Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The 2010-2011 UAA Seawolves Senior Class

Tommy Grant, Nick Haddad, Kane Lafranchise, Craig Parkinson, Luka Vidmar  and Sean Wiles are the 6 members of the 2010-2011 Seawolves senior class.  A familiar tag to WCHA fans should be the moniker that pegs the WCHA as an "upperclassmen's league".  What that simply means is that the teams who's junior and senior classes perform most successfully are the teams that will have the most success in the league.  These six UAA skaters will have a lot to say about the success of the 2010-2011 Seawolves.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Potpourri: Burgers, Dogs, Yucks and The BTHC

In terms of social interaction with a medium sized group of people (i.e... today's Meet-n-Greet event/picnic) people love seeing a sense of humor.  Today's funny guys?  Daniel Naslund and Jade Portwood.   Each player on the team took the microphone and introduced themselves; you know .... name, number, birthplace, major, how and why they came to UAA.  I must of course paraphrase but it went something like this.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back From Vacation...

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on the blog, mostly because hockey hasn’t been on my mind since Patrick Kane’s “Most Awkward Stanley Cup Clinching Moment Ever” (which I remind everyone that I happen to predict). One of the other reasons is that 2010 is a World Cup year and well, I was watching World Cup games before it was cool (I didn’t see very many people in 2002 up at 1:30am watching the US smack Mexico around… again), so Soccer was (and still is) on the mind. Mostly I wasn’t posting because I had no working computer, let’s just say it was hovering between Blue Screen of Death and “Windows is checking for a solution to the problem.” But it’s fixed, time flies, and it's the end of August and Hockey Season is beginning.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dear 2010 Seawolves Rookies

Dear Rooks,
On behalf of my readers and other Seawolf fans, please allow me (your newly acquired pseudo-Uncle Donald) to express my heartfelt welcome to the UAA Seawolves hockey team. Congratulations on reaching your goal of playing Division 1 College Hockey and welcome to the undisputed best amateur hockey league in the world.  Yes, the WCHA is not surpassed in the level of skill and competition by any other amateur hockey league.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Seawolves Finalize 28-Player Roster

The UAA Seawolves today finalized and released their 28-player roster for the 2010-11season.  Everybody we thought would be on the roster is listed.  There are 6 seniors, 3 juniors, 9 sophomores and 10 freshman.  Of the 25 skaters; 17 are listed as forwards, 6 as defensemen and 2 forward/defensemen.  

The school's release includes lots of details that we mostly already know about the rookies.  Coach Shyiak said,
“We will have a large number of forwards fighting for regular spots in the lineup.  This young group will push and create a more competitive environment during practice sessions. Obviously with the loss of some of our scoring from our departed seniors, we are hoping that this combined group can provide some offense for our squad.”
I haven't looked back at past years but this sure seems like the largest roster that I can remember for quite some time.

There is no real way to characterize this years edition of the Seawolves as anything but young.  Including the 3 goalies, there are 19 underclassmen.  The 8 sophomore skaters have a combined 158 games of WCHA experience combined; that works out to 19.5 games per player.

Having zero surprises on the finalized roster is excellent.  Every year I anticipate this release with some bit of anxiety that an expected player won't turn up for whatever reason.  It's a good sign for the program when everything goes according to plan.  And once again this year that is the case.

As mentioned above, this is going to be primarily a young team.  There is some experience both on the blueline and at forward that will contribute to the team's success. But mostly when we look at the 5 skaters on the ice at any particular time this season we're going to be seeing underclassmen.  And they will be playing critical roles at critical times.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Best Picnic Table Ever and Lyle Woods

I'm told that Lyle Woods will indeed be back behind the microphone as the Seawolves announcer at the Sullivan Arena this season.  That's a nice bit of confirmation to the rumor I mentioned last post.  Lyle's moderated enthusiasm, excellent enunciation, vocal projection and overall style were missed last season.  

Good on the coupla blokes who stepped in and gave it an honorable shot.  Lyle is just a tough act to follow.  Welcome back Lyle.  Thanks to any and all that had something to do with ensuring this happened. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Potpourri: Damnit, There's No Jam For My Toast!

Hockey season definitely is not here yet.  But it is around a corner.  It's still a long slow corner but it's close enough to begin to sense it.  I don't really want to count the number of days til the season opens against North Dakota on Friday October 8th so I'll guess it's around 50 days. 

