It was a big scoring night for the Seawolves in their exhibition versus Western Ontario tallying 8 goals. Brett Cameron and Hayden Trupp led the way with 2 each. Zach Rassell, Austin Azurdia, Scott Allen and Anthony Conti all added one each. It was a real crisp performance all around from all the guys on both ends of the ice. Passing was clean, everything looked pretty sharp. There was a lot to like and not much to not like.
The first goal of the night came from Hayden Trupp at 19:16 of the 1st period. Tanner Johnson had the puck on the right point at the line and saw Trupp breaking in on the left and forced his shot wide for Trupp. Trupp did an great job eyeing the puck and meeting it to bury it into the open side. Pretty pass that was well finished.
Brett Cameron picked up the 2nd goal at 7:07 of the 2nd with assists from Hudson Friesen and Blake Tatchell. They had some sustained pressure and a couple of shots that hit Seawolf players in front. Brett picked up a loose puck in the right hand slot and ripped it home. Nice goal as a result of good work.
Just a couple minutes later at 10:27, Zach Rassell picked up the third goal on a nice 2 on 1 that developed at the Western blueline. Conti fed it from the left to Rassell in the slot who deked the goalie and shoved it home. Austin Coldwell picked up an assist on the play as well.
At 13:36 of the period , Cameron picked up his 2nd goal of the night on the power play with a sweet tip off a Coldwell shot from the point. Jarret Brown moved the puck to Coldwell on the opposite point who fired a shot which Brett made a nice tip in.
After the 4th goal it basically got ugly. One has to admit that Western Ontario didn't have the depth on the bench that UAA had. Those guys played a pretty tough game in Fairbanks last night then travelled to Anchorage to face a UAA team that was really ready to get it on.
Austin Azurdia put in the 5th goal at 16:00 minutes of the second. Dylan Hubbs broke into the zone on the left side and took the puck deep, he heard Jarrett Brown calling for the puck (I heard him too) back on the right side, Hubbs misfired briefly then made the pass back to Brown who fired a shot which either hit a defenseman or the goalie saved then Austin Azurdia was johnny-on-the-spot to finish.
I didn't see the next goal scored just 12 seconds later because I was writing my notes on the Azurdia goal which I originally thought had been scored by Hubbs. Anyway, Scott Allen bagged the 6th goal with assists to Brett Cameron and Derek Docken.
Anthony Conti made it 7-0 at 4:41 of the 3rd with a goal that was the result of some pinball-like action. Zach Rassell moved the puck to Austin Coldwell along the line, Austin fired it and it bounced off a couple of players right to Conti who put it away.
Hayden Trupp finished the scoring at 8:30 with perhaps the prettiest goal of the night (Cameron's first was a great shot too) with a nice passing play from Chris Williams to Anthony Conti to Trupp who was coming through the slot. Trupp fired a beautiful (and hard) wrist shot from the slot to cleanly beat the Western netminder.
The game tried to get ugly after that with quite a bit of chirping and jawing particularly between Dylan Hubbs and DeCoste from Western. Throughout the 3rd Western players did take every opportunity to lay bodies on UAA players. There was a cheap shot or two which the referees overlooked or didn't see. It never really reached any sort of blatant ugliness though which was nice to see.
Brett Cameron was the player of the game in my mind. He was skating hard and looked determined from the beginning of the game. His forechecking was big. His physical game was solid. I did think he took a bit of a rough shot in the back ribs at one point in the 1st period. If this was any indication of the way he's going to play all season then you guys are going to love him to death. Of course, Hayden Trupp deserves honorable mention or second star or whatever you'd call it. Not only because of his two nice goals but his all out effort particularly his forechecking which was strong and effective.
I was really impressed with some of the early chemistry on the lines. In particular, Austin Azurdia and Dylan Hubbs really seemed to like playing together. More than a couple of times they had each other's backs in some confrontations and hockey-wise they combined very nicely all night to be dangerous.
I thought Anthony Conti had a real nice night. He looked dangerous and helped generate quite a few chances. His goal might of been a wee bit of luck but it was luck that he deserved through his quality play. Chase Van Allen also had an excellent game. He was smart with the puck and fired more than a couple of very heavy shots. I gotta love Tanner Johnson and Jarrett Brown who both greatly exceeded what I expected. They were both poised and contributed well on both ends. Jarrett picked up a couple of well deserved assists.
I could go on naming guys all night that had good games. But it's midnight and I don't want to get overly-optimistic about what's to come based on a single exhibition game against a potentially tired opponent. We'll know a lot more about this year's edition of the Seawolves after next weekend. But I'm honestly filled with optimism right now.
Both goalies played well. Michael Matyas was tested a bit more than Olivier Mantha but both came up with solid saves on the TWELVE total shots from Western. Sorry to say here, but I think that Western's shot count was higher than that. I can't make a evidentiary dispute about it since I didn't count.
Also, tracking 8 goals and making notes then writing them up half-accurately is no small task. So there's that. I'm not saying that I don't want the guys to score 8 goals every night. By all means, make my writing/blogging life more difficult that way as often as you can.