Friday, October 13, 2006

Nye Tournament: 1st Night Wrap-Up

CC vs. UNO
The Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks have one person to thank for their 2-2 tie with CC tonight. Tiger forward Jimmy Kilpatrick was presented with 2 full feet of net late in the game with CC leading 2-1. It was the sort of opportunity that every forward hopes he gets late in a close game. Jimmy took his chance pretty well; he made good first time contact and sent the puck toward the net with lots of authority. Unfortunately for CC, Kilpatrick fired it on the only part of the net that Jared Kaufmann had covered. I guess you write that sort of thing off to it being early in the season? Nope. Not me. That was CC's third game of the season. Kilpatrick is a Junior. His team needed that finish after struggling to score the previous 56 minutes. UNO scored very shortly afterwards to gain the tie. It wasn't like CC didn't have a lot of chances. I counted at least FOUR posts hit. Additionally, they had a goal disallowed because a UNO player had dragged (and was subsequently penalized) a rushing CC forward into the net which was dislodged a nano-second before the puck crossed the line. Combine that bad fortune with a somewhat opportunistic Maverick team and overall it was a pretty ugly night for CC fans. I should be clear here though ... CC outplayed UNO at both ends of the ice ALL NIGHT LONG. They were both bigger and faster than UNO and used both of those advantages to full measure. I don't even want to say they lacked finishing because they hit those four posts. It was the kind of game that will probably leave a bad taste in their mouth. Best player on the ice for CC? Matt Zaba.

I think UNO is a very dangerous team when they get on a quick counterattack. Which is exactly the sort of play that broke rookie JJ Koehler into the CC zone who used good speed along the outside of the slot while fighting off a defender before he stepped in and put the puck behind Zaba for the tie goal. On the night I noticed Koehler and would give him props for a good game. I guess I was expecting to see more flash from a guy who got Hobey consideration last year but Scott Parse never really caught my eye. UNO should be happy with the tie they played hard enough that they deserved it.

UAA vs. Merrimack
In a lot of ways the UAA game had a similar feel to the first game of the night. I thought that UAA clearly was the bigger faster and more talented team. Cap'n Kronch scored a real pretty goal. And Justin Bourne opened up a hitherto-unknown can of sniper on Jim Healy. Josh Lunden's no-look between-the-legs-backward feed across the crease deserved a finish and I'm sure Josh won't mind that it was a Merrimack defenders skate that did the trick. Getting a goal (especially a GWG) in the first game is a big deal when you're a rookie; no matter how it happens (his was pretty so who cares about the luck). Nathan Lawson was solid in goal. Merrimack's two goals were both well taken. Paul Crowder continued to impress me with his ability to keep the puck on his stick and do something creative with it. I'm thinking he reminds me a bit of Ales Parez. My player of the game though for UAA would be Blair Tassone. All night long Blair worked hard physically at both ends of the ice. He was (as Kurt Haider pointed out during his broadcast) a "sparkplug" and everytime he was on the ice the tempo picked up. He also got a nice goal as a result of his hard work.

Eleven seconds into the first period Kevin Clark was called for a 5 minute CFB and shown the gate for the game. I think Kevin just got a little over anxious and let his enthusiasm get the better of him. It wasn't a dangerous check (there were two CFB's later in the game that were much more deserving) but it was the sort of check that an official is going to call 11 seconds into the season. With that penalty kill and two more subsequent penalties the Seawolves didn't look sharp overall in the first period. Chad Anderson's goal came about 20 seconds after Merrimack had killed off a penalty, UAA retained possession though and Chad carried the puck across the blueline from the point until he saw an opening and fired one (not a rocket, not a duck) into the top right corner. Luke Beaverson scored a goal on a very similar situation to CC's Jimmy Kilpatrick but the UAA junior buried his chance taking advantage of a badly out of position Jim Healy.

UAA dominated the 2nd and 3rd periods getting two PP goals (Lunden and Bourne) and one at even strength in the second (Kronschnabel). All three goals came in the second 10 minutes of the period. Brathwaite came in for Merrimack in the third and made some nice saves and if I were Mark Dennehy I'd start him against CC on Saturday afternoon.

I'll write some sort of a preview tomorrow before the games.


Anonymous said...

I agree about Tassone, he played a great game and it should give him some confidence. He's a junior, and I believe that was his first career goal ... is that correct?

Nice game guys, do it again tonight.

DC said...

We are seeing a lot of CFB or near-CFBs from freshmen. 'Dogs had one last night. Sioux nearly had one tonight. Learning curve?

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