I didn't see either game this weekend. Congratulations to the Seawolves on their two victories this weekend. So that puts the boys at 3-1 to open the season. Not the first time our guys have had good starts to the season. Since 2002-2003 the Seawolves have collectively gone an outstanding 33-12-11 in their first four games.
The two worst years in that stretch were 2003-03 when we opened 1-2-1 and 2010-11 when we opened 1-1-2. That's a pretty good history of coming out the gate and doing well. Part of the reason for these good season starts must surely go to the extra week of practice that we get and that teams coming up here for tournaments don't get. But that really seems like a slight advantage to me when every team has captain's practices and are all just as anxious and excited to get a season started.
Maybe all these teams that come up here are just so captivated with Alaska's beauty? Who knows really? Not that I care why ... it's a nice number.
But it's just the start of the season eh? You don't need me to tell you how the majority of the rest of those seasons turned out do you? Ok, I won't.
This then is UAA Hockey's first crucial point of the season. The team should have a little confidence. Not too much ... they didn't beat "anybody" yet. But feeling a little good about themselves at this point isn't a bad thing. It should make for a week of good practices. Things get hard now and with each weekend we're going to begin to see what this team is capable of doing.
The scoring this weekend was pretty delightful. It was spread nicely throughout the lineup and guys that we expected to score (and will depend on all season to score) got it done. Both goalies played well enough to give the guys in front of them some confidence as well.
There's lots of individual positives to be happy about. Jeremiah Luedtke's 5 assists put him at the top of the assists scoring table and the freshman scoring table among WCHA players. Wyatt Ege is tied for 2nd on the Freshman table and he is at the top of the defenseman scoring table with his 3 goals and single assist. Let's cross our fingers that they stay near the top. Both of these guys have really performed well and don't look like rookies.
The rest of the first year guys have looked good so far this season. Mason Mitchell is going to make an impact on this league ... and I'm not just talking about his physical game. He's got more goals in him than just the one he's bagged. I suspect Erb-Ekholm and MacTavish have some goals in them as well but both have just played in two of the four games.
Blake Tatchell had a real nice weekend of scoring as did Anthony Conti and Tad Kozun. These are three guys we'll be expecting to perform well all season. If the team is to have success then these three guys are going to be key scorers to make that happen. Conti has a 100% shooting percentage on the season: 2 games, 2 shots and 2 goals.
Matt Anholt's performances this season have been simply fantastic. I doubt anyone expected him to be contributing so much to the scoring. If he isn't already then he's turning into one of the best two-way players in our league. Last season he had 9 points (2g,7a) and this season in just 4 games he's got 5 points (1g,4a). It's a great sign.
I don't envy Matt Thomas putting the game roster together. No matter what he does he's going to be leaving players in the stands that could contribute and that's gotta suck a little bit. Four games in and I'm sure he's getting a sense of the best squad he can put on the ice. That's a process whose result is best to figure out sooner rather than later. Every WCHA league weekend is important and they start next weekend in Alabama.
There's reason to be optimistic but remember we haven't played "anyone" yet. Not sure at this point if UAH is anyone but we'll see. I'll work up a thorough preview of them at some point this week but I may be out of action for a coupla/three days.