I'll start by declaring that I didn't see this game; cos job. I've talked with some folks who did. There was mention that perhaps the Seawolves didn't play their best game. One wonders if Maine helped that perception by playing well. It sure sounds like they played better than they did here in Anchorage. So I've just got a couple of observations but I think they're particularly salient.
The Black Bears got the puck through to Olivier Mantha 40 times. Not too many hockey teams come out on top on any given night when the opposition shots are that high. Why were they that high? My initial thought is that nobody got in the way of those shots. It did make Mantha the #1 star of the game but I'm sure that wasn't anyone's intention. I just counted 4 blocked shots for the game. That's not really many, is it?
Give Maine credit for being sufficiently hungry for a win and putting forth the necessary effort to get that done. I understand they had UAA on their heels for quite some stretches particularly in the first period. Getting the first goal was important and our top power play unit came through. But a bit of a controversial goal about 45 seconds later erased that advantage. An advantage that could have helped UAA dictate the pace of the game versus having the pace dictated by a team desperate for a win. Again, though … credit to the Black Bears. So then, the too many shots problem seems to be a combination of lack of shot blocking and the opposition's effectiveness.
My second thought is that the Seawolves seemed to have had their chances. 34 shots on goal is indicative of that. We had 6 power plays. One for the last 2 minutes of the game. And we had a 6 on 4 advantage for nearly the last 30 seconds of the game. Is that our failure to execute or did Maine stand tall when they needed to? A little column A, a little column B?
So that's pretty much what I think is important.
Mantha might have made a case to get the start again tomorrow night. That's a tough call. 3 of UAA's 4 penalties were against two Seawolf 1st liners. Tatchell and Anholt won 28 draws (17 for Blake and 11 for Matt). That's a good thing to note.
Tomorrow's game will certainly be interesting. I wish I could watch it. But, job. It is what it is. I still think UAA will need to find a way to control the tempo but however they get the W tomorrow doesn't matter to me. Just win baby.