Man, I honestly don't even know what to say. I deftly avoided talking about the two losses to Northern (honestly ... no BS here; those were embarrassing) by just not posting. It's doing a disservice to Chris Lawrence who submitted a nicely written "intro to UAA hockey" which I will post here soon because it's better than anything I have to add to the Seawolves hockey discussion right now.
It was sorrowful that our guys couldn't manage any point's in Marquette. I honestly (swear to god) think they deserved more than they got but at this point in the season with the current record THAT MEANS SQUAT
There were points there to be had ... wunder-goalie Dahlstrom wasn't in the crease and still the Seawolves couldn't bag the necessary totals to earn anything more than the two L's they rolled out of town with.
I didn't see this past weekend's games, but between listening to Kurt (as much as I could) and analyzing the box score ... it's clear we didn't keep 3 guys on the defensive side of the puck as we did against UAF last weekend. I can say nothing less at this point than that is on the coach. The Seawolves beat Fairbanks with a defense first effort by capitalizing on their opportunities. Such an effort was not in evidence in Marquette.
In college hockey, it's generally ineffective to play other than tactically unless you have talent out the wazoo. I love the Seawolves as much as anyone ... we don't however have talent out the wazoo. There's more than a couple of guys amongst our guys who can flat out play the game but to succeed our team has to play a smart game and do it effectively. The only way that happens is if the coach designs a game plan that utilizes his team's strengths versus the opposition's weakness.
In this long season, there's been lots of opportunities for the Seawolves' staff and players to learn lessons and I'm not impressed with the results. Once again, we are seeing our three most experienced/talented forwards (Allen, Tatchell and Cameron) on a single line that an opposition team can focus on in their game plan. Is that a lesson learned?
The Seawolves have some nice talent in the underclassmen and those guys have shown they can contribute offensively but their experience at this level doesn't equate to overcoming a shutdown of Allen, Tatchell and Cameron. Unless those three guys account for 4 points (some combination of goals and assists) the Seawolves arenm't likely to win. I haven't looked at any stats to reach that conclusion.
I don't want to say this but I'm gonna: I've been wondering if Coach Thomas might be playing for the future instead of for this season. At this point, I couldn't really blame him. Nothing came together this season like anyone hoped it would. Hell, I heard the word "championship" as a pre/early season hope more than a few times. But, it's a delicate thing for a transitioning coach (transition doesn't happen in a year) to develop "his" players while respecting/supporting players recruited by his predecessor.
This isn't the first time we've seen a "sophomore slump" following a coaching change. The first year gets a bump from the enthusiasm of veterans responding to the opportunity to play for a new coach after a TERRIBLE last season. Then, this year .... again. The worst season ever came in John Hill's second year after a first year that was as exciting as it could be. Last year we saw a relatively equivalent situation to Hill's Final Five season ... by the way, in Hill's 2nd season we won ONE game.
Soooooo .... I don't expect anything good this weekend but I won't be surprised with a win against the #1 ranked team in college hockey on either Friday or saturday night. It wouldn't be unheard of for the #1 team to overlook the NUMBER FORTY-TWO team.
I wish I didn't have to write such things.