Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kinda Morbid

Well it's Wednesday morning, I know I should put some kind of post up but I just don't know what to write about. This season just keeps dragging on, and unless Michigan Tech or Bemidji State lose out to finish their season we are going to finish in last place. And, I'm not so sure we can beat UA_ seeing as they finally might be getting their shit together. This season just alright freaking sucks. Our only saving grace might be Blake Tatchell, that freshman leads us in scoring (5-10-15 in 24 GP) and will probably finish the season leading us in scoring. And, of course this will also not be our worst season in the WCHA ever. I am really trying to keep this whole positive thing going, but it just keeps getting harder without any recent wins. Scheduling note, we keep playing each weekend until Feb 15-16 (UNO), and then we get two weeks off until Squarebanks and Denver to end out the regular season. The Super Bowl is this weekend, it just seems like fate that Ray Lewis will win another ring, much like that year the Saints won it all by eeking out a victory against my Vikings. I think this is where I will end this rambling post, enjoy this classic rock song on your hump day:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Game Day 1/26/2013

So I had forgot to mention that I would not be able to attend the chats (congrats to Alaskana for finding a new chat site since tinychat was down last night), but I was at the 2013 Annual ANSEP Banquet. Seeing and listening to Buzz Aldrin twice in one day was amazing, as I am a member of ANSEP and without them I wouldn't even be where I am in college. I would upload some of my own photos of him at ANSEP talking but my SD card is being a jerk. I forgot my camera at the banquet and I regret that but here's one from the ADN, courtesy of the ADN and blah blah blah.

And another:
Guy is pretty funny, told his life story and all around was a class act. But enough with the self promotion and promotion of ANSEP, back to hockey.

Getting home at 10 meant I had to change and put all my stuff away so I missed the news, so I have no idea how our team did last night. We lost, don't know if we can come back tonight to win, but I hope we can. Again, here at UAA I can view all the ADN articles and photo gallery's, but at home I cannot. Is this happening to anybody else?

This Week in the WCHA (Current Week Link)

Things to point out, and watch for
• Sophomore Kory Roy has yet to register his first collegiate goal, 0-9-9 in 42 GP
• Matt Bailey is one goal away from his career 25th goal
• Senior Alex Gellert needs two more assists for his career 25th 
• Matt Bailey need one more point for his 50th career (Kwas got his 50th point last night)
• That Blake Tatchell is probably going to lead this team in scoring
• Don't forget the game starts at 5:07 AKST
• To end the season we play Denver in Denver on Friday night and then Sunday afternoon, anybody else see that before?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Game Day 1/25/2013

We must absolutely split with Wisconsin. I don't care how we do it, tie and tie or win and loss. We need something, anything to put some pep into our boys skates. I don't want our team to finish in last place and we are running out of time. This is the first home game for Bucky in over a month, it will be loud but our boys seem to feed off from it. Game starts at 4:07 AKST and at 5:07 Saturday night.

This Week in the WCHA
New kick ass stats page

• Junior Jordan Kwas has 2-3-5 totals in 4 GP against Bucky
• Junior Matt Bailey against Bucky has amassed 1-2-3 in 4 GP
• Sophomore Kory Roy has yet to register his first collegiate goal, 0-9-9 in 42 GP
• Aside from Chris Kamal (Goalie), Brett Cameron (Injured), and Ben Matthews (1 GP) everybody else has now at least one point this season
• Matt Bailey is one goal away from his career 25th goal
• Senior Alex Gellert needs two more assists for his career 25th 
• Matt Bailey need one more point for his 50th career
• Jordan Kwas needs two more points for his 50th career point

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Well this seems familiar, I was saying to myself after MSU scored the first goal of the game. But then fate reared its ugly head and we just got outplayed. Moving on. 

Our best bet to finish in 11th place is to sweep Michigan Tech later this season and at least gain an additional three more points than MT. So in ten league games left we would have to go at least 5-4-1 against Bucky, CC, MT, UNO and Denver, and this would be assuming MT goes 2-7-1 ( against UNO, UAA, MSU, SCSU and CC). Could we still do it? Ummmm.........yes? This season's version of the Seawolves is not consistent, I would like to think we could pull off a split with Bucky, maybe even CC, then if we could sweep MT that would leave us a record of 1-2-1 against UNO and Denver assuming of course MT falters and goes 2-7-1 to end the season. Looking at Bemidji's schedule, it is fucking rough: UNO, SCSU, Bucky, MD, ND, and Minny. Now I feel a little bit better, looking at MT's schedule and Bemidji's we have hope.

