Points was what I said this weekend would need to be all about. Regardless of referees Matt Ulwelling and Craig Welker doing everything they possibly could to insert themselves into the result ... the Seawolves held on tonight for the 5-5 tie after winning 5-4 on Friday night. A three-point road weekend in the WCHA is always real nice. They led tonight at one point by a 5-1 margin and just thereafter lies the biggest part of the story of an overwhelmingly queer game. The referees.
The Seawolves went up 5-1 on Curtis Leinweber's sweet power play goal (his 2nd of the night and 3rd of the weekend) at 7:31 of the 2nd period. To that point in the game 2 penalties had been called on Mankato and a single penalty call had tagged the Seawolves. 45 seconds later began a string of penalty calls against our boys the likes of which could be classified as nothing other than amazing.
Bruijsten picked up the first one with a holding call at 8:16 ... a minute and 7 seconds later Tyler Currier goes for holding and the purple cows go on their first 5 on 3. Then just 17 seconds after Bruijsten gets out of jail, Matt Bailey gets whistled for cross-checking. A couple of seconds after that 5 on 3 ends Mankato makes it 5-2.
Then comes the 4th straight call against the Seawolves and the most arbitrary and egregious call of the night. Mickey Spencer took two hits from a couple of Mankato players in the corner and registered his dislike that one of them left his feet to make the hit by responding with a cup check. A cup check is pretty much not more than a rude hello in hockey. Yet when Eriah Hayes dropped like a sack of potatoes the referees responded by calling a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for spearing.
There was no spearing act. On this first five minute major Mankato scored 57 seconds in (at 13:51) to make it 5-3. Then after another couple of minutes at 15:26 the refs decided to change the 5 on 4 into a 4 on 4 by tossing 2 p-cows along with Brad Gorham. Then at 19:25 Gorham got whistled for tripping.
Then right after that power play ended early in the 3rd they whistle Chris Crowell for holding @ 2:06 and the p-cows capitalized 9 seconds into the power play to make the score 5-4. Three other penalties in the 3rd period against the Seawolves including a 5 minute major against Mitch Bruijsten for CFB and a game misconduct just a minute after the Seawolves went on a 5 minute major power play of their own. An interference call (incorrect call btw) on the Mankato goalie and a slashing penalty against Matt Bailey (rolling my eyes) meant for a while the teams actually played 3 on 3.
Just a couple of minutes after all that nonsense was cleared up and the teams actually were playing 5 on 5 the game tying goal came at 10:24. From then on it was pretty much UAA just holding on any way they could to avoid losing the game. The shot total on the night is the stat which reflects that best ... 46-13 in favor of Mankato. The Seawolves scored their 5 goals on the first 7 shots of the game.
I'll try to get some specific thoughts posted about the weekend etc tomorrow or Monday but that's all for tonight.