Saturday, October 13, 2007

Nye Tournament: Night 2 Wrap-Up

I'll publish this post a number of times as I type it since there's actually more than a few people reading right now. So if you're reading this and it's incomplete then refresh in a few minutes and it should be closer to complete. 1st: Congratulations to the Robert Morris Colonials for winning the championship. No doubt it wasn't really in the mind of their coach and/or players that it would turn out this way for them. I'd have to imagine from Derek Schooley's comments at the Friday luncheon that he was just hoping for a decent early season performance. The team conducted themselves with class on the ice this weekend and their tournament championship was well earned.

Game 1: RMU 4 - Wayne St. 1
RMU used it's maturity and experience to get and keep the upper-hand in this game through all three periods. I'll have to admit less than 100% focus on this match-up as I was busy anticipating the UAA/BU game. Christian Boucher was the all-tournament goaltender and certainly deserved that accolade for his excellent efforts both nights. RMU will certainly looks to be the primary contender for the CHA championship this year and whoever draws them in the NCAA's had better not look past them. Overall I'd say the game had a decent flow. It wasn't run and gun hockey but both teams had decent rushes and opportunities with good possession in the offensive ends. However, RMU's times in the Wayne State end were much longer and of course more productive. Kyle Funkenhauser wasn't horrible in net for Wayne State and the defense in front of him wasn't incompetent so much as they just seemed inexperienced. The Colonials however had a complete team effort and didn't make any glaring errors that Wayne State could cash in. The Warriors had their moments in a spirited 3rd period as they took the momentum in the game and earned a couple of power plays with their efforts. Jon Grabarek managed a late goal on one of those power plays which at least took the sting out of deficit. Jason Towsley was the second RMU play on the All-Tournament team. The Colonials certainly will have the most enjoyable plane trip home. Congratulations to them again.

Game 2: UAA 4 - BU 4
This game certainly had many great elements. It was was mostly wide open. It was full of hits. There were lead changes. There were plenty of power play chances for both teams and spirited penalty killing. There was excellent goaltending on both ends as Jon Olthuis and Brett Bennett came up with more than a few saves each to keep their teams in the game.

The game began with a momentous gulp in the throats of Seawolf fans. UAA won the opening draw and carried the puck into the BU zone. A good breakout after UAA quickly lost possession and BU was counterattacking with good speed. Luke Beaverson was unable to tie up Bryan Ewing on the rush and just 17 seconds into the game BU was up 1-0. The joint was stunned except for the small contingent of traveling BU fans. A second rush just a minute or so later and there were more than a few palpitations amongst the Seawolf faithful. The joint was still quiet. Then the ref began to insert himself into the game. I'm sure he wanted to gain control and make a statement about who was in charge. He called a couple of imaginary ones and a couple of valid ones. It broke up the flow of the game a bit but after he got that wild hair out of his ass play returned to 5 on 5 and shortly thereafter rookie Winston Daychief netted his first Seawolf goal with assists to fellow freshman Kane Lafranchise and Craig Parkinson. It was a contribution indicative of what the freshman class did both nights. They played eagerly and though occassional "freshman mistakes" were evident more often they looked like veterans competing equally for the puck. For the rest of the game the referee (Albers) didn't insert himself and stuck to calling things that were penalties. He missed a couple both ways but at least he wasn't a factor in the outcome. Late in the first period Josh Lunden (Tournament MVP with 3g-2a) bagged his first of the night assisted by Kevin Clark and Peter Cartwright. UAA took the 2-1 lead into the locker room at the first break. The nervous atmosphere in the Sully had been replaced by hope, anticipation and some belief.

BU though came out in the 2nd as they had opened the game. With speed and lots of hard charges to the net. The effort paid off early in the period getting a goal from Matt Gilroy just 1:25 into the period. Ryan Monaghan put BU back into the lead with their 3rd goal just a little over 4 minutes later and it remained 3-2 for the next 12 minutes. 12 minutes that was full of quality hockey at both ends. As with most of the rest of the game, there was plenty of hitting and hard checking. It was enjoyable hockey. The Terriers were playing well enough and the Seawolves were battling but perhaps outplayed. BU has good team speed no doubt. They were quick to the puck and always looking to move it up the ice quickly. At 17:21 of the 2nd Chris Tarkir scored the prettiest goal of his career to regain the tie with an excellent quick release from near the top of the circle to upper corner. It was a laser, Brett Hull style. Good for Chris. Hopefully that gives him some goal scoring confidence. The period ended with an unfortunate freshman mistake for the Seawolves. Brad McCabe who had been playing well the whole game slammed a BU player to the glass from behind with about a tenth of a second on the clock. A hit like that at the end of a period doesn't accomplish anything and it was clear that Brad should have seen the big numbers on the guys back. Albers had little choice but to call a 5 minute major. It wasn't a violent hit. But it was a call you can't really argue about.

