Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday Potpourri: Captains, Banquet, Schedule & Tommy Grant

Four Captains have been named for the 2011-2012 season today by Coach Shyiak.  Seniors Brad Gorham, Jade Portwood and juniors Chris Crowell and Scott Warner were selected.  Here is the link to the announcement on the GoSeawolves website.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

2011 Seawolves Report Card: Part One

As in years past it's time for me to weigh in with some grades and comments about the season.  Actually, it's past time as I usually get to this earlier.  Fortunately, the delay was caused by the team's trip to the Final Five.  I'm not one to stick to some pre-formatted standardized grading methodology and every year I've done this, I've done it a bit differently; same thing here.  The first caveat is that I'm arriving at these grades subjectively and relatively.  What matters here is how I think the team performed in the noted areas based on my expectations as to their potential.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

UAA Hockey Arena: My Penultimate Words

Let's talk about arenas shall we?  I don't really want to but there's a hubbub.  It's not something I'm fond of doing as my blogging style lends itself more to the rant & rave milieux. Getting a dumb parking ticket at the University while trying to delve into the whole issue doesn't exactly get my juices flowing so expect this to be my personal next to last words on the subject. My last words with regard to arenas will be an announcement of an on campus standalone arena for UAA Hockey.  I will now endeavor to simplify the process here for everyone's mutual benefit and edification.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Potpourri: Simple Math, Peluso and Thankys

With the end of the various conference tournaments yesterday, good mathematics places the Seawolves as the 17th best Division I team out of 58.  Bad mathematics places the Seawolves as the 20th best team.  Good mathematics says the Seawolves played the 2nd most difficult schedule of all teams.  Bad mathematics agrees.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Season Ends With Tough 4-2 Loss To CC

A perhaps forgotten bit of a plague from the first half of the season overtook the Seawolves tonight early in their Final Five game against CC.  Then later they found themselves playing against some sort of mirror image of themselves.  Scoring chance after scoring chance went unfulfilled for more than a few guys.

Game Day: WCHA Final Five versus CC

Here's a video from the UAA Seawolves Hockey Facebook page that was just posted by Dallas Baldwin.  I "ripped" it from Facebook and uploaded it to YouTube so I could embed it here.  Today's lines are posted below.  Make sure you follow the above link to the Seawolves Facebook page to see the two other videos Dallas posted today including Campbell Blair talking about the team.  And keep checking it (as I will) throughout the weekend as the Seawolves progress through this tournament.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Game One Of WCHA Final Five: A Preview

I have mentally struggled today to gain a handle on writing this preview; for a number of reasons.  The first being that every regular reader here has pretty much got to be up to speed on tomorrow's opponent.  There really isn't much that I can offer in the way of new information.  Secondly, nobody really needs me to say that this game is a big deal.  

Also, what more needs to be said about the tactics and strategy that the Seawolves will utilize tomorrow?   Even less than full time readers here should know what's up with that.  And I'm not going to go out of my way to write something for the 400 extra people reading this who've suddenly become fascinated with the Seawolves.  And yeah, the audience here is double this week what it might otherwise be.  But, I'm writing for you guys that have been here all year.

So this will just be what it is.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On The Road With Kurt Haider

We're graced with another excellent and unsolicited contribution this afternoon from the man with the best play by play call and voice in the WCHA, the inimitable Kurt Haider.  Thank you Kurt for the update about the goings on.  

WCHA Final Five Teleconference Notes

The WCHA Final Five teleconference has just ended after almost exactly an hour.  Below are my notes and impressions.  All the coaches were gracious in congratulating North Dakota for their McNaughton Cup and naturally all expressed they were excited to be going to the Final Five.

Eric Tuott's ADN Compass: Add Ice To Sports Center

Last Thursday, UAA Seawolves Alumni Eric Tuott sent me (for my perusal) his submission to the Anchorage Daily News Compass page which is their section for opinion from the community.  The piece focuses on the proposition that the approved new UAA Sports Center include an ice rink.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Final Five Thursday Preview

There's five teams other than the UAA Seawolves playing this weekend in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center in the WCHA Final Five tournament (yeah that means it's a 6 team tourney).  I thought this evening I'd break it down a bit and provide my thoughts about the three non-Seawolves teams playing Thursday.  And no, I'm not predicting anything.

Parent Submitted: Rob Gunderson (Sr.)