For a hockey fan, summer is like toast without jam.  Sure, you can still enjoy it without some splendid Black Raspberry slathered on top.  But it really just isn't quite the same.  If you don't agree, then you just aren't "mad on jam" like me.d

This offseason I've consciously stayed away from making posts.  This one is one I mayn't have made if I wasn't jonesin.  But I must admit.  I'm jonesin for some hockey.  I'm jonesin for the whole shebang; getting to the rink early enough to watch a bit of warm ups and going over the lineup sheet for surprises and maybe having a beer and for sure having a cigarette and walking the concourse to my seat (hopefully before the starting lineups are announced) and hoping for a good anthem singer (ahem .. Steve Dickson) and then settling in.  All that is good stuff.

Of course, that is really just when the fun starts eh?  There isn't a game that I sit down to in the Sullivan Arena that when the puck is dropped I don't think we're going to come out on top.  It's a bit early for me to start forming any sort of ideas about how this upcoming season's team is going to turn out.  We'll all be excited and optimistic as well as perhaps disappointed at times.  Naturally, we hope for the more of the former and less of the latter.

I'll try to be realistic this season in building anyone's expectations.  I think we have to honestly acknowledge that it could be a bit of a transition year.  A large part of a couple of good recruiting years has departed the team.  They're definitely going to be a young bunch particularly on the offensive end and in the net.  There's a fair bit of experience on the blueline that could help anchor the teams identity.  In saying all that, I'm reminded of notion that left-wing locking, right-wing locking, high zone and neutral zone trapping employed as a primary strategy will build a disciplined group for 2011/12 and onward.   Practice it, master it and make every other team play against it.

I like that a trapping team is also a counter attacking team.  Make the bastards turn it over and create some 2 on 1 chances and you can frustrate a team that is otherwise outplaying you.  I see no down side in focusing on a totally defense first effort.  There are three goalies on this roster with virtually no D1 experience.  In order for them to build confidence and get up to speed with the WCHA they are going to need a lot of defensive support.  

Am I right?  Voice your concerns, hopes etc in comments please.  I'd really like to get a sense of what other folks are thinking.


Get your UAA Seawolves Fight Song Ringtone here.  Courtesy of our beloved Louisiana-based friend Capt. Donald Leaver you can use the official orchestral version of "Shout it off the Chugach Mountains ..." as a ringtone.  Click here to download the file to your computer.  To listen to the file press the play button on the player below.


I heard a rumor and I'm going to share it.  I heard the Lyle Woods could possibly return as announcer for this seasons games.  All I can say is.  Whatever needs to happen to make this happen better happen.  Really.  Lyle is light years ahead in abilities with that microphone than any replacement they've tried.  

It is my understanding that he stepped down in part due to the amount of compensation.  So fix that shit somebody eh?  Give the dude an extra $50 bucks a night than you would otherwise eh?  For fucks sake.  I'm serious.  Lyle is the man.

A bad announcer ruins the game.  I quit going to the Aces games because of Bob Lester.  Get Lyle back behind the mic.  Whoever is responsible for that.  Get on it.  Don't make me start writing letters and making phone calls eh?  Nobody wants that sort of ugliness in their day do they?


So I killed my TV about 6 months ago.  I don't miss it.  I didn't know who Justin Bieber was until the other day.  I feel so sorry for the rest of you.  Failed abortions like that kid tend to drain any hope from me that our culture was anything other than drowning in a fetid pool of elephant vomit.  That hope isn't gone completely though.  Because I've also seen and met enough of the 18-34 demographic to be encouraged.  Why?  So many of them recognize, embrace and venerate the music the that my generation created.  I appreciate that.  So even though every once in a while some vile hell-sent insipid demon might arise in popular culture, there seems to be enough good taste to offset it.

And oh yeah, just who's job was it to ensure that Billy Ray Cyrus never reproduced?  I'd like to find that person and slap them so hard that their mother's dentures pop out in Hoboken.  If you happen to see him walking down the street, don't think for a second that I'll be upset if you kick him in the nuts.  I'm not encouraging you to do such a thing.  But I doubt seriously a jury would convict you of assault because of the culturally beneficial effects of your act.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Seawolves Hire Ryan McKelvie

Regg Simon's departure less than a week ago has been promptly filled by NAHL Associate Head Coach Ryan McKelvie from the Wenatchee Wild.  McKelvie skated in the WCHA for Minnesota State from 2002-2006.  He then coached for 2 seasons as a graduate assistant at Bemidji State from 2006-2008 and spent the last two seasons coaching with the Wild.