Yeah, the pickings have been perhaps a little bit slim around here. And now another important weekend is upon the Seawolves. If ever a time for a team to show it's stuff; it's this weekend. There's lots of doubts and questions and consternation regarding the team's performances of late. There's been some good in there for sure, but nothing to show for those positives in the standings.
Northern Michigan comes to town with every intention of carrying away as many WCHA points as they can get. And our Seawolves need a sweep. Want to get home-ice for the playoffs? Getting four points this weekend will be a good start.
I think I maybe know why the team isn't scoring so much. Our goaltenders are destroying them in practice. Nothing is getting past Mantha and Matyas and D'Amico at the Wells Fargo and the result is that our forwards are completely dejected. Let one or two in in practice goalies … okay? It'll help your guy's psychological state. But onto this weekend.
Northern has been exceptionally stingy this year in giving up goals. They are 6-1-1 and have given up only 6 goals in those 8 games. .75 goals against average is pretty nice. But having only played 8 games seems to me to be any advantage for our hometown boys. They've slept in their own beds all week and got back from their roadie a day early thanks to the Thursday/Friday schedule last week. Also having twelve games under our belts means just that little bit of extra experience; and that is some sort of advantage I think when your opponent is just coming off a bye week and it's still relatively early in the season.
The physical matchup overall is pretty even. Northern averages just a little older than the Seawolves but it's pretty insignificant. While they aren't giving up a lot of goals they aren't scoring them in big numbers either. They are averaging 2.5 goals per … hey though - Ferris was averaging a lot less before last weekend. So? Anyway, their scoring is reasonably balanced so far but it's worth noting that Alabama-Huntsville has scored 22 goals this season and Northern just 20.
They've only been on the road once this season and that was a trip to play Lake Superior. The other six games they've played were all in Marquette. That should be something else in the Seawolves favor.
The Seawolves have 19.3 minutes in penalties per game; Northern has 11 minutes per and their PK is stellar; they've given up 2 power play goals versus 10 for the Seawolves. Advantage them.
It'll be good to see the boys playing at home. We're into the 2nd third of the season and hopefully we'll see a team that's learned some lessons and applies those learning experiences to their play this weekend. Steve Cobb once said, "If you gotta eat a bug it's better to do it in the morning than waiting for later." Well, I think we've eaten our bugs early in the season and it's time to start putting some wins together and get into the race for home ice at the end of the year.