A Parents Perspective on UAA
I feel compelled to state my opinion of our son’s situation – in the fall of 2010 he began his NCAA experience as a Freshman Goaltender with the UAA Seawolves. My motivation is from two directions, one of extreme gratitude and another of distaste for others historical opinions of the UAA program in general.

Reader Submitted: The Erik Carlson Collection

Erik Carlson's Jersey Collection ... click to enlarge
A season starts anew, hockey hopes and dreams set high,
coaches, players, family, girlfriends all there.
The games hard fought, some won some lost, but never say die,
an underdog UAA may be, but heart and teamwork like ours is rare.
Seawolf fans come together, cheer our men in green and gold!
The time for winning is now, the goal so close
Hockey history is waiting to be written, the story yet to be told
Sweat, blood and tears are shed in pursuit of the ultimate boast

 A WCHA championship awaits the lucky few
Our hopes and dreams are with you.
-Erik Carlson-
Over the past couple of years Seawolves fan Erik Carlson (who describes himself as an "old school UAA fan") has sent words of encouragement to the blog and shared his thoughts in email with me.  Erik played high school hockey at Palmer High School with Cotton and Forrest Gore back in the 80s.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Can UAA Win Three Games?

While I would probably agree that it was time for Fox Sports North to move on from Rug and Doug, I can't say I'm impressed with their replacements. Near the end of the Seawolves/Gophers broadcast on FSN, Anthony LaPanta asked Larry Olimb the dumb question which inspires the post title today.  Silly LaPanta.  That's just as dumb as Rug asking Doug that question.  And then LaPanta asks Doug the same question during the post game.  Let's talk.

The Final Five Info You Need To Know (And Some You Don't)

With the sweep of the Gophers this weekend the Seawolves, as you may have heard, will be playing at the Red Baron WCHA Final Five. The action starts Thrusday and I'm here with some helpful info:

The Schedule
This isn't totally complete yet as we have to await the winner of Game 3 between CC and Wisconsin to set it completely.

Seawolves Final Five Schedule

The Seawolves will face either Wisconsin or Colorado College this coming Thursday night in the 7:07pm game of the WCHA Final Five conference tournament.  The Seawolves have faced Wisconsin only twice this season with both of those games at the Sullivan Arena on Friday and Saturday night December 4th and 5th.

All The Video That's Fit To Embed

FSN has all the video highlights available on their webpage for embedding.  Click on the Read More link below to view them.  Congratulations again to the Seawolves on a great best of 3 series win and for getting it done on consecutive nights.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Seawolves Advance To Final Five

The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.  Combined with Friday night's win over the Gophers, tonight the Seawolves have now made that phrase their trademark.  Both wins were created by the selfless defensive play of everyone on the ice.  Chris Kamal was certainly excellent in both of these games but I've not seen a team full of hockey players commit themselves in their own zone in any way shape or form like this years squad has been doing and continued to do this weekend.

Jake Hansen: "...we are a better team than they are ..."

Without comment from me, I submit the following quote from Gopher Jake Hansen
"We knew that we are a better team than they are and we didn't take advantage of it [Friday]."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Seawolves Take Game One 4-3 Over Gophers

Tonight's game had a little bit of everything for a Seawolves fan.  A great opening period and a half where they built a 3-0 lead by playing a great defensive game had me pumped and full of confidence for a win.  Then 16 seconds changed everything and I was about as anxious regarding an outcome as I have ever been.  When the Gophers tied it at 3-3 that anxiety ramped up another notch.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Goal Gophers: Dave Shyiak Talks to Roman

Roman Augustoviz on the Star Tribs Goal Gophers blog talked with Coach Shyiak today and has this entry regarding the series.  Dave talks about the differences in the two teams and UAA's strengths such as the Seawolves doing "everything by committee" and how the Seawolves are "strong defensively".  

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What's a Gopher? Spermophilus Tridecemlineatus

Otherwise known as the Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel, Gophers can be pesky buggers.  This weekend the Seawolves will need to find ways to overcome that peskiness in order to win their best 2 out of 3 WCHA playoff series at The John in Minneapolis.  And much as is true when trying to rid these rodents from your garden; a multi-pronged strategy will be the most effective method.

