It's #whatsaseawolf weekend according to the BGSU Atletic Department. Well, at least we Seawolf fans know what a Bowling Green is.
With only 34 games on the schedule, each subsequent night in college hockey is more important than the preceding night/weekend. That's always the deal. This weekend's series against BGSU is therefore the most important series of the year to this point. There's a number of interesting items to talk about in regard.
Last year, Bowling Green missed getting into the NCAA's by some tiny sliver of a percentage. There was one game more than any other that put them out of the tournament. Losing 6-1 to UAA on February 28th last year was pretty much the straw that broke their NCAA Camel's back. Yay for us.
It's on their mind. Not in the sense that they're obsessed with that one loss. But instead, their overall theme in preseason and early this season is to not forget what happened last year when they had to start their golf game at pretty much the same time as anyone else.
Being so close to the tournament last year has the poll voters in quite the frenzy to proclaim BG as #12 team in the nation. They aren't and I doubt their coaching staff really wants to mention or talk about that. Polls are stupid and useless and BG's staff recognizes that I'd guess.
BGSU returns a team that has a similar class breakdown to UAA though their sophomore class is a bit bigger. Anyway, they've got a solid group of returning veterans backed up by a veteran goalie. Youth led their scoring last season and those same guys look to lead it this season. They are probably a better team than they were last season.
Their brown and orange color scheme bothers me. So we'll definitely be the better looking squad on the ice.
This weekend has got to be one in which the Seawolves build on what they've done so far. Anything less than a continuance of point accumulation is a step backward that will have to be overcome at a later time. Better to get the points now than chase them later.
So how will UAA accomplish that? We play our game, in our barn knowing that we are going to win. Each individual player on the squad challenges himself to play their best game for the sake of their teammates. Every guy needs to be able to go off the ice at the end of the game Saturday and Sunday afternoon with the ability to look their teammates in the eye knowing they gave their best and their all. Nothing less will get the points we need to get.
Of course, the staff will have watched films of BG's games. They opened the season against Ohio State with two wins. Ohio State is 0-6-0 going into this weekend. Then they lost a single game to Western Michigan. Then beat Canisius and tied RIT. Whatever footage the staff managed to see should have given them some ideas about how best to match-up. And this week it's a matter of translating those needs to the players and the players owning what the coach wants them to do.
Mantha will be a key (as he's going to be every week) component for Seawolf success this weekend. After that, the Seawolves need to continue to get somewhat balanced scoring from throughout the lineup and hopefully one or two guys will shine with some more POTW-worthy performances. And we'll need to be solid on the backend while pressing offensive opportunities when they arise.
The line-up should continue to be somewhat fluid with more guys getting opportunities to show why they should be on the roster sheet throughout the season.
Also, Ohio is just not a hockey state and I resent 30 years of living up here 150 miles from the tallest peak in North America named for (quite frankly) a bit of a douchebag President from Ohio. Nice that's changed.
See ya the Sully.