Dear Hockey World,
Allow me to introduce you to "The Hair Line": Tad Kozun, Nicolas Erb-Ekholm and Austin Azurdia. No doubt there are Seawolf players who think their own hair is all that ... but the three best coifs on the squad are now skating on a line together. The Hair Line.
Those three guys had a fine game together and I'd expect to see them skating together tomorrow and perhaps for quite a while. There was some chemistry and a couple of times they really worked the puck well in traffic to create scoring chances. They transitioned with speed and moved both the puck and their bodies very well.
They were rewarded late in the 2nd period when Azurdia and Kozun broke into the offensive zone after Erb-Ekholm helped chop the puck loose at center ice. Austin drove the right side and when the D-man cheated toward him, he dished to Tad who buried his shot.
The "Hair Line" though was the second best offensive asset on the ice for UAA. The first? Blake Tatchell. Not to dismiss Tatch's linemates Jeremiah Luedtke and Mason Mitchell; but Blake put his mark on three of UAA's four goals with his 1g, 2a performance. I don't have a nickname for that line. Just sayin ...
Tatchell's goal came as he drifted through the high slot from left to right and fired the puck low from behind a BG player who was kind enough to screen Burke. The shot beat Burke clean on the left side. He also assisted on Cam Amantea's goal when he carried the zone with Amantea.
Then Cam gets the 1st collegiate goal monkey off his back picking up his own rebound after going in deep; the puck popped high off Burke's pads and Cam's obviously excellent hand-eye coordination picked out about belly high and popped it home. It wasn't the only puck he picked out of the air on the night. Officially speaking, he's got damn good hands.
The Seawolves opened the game looking crisp and pushing the pace and using two aggressive forecheckers. Later in the game when up 4-1 I was happy to see four guys drop back into the neutral zone to support a single forechecking forward.
Mantha was solid all night but came up huge in the 1st period at 13;13 with a solid save on a deflection from the slot and even bigger with the second save moving right to left and stuffing what would have otherwise been an open net. If and when I fail to mention Olivier Mantha's excellent goaltending please forgive me. I don't mean to take his play for granted; he's a massive reason the team is 5-1-1 today.
Chase Van Allen straight up f***ing rocked the perfect shot to score his goal. The puck couldn't have been more in the top left corner without bouncing out. It literally clipped both the crossbar and the post as it zipped past Burke.
Our D played well all afternoon controlling the pace of the game. They were all good carrying the puck and contributing to scoring chances. All the guys I didn't mention played excellent games ... they didn't end up on the score sheet but all contributed for the nice team victory.
BG wasn't in a good mood or something and it apparently kept their ears from registering the whistle. Hopefully if that continues tomorrow the referees will take notice.
We're halfway to an excellent weekend. The same determination to win and effective effort tomorrow should produce a similar result. Having 7 WCHA points versus just 5 is huge at this point of the season; I'm excited for Sunday's game already.