Roman Augustoviz Blog: Good Lucia Quotes

Minneapolis Star Tribune Goal Gophers blogger Roman Augustoviz has a good post on his blog tonight that tells me Coach Don Lucia is completely and fully taking the Seawolves seriously this weekend.  As critical as I can be at times of other bloggers I'll give credit to Roman here ... as throughout the year he's been one of the best media bloggers.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Kamal Featured In SI: Young Goaltenders

Seawolves goaltender Chris Kamal is featured today at the Sports Illustrated website in this article by Darren Eliot in his "View From The Ice" column.  Darren details Chris' achievements this season as well as his pre-UAA goaltending background with which you may or may not be familiar.

Playing For Each Other As a Factor in Success

There's been an aspect of this season's Seawolves team that I've discussed outside the blog with other UAA fans but haven't really addressed here at length.  Today though, I'd like to do that.  I've heard it said and wouldn't begin to disagree that this years Seawolves team is a very tightly knit group of players.  Perhaps more than any recent group.

Chris Kamal: 2nd WCHA Rookie of the Week Award

Seawolves goaltender Chris Kamal was honored for the 2nd time in 5 weeks as the WCHA Rookie Of The Week award winner.  This past weekend Chris led the Seawolves in a regular season ending series sweep of Mankato.  He also earned the honor back on February 1st following his shutout of this weekends playoff opponent the Minnesota Gophers.  Chris shares this weeks honor with Gopher rookie Nick Bjugstad to complete an interesting circle of synergy. 

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sunday Potpourri: The Future, The Past and This Week

Before I get to a recruit update, Peluso request and WCHA playoff picks I'd first like to talk about politics!!! Yeah huh?  Anyway, In my ongoing attempt to indoctrinate you all to my abhorrent political philosophy of Egalitarianism today I'd like to present a documentary by the vile Communist propagandist Errol Morris and his Marxist Fascist Socialist musician buddy Philip Glass.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Seawolves Sweep Mankato With 4-1 Saturday Win

Tonight's game looked much like last nights in terms of energy and flow.  The Seawolves though overcame a poorly played 2nd period tonight.  Chris Kamal came up big more often tonight than on Friday in my view.  He may have given up a goal tonight but at least there's a nice backstory on that one.  I'm posting this now and will continue to update as the outcome of the DU and SCSU game is still in question and UAA's playoff trip is still in doubt.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Mankato "Dominates" Seawolves And Loses 4 - 0

A good drinking game tonight while watching the game would have been to take a shot everytime the Mankato TV announcing crew referenced how MSU was "dominating" the Seawolves.  If it wasn't for my Dad getting pissed off about such references it would have been funny; and of course we both would have ended up drunk as monkeys.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Mankato Series Made Simple

As I mentioned earlier in the week, this weekend the Seawolves both have and don't have their fate in their own hands.  A four point weekend will go a long way to creating a good matchup for the WCHA playoffs.  And with any lesser accumulation of points, the Seawolves could make their playoff task proportionally more difficult.  And nothing about getting 4 points out of Mankato is going to be easy.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Request To UAA HOF: Retire Mike Peluso's Jersey

Today I have submitted a request to the UAA Hall of Fame committee chair Chris Green for their consideration in retiring jersey #24 in honor of UAA Seawolves hockey alumnus Mike Peluso.  The text of my submission can be read by clicking "read more" below.  I hope every reader here can take a few moments and join me in this nomination by sending Chris an email.  His address is  Thank you.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Dallas Baldwin: The Best SID In The WCHA

Each week here I try to provide some sort of preview of the upcoming series.  With the last regular season series upon us, I think it's time once again to give credit for this to whom the credit is really due.  UAA SID Dallas Baldwin is without equivocation the engine that makes my previews go.  Her timely efforts each week are nothing short of rich with excellent information.  I'd completely be just a mouthpiece flapping in the wind without them.

I have little doubt that SID's at other schools work hard and provide quality information to the media but I'd put Dallas' contributions up against any of them for comparison anytime.  Steve Cobb should give her a raise.  The best SID in the WCHA deserves it.

If you don't visit and read the weekly releases already then start doing it.  Send her an email expressing your thanks.  Send Steve Cobb an email telling him to give her a raise.  

The whole staff of UAA's Athletic Department are certainly underrated for their efforts.  I really only see what they do for the hockey program but I'm often aware of exactly how busy they all are supporting all the fine sports.  Good on every single one of them.  Again, show your appreciation to them soon eh?