So the 3rd period began with UAA needing to kill 5 minutes of a BU power play. Winston Daychief served McCabes penalty. With plenty of rest and time in between periods to focus UAA was able to repeatedly break-up rushes at the blueline early in the penalty. Merit Waldrop deserves props for his hard PK work especially. The Seawolves had a couple of decent shorthanded chances including Paul Crowder ringing one off the post, but BU did gain the zone and manage some pressure. With about a minute remaining in the advantage though the Terriers got caught with too many men on the ice (called by a linesman) and it was 4-4 hockey for the next 60 seconds. With the PK over, the momentum took a slow turn in the Seawolves favor though I wouldn't say they had BU on their heels. At least the play was fairly even. However, a bit after the 10 minute mark of the period Blair Tassone crushed Ryan Weston into the glass near the penalty boxes and the ref immediately pointed Blair to the exit door. UAA killed off about the first three minutes (with Daychief again getting the honor of serving) of this second major penalty of the 3rd period but Bryan Ewing buried a good chance to put BU up 4-3 with less than 8 minutes remaining in the game. Play for the next few minutes was spirited and mostly up and down the ice with chances at both ends. Jonny O played very well throughout the game but made some game saving chances in the second half of the 3rd to keep UAA in the game. With a little under 4 minutes to go UAA went on it's final power play of the night (coincidentally, given to Weston for CFB; the two minute variety). The Terriers were able to break up almost anything that UAA got going though until a final rush at 17:21 when Kevin Clark found a breaking Josh Lunden with a great cross-ice pass that Josh absolutely buried. The joint erupted. The remaining 2 and a half minutes was all Seawolves. They were buzzing and the ice looked tilted. UAA dominated the OT period as well. I'm not sure who missed a backhand (I think it was Crowder ... nope it was Cartwright) on an almost empty net with about a minute to go but perhaps "the fates" were interested in a tie. I'd say that BU was playing conservative; not taking a chance on making a mistake. UAA must've spent at least three and a half minutes in the BU zone with the Terriers certainly not getting into the Seawolf zone for much more than 30 seconds total.

It was a great 3rd period in a really excellent hockey game. I'm a bit disappointed in not getting the win. But the bright side is that the Seawolves showed character in coming from behind twice as well as leading the game. They certainly had their chances to win. BU had their chances to win as well. Coming all the way from the right coast to Alaska and going away winless has got to mostly suck. Colin Wilson and Matt Gilroy were named to the All-Tournament team which should take a little bit of the sting out of the winless trip for those two guys anyway. Kevin Clark was the one All-Tournament representative for UAA though as I mentioned earlier Josh Lunden was named Tournament MVP.

I'll have some more thoughts tomorrow in my regular Sunday Potpourri post. It's nice to start a season unbeaten even if it is only 2 games old. Thats it for tonight. If you're reading these words you don't need to hit your refresh button again.


Anonymous said...

Great wrap up as always!


Anonymous said...

yes awesome job donald, ready for next weekend against squarebanks. go seawolves

Anonymous said...

I thought if a ref called a CFB, it had to be 5 and the door. If they don't want it to be a major, they call boarding. I don't understand that call, and Doyle didn't either - he mentioned it in his article.

Anonymous said...

No the ref can call a 2 min CFB usully this happens when it is on more open ice not along the boards. Though it is up the ref to decide how dangerious the play is.

Anonymous said...

2nd that great wrapup. Am at work and couldn't get the GCI/UAA website to work so had to listen via a BU webcast. Next weekend.

Anonymous said...

Great job Donald. I'm sure the parents of the players REALLY appreciate all the information you provide. I know I would if I were in their place.

Let's kick some Nanook butt this weekend!

Eric J. Burton said...

So did the game end in a shoot out?
I noticed a 4-4 tie, did the two teams solve the tie some how? Or is this not a tourney?

Anonymous said...

Here at the the Classic we choose to title the Champions using a complicated mathematical formula based on points earned for wins and ties, multiplied by pi, divided by average shoe size, take an audience meter during the 2nd period intermission, then viola the champion is chosen. They come to the podium and accept their trophy wearing sweatpants!

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