Saturday, October 08, 2011

Seawolves 4 - St. Cloud 3

The Seawolves wrapped up the 2011-2012 Kendall Classic championship on the strength of Mickey Spencer's 3 goal night.  Spencer had been a healthy scratch quite often last season but came on late and ended the Gopher's season scoring the game winner in the 2nd game of the WCHA playoff sweep at Mariucci.  The Mick was awarded Most Outstanding Player of the tournament with his 4 goals in 2 games.

I'd tend to think he'll be a leading candidate for WCHA player of the week honors but I've yet to look around at other performances this weekend.  

Notes: I'll finish this post later after I have (as Shyiak puts it ...) a few diet cokes.  There's no post game video interviews as James is out of town.  No pictures tonight either so it'll all be on my later eloquence to keep you entertained.

Congrats on the win.  It was really an excellent performance even though the guys were behind or tied for most of the night.

Much Later Update Than I Planned:  In an attempt to keep my recap somewhat readable I opted for sleep versus drunken writing so here I am now instead of last night.

I'm assuming most of you reading here watched the game on the Seawolves FREE stream.  While other universities are obsessed with making maybe a couple of thousand bucks a weekend on 6 dollar fees for their web stream, UAA provides theirs FREE.  I know my daughter watched both games this weekend in Chicago.  I don't think enough positive can be said for this UAA "policy".

I really thought that was an excellent game.  I had extreme difficulty maintaining the requested decorum in the media area.  I did jump out of my seat on the OT winner.

We saw a lot of positive stuff this weekend.  It's cool to get the trophy and the watches but possessing those isn't what is exciting me about this team.  It's what we saw out from so many players whom we might have had questions about their performances. 

I didn't know Mitch Bruijsten was going to turn into such a force on the ice.  And he was this weekend.  All over the ice.  Offensively he was monstrously effective.  I also didn't know Daniel Naslund was going to take another massive off-season leap in the effectiveness of his skating.  He has really turned it around completely and now his skating is not only effective ... it's a strength.  He did an excellent job killing penalties and showed quick feet all night.  In my preseason review of the junior class I noted that Mickey Spencer's best route to more ice time might need to be for him to be productive.  He was pretty fucking productive this weekend eh?  Walk tall today Mickey ... puff your chest out a bit.  You deserve it.

Chris Kamal had a stronger game Saturday than Gunderson on Friday.  I'm useless at guessing what that will mean to Coach Shyiak.  If it was my choice I'd play them both next weekend and they'd both know they were going to play.  Going with the hotter hand isn't a bad rationale ... so who knows (other than Shyiak)?

It was a great team win.  Sure Spencer scored the first hat trick for UAA in the tournament since Rob Conn in 93 and his goals were key to the win but it was the effective play of everyone that enabled the win.  The Gellert, Pustin and Currier line in particular gave me lots of wow and aww moments.

On the weekend the Seawolves attempted 135 shots.  66 on Friday and 69 on Saturday.  73 of them got through to the net.  Those are juicy numbers for fans that hope to see their team score more goals.  I think it's a real positive sign.

Here are my unedited notes made during the game ...
first part of the period was a bit of a feeling out process ... kwas penalty and resultant goal seemed to motivate the seawolves and they generated some chances
good backchecking from tyler currier after the scoring chance from leinweber (around 7 minute mark) who  stole the puck at the uaa line and led a 3 on 2 break with a good scoring chance .. st cloud broke out and currier got back well to kekep a potential scoring chance from happening.
mickey spencer broke up a rush in the last minute as well... 
pustin gellert currier created turnovers on the forecheck ... especially with about 3 minutes lapsed in the 2nd.
great stretch of up and down hockey through the middle third of the 2nd with uaa getting multiple good quality shots including 2 pipes.
great diving poke check from xxx xxxx when scsu player came out the box after the 2nd scsu penalty expired.
cameron carried it in and slid to the outside of the circle and flipped the puck in front of the crease where it was picked out of the air by jordan kwas.  a very vneeded goal after uaa had so many ofther chances.
riduculous  boarding call on portwood called by the referee that was 100ft away.  
mickey spencer stuffed it home after some hard work on the power play maintaining the zone .. he started the play along the boards by shuffling a nice puck to the goalline where naslund and bailey combined to get it to the front of the net for mickey to poke home.
and ti didn't take long to bury the 3rd ... just a minute or so after the goal the seawolves hit another pipe then on the next rush into the zone again by spencer for his 3rd goal in two nights.  great night for the mick.
spencer wanted a hat trick.
I never did figure out who made the great diving poke check.  Someone please say in the comments cos whoever it was deserves credit for the great effort.  And lastly, just let me say that someone ought to hold their "game over" pronouncements til later in the game than when there is still 13:42 left.


Mike said...

Very gritty performance by our guys tonight. We looked like a different team than last night. Spencer lights up Lee. 3-2 lead given up with 40 secs to go or so only to come back and bury it in OT. Perseverance, believing you can and plain old guts. Nice job UAA.

PolishX said...

One of the most entertaining UAA games I have seen in a while. I really enjoyed myself. Wish I could get in the pit and snap some pics. I thought Kwas played a good game. #20 Alex Gellert seemed to float alot and just generally seemed lost in the 3rd . Great game though

Anonymous said...

I was able to catch most of Kurt Haider and David Tuttle closing out the post game show on am 550. Boy, he was excited. I don't think I've ever heard him so ecstatic, he was quick to comment saying this was, in his opinion these was the best "game" he seen played by the Seawolves. Week in and out of the WCHA is tough, but this really is a great sign right now. Now its off to Squarebanks, then facing the "new" Mavericks again in Ohama. Go Seawolves!

Alaska Hockey said...

Nice Job Seawolves.

Mike said...

Keep an eye on 26 Currier. That guy busts his ass every shift. Need skating inspiration? Look no further.

Donald Dunlop said...

I agree Mike Tyler gives it everything and makes good things happen.

PolishX said...

I like the fact alot of the guys arent afraid to stick their noses in and get dirty . I will take undersized overlooked blue collar skaters with a chip on their shoulders when they play over pampered highly touted guys who take shifts off .

Anonymous said...

Were also doing a much better job in tying up opponents sticks; cutting down scoring chance, shots, the abilities to make an extra pass, we are excelling at.

Suze said...

Congrats Seawolves players and coaching staff! Go get 'em in _airbanks.

Anonymous said...

Inside College Hockey has us picked to finish 6th in the league this season.

Anonymous said...

INCH says this about UAA:

"After a playoff upset and a trip to the Final Five, we like the Seawolves as a sleeper. This program will soon thrive in the new-look WCHA."

Suze said...

Anyone going to failbanks this weekend?

Alaska Hockey said...

I am going north for the series.

Anonymous said...

Hey Donald,

I thought it was one of the freshman that made that diving poke check because I definitely didn't recognize their style of play. But it could have been Currier too I guess? Whoever it was... it was sweet!

Al said...

Suze, see you in Fairbanks. Banquet Thursday 6:30 pm at the Westmark Hotel on Noble street downtown. No Coaches lunch. Friday game 5:05 pm Saturday game 4:05 pm. They will probably wait until after the late game Saturday to award us the tournament trophy.
Go Seawolves!!!!

Mike said...

The diving poke check I think was either Gorham or Warner. Who ever is on the point on the left side of the PP. I think? The reality was i turned to my wife and said that was a fucking great defensive play right there. Should have noted who it was.

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