This sort of doom and gloom might work on a group of uninitiated UAA hockey fans but it doesn't fly here because it is simply not true.

Anonymous said...

Donald,

This is Anon@333. I hope you are right. But I also know that in the last two years there have been college hockey web articles regarding financial problems at Bowling Green and Lake Su and local news articles regarding the viability of the programs at Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech. If these programs were to decide to look east to AHA for partners we would be in a bad spot. UAF, UAA, Bemidji and Mankato isn't much of as league.

Alaskana said...

Bowling green, Lake Su, and Northern Michigan and perhaps Ferris State all joined the WCHA for a reason and I don't forsee them defecting yet again to the east just because of financial uncertainties. This realignment won't happen for another 2 years yet and the WCHA still has plenty of time to solidify its structure for the 2013/14 season. The WCHA has a rich and proud history and a powerhouse league like it isn't going to go away without a fight, at least.

(Please note that I do think your concerns are valid, I just tend to hold a more optimistic view, obviously.)

Alaskana said...

Correction to my last post: Bowling Green hasn't accepted their invitation to the WCHA yet.

Donald Dunlop said...

Anon@745:
Go fuck yourself and your ridiculous comments. Don't come back.

arcticfox said...

There's a pretty cute picture on ADN's "Best of September 2011" photos that shows three of our new incoming Seawolves entertaining the fans that were @ one of the recent the UAA Women's Volleyball games. :D

Right now it's easy to get to b'cas you just click on the main front page picture that's up right now & scroll thru' the September photos. If they happen to change the front page photo, they'll just move it down the page to "photos" & you'll still find it under "Best of September 2011".

I'm not familiar enough yet with the incoming players to guess which three they are. Love the fishnet stockings that one of them is wearing! ;0) Go check it out @ adn.com on the main page. Too funny!

arcticfox said...

Oops.. Guess I could just add the link!

http://www.adn.com/2011/09/06/2052137/best-of-september-2011.html

:0)

arcticfox said...

P.S.. Anyone driving out to Wasilla next week?

I asked a friend of mine who works at the Alaska Railroad about doing one of the 'special event trains' (maybe next year) that they do all the time. Right now they're doing a blues music train, a beer tasting train, and I don't know what else..

But he agreed that a "Seawolves Hockey Express" (party train) would be great!

Their train events are pretty popular. UAA just needs to get onboard (pun intended) ;0) And a bus would be needed from the Palmer Depot to Menard Arena & back... piece of cake.

Maybe next season? :0)

Donald Dunlop said...

Fox,
LOL. I was deliberating avoiding telling anyone about those pics. ;-)

And I'm all about your train idea. I think we've found something for Steve Cobb to work on. I will work on him.

Anonymous said...

The trains a great idea!!
Dan

Anonymous said...

kevin clark is playing his second exhibiton game today against the carolina huricanes in the nhl. Get that second goal today.
fan
go jets go

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