Never doubt that your favorite Seawolves blogger knows how to have a good time. A win or a loss certainly doesn't dictate that eventuality. That said (yes it's an overused phrase), enjoying yourself after a nice win certainly has it's advantages over enjoying yourself after a loss. And let's be honest here ... I should have said "another" loss. Anyway, I'm currently in the first referenced state of mind.
Tonight I thought the Seawolves showed a lot of heart. There can't be much denying that they played a pretty decent five out of six periods this weekend. And the three tonight were the best three. There was much jump in our boys feet and some good old fashioned team pride which beat the defending national champions tonight.
I don't sit that close to the ice but it didn't matter tonight; I could smell the win in the lower balcony from the moment the Seawolves got on the board.
It was a much needed win for both fans and I suspect the team. Virtually everyone I've talked with has recognized that the team has been mostly playing hard. As J.J. has made clear in his comments it's been a series of small but costly mistakes which have been the difference often lately. One period of bad play on Friday night cost them a chance for a win. But character and pride tonight made the difference.
As a fan I'm happy to see the guys respond this way and gut out a win against a team that didn't show any sign of giving up tonight. Make no mistake about it ... those fuckers came at UAA hard in the last half of the 3rd.
So before I roll into the bed and pass out ... Jade Portwood is fully back now I think. He played an excellent game tonight. He was much more effective forechecking tonight that we've seen since returning from his injury in the first half. Good to see. When he's going forward well he tends to drag the positive play along with him. And he was back to his great defensive play in our end as well.
Alex Gellert played one of the better games of his career tonight. He did well on the draw (I've been out partying so I'm not looking at stats) and I'd have to think he blocked more shots than anyone. He was effective in the offensive end as well. A real top notch game from him tonight I thought. If you didn't see it ... at one point late in the 3rd Alex was working hard but didn't block a shot deep in the UAA zone, Gundy came up with a nice save and Alex skated over and gave him a hug.
Rob Gunderson gave the team the kind of game in the crease that they need in order to win games down the stretch. And not just tonight; in relief of Kamal on Friday Gunderson came up with a 1-1 result. That's no knock on Chris though as everything J.T. Brown touched on Friday went into the net. Just how it goes sometimes. Robbie had more than a couple of big saves tonight and was a big part of the win.
Matt Bailey delivered a very important three-point night and I've been seeing some very obvious passion from him during recent games. Blog friend Suze mentioned last weekend how Bailey looked to be on a mission just before he bagged a goal against DU and likewise tonight he was a very determined hockey player.
Mitch Bruijsten looked strong all weekend and seems to me to be capable at any time of burying the chances he's making. I'd also note Brett Cameron's play tonight. He played a more minutes tonight than usual it seems. He killed penalties more often and was on the ice at crucial times. He got a pretty hard knock when Scott Kishel drove him into the boards. When he didn't get up quickly it was concerning but he bounced back nicely and took his next shift. His good play going forward was important tonight. Eric Scheid played well and is showing grit. I'm expecting he's going to be an important part of the future and it's good to see him gaining confidence.
Curtis Leinweber can make some shit happen can't he? You know what I'm sayin. He's a threat everytime he has his stick on the puck in the offensive end and tonight he delivered more than a couple of thrilling runs. One might look at the stat sheet and not see his name but don't underestimate how important his dyanmic play is. It can really open up the ice when shift after shift he forces defensemen back or slices through them and around them. Bet on him to finish more often down the stretch.
Kory Roy deserves mention for his play as well. He was quite noticeable and effective on both ends. I was real pleased to see how well he can get the puck to the net in tight situations. Korbin Carl's goal in the first was textbook on the ice and well taken. He played a solid defensive game as did the rest of the blueliner crew.
I know I've missed commenting on guys that had good nights but it's late and I've got to hit the hay. Congrats to the guys. Keep playing that way. Enjoy the week sleeping in your own beds and come back out next weekend with the same pride and passion. Thanks in advance.
Here's the boxscore.