[Bold and italicized indicates home series]

Must have goals
Split with Bucky, either win and loss or tie and tie
• Same with CC
• Sweep MT
• Then coast a win and tie out of the UNO and Denver series

Simple right? But alas, even with the best of laid out plans, something very unexpected arises. Maybe Brett Cameron will come back and lead the charge from out of the cellar. Maybe Robby or Kamal will steal the end of the season with some fantastic goal keeping. Maybe Matt Bailey will go on an absolute scoring spree and catapult our team, we all know he is capable of this. 

With Bemidji and Michigan Tech, surely one team must royally screw up right? If I had all of King Midas' gold, I would bet on Bemidji. That is an absolute hell of a way to end your season, unless of course they can somehow split there way to a .500 record here down the stretch. And if Bemidji does do poorly, we could potentially end up in 10th or tied for 10th. I don't think we could catch up to CC (currently in 9th place), they have the easiest of schedules between these four teams and are at 15 points.

On a side note, the 2013 Division I Rulebook has been passed and there seems to be a lot of money now available to student-athletes, whether it be financially, performance based, or medically based. I think it's in the right direction, this will help some less fortuante student-athletes and will help cut down on illegal payments made to student-athletes across the board. Link is here.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Well it's something

It wasn't a win last night, but it's something. Maybe this was karma for last Friday night, but I would've wanted a win. It started out ugly being down 2-0 to end the first period, but we found something late to preserver. MSU has now played three straight overtime games, and four of the last five. We need a win tonight, and we all know what we must do to accomplish this.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hmmm yes, well

Yes there was no Wednesday post because I'm am getting used to my new schedule for this college semester, that Monday off was absolutely amazing. By next week, things will run hopefully more smoothly. Last weekend started off well, then it started going to crap, and then it hit the fan by the end of the Saturday game. We played well Friday and in my eyes deserved the win, but this was not the case. Saturday night we started out sluggish and perhaps tired, then it all went to shit.

We need to salvage something from this season, whether it be an 11th place finish or perhaps playing Minnesota whatever way possible in the playoffs. How frickin' sweet would it be if for the last real WCHA playoffs, we beat Minny in the John? It would be sooo sweet, that the original Cookie Monster would be put to absolute shame. Normally I would not condone maybe laying down low in order to finish in a more desirable place for the post season, but this would not be the first time a WCHA team did this and would not be the last. Michigan Tech is currently in 11th place with nine points (16 GP), we are 12th with five points (16 GP).

"I wanna believe that there is still hope, 
Now I'm hanging in the balance alone,
I don't wanna be the last to know"

This weekend we are playing a streaky Minnesota State hockey team, evidenced by a seven game win streak, a four game win streak, and only once did they lose only one game in a row. They recently got swept by Wisconsin in back-to-back OT games, but they still are getting great play by there freshmen goaltender Stephon Williams (a 1.84 GAA with a .925 save percentage and a 11-6-1 record). 

We need to play smarter, don't try and make the plays that don't need to be made. Keep it simple, dump the puck, cycle, and hang onto the freakin' puck. When we were doing this against the #1 team in the nation, we were winning. Man I'm starting to sound like Dave Shyiak....don't know if that's a good thing or not. But please rest assured, I do smile more than Dave.  Okay, now that I'm done tooting my own horn, let's talk puck control. A previous comment from the last post nailed it on the head, " UAA needs to have more puck poise. They often ping pong it around the ice when there is an open guy they could pass it to, and they aren't seeing it". Here is the whole comment. As I have stated before, teams don't give us respect when we possess the puck. Look at the tournament games we play to start the season, those teams generally don't know us and back up off the puck controller. This gives the guy time and space to make a good play, whether it be a pass, dump, or a shot. Now look at our current games, opposing players hound our puck controllers and do not give us respect. We can still play well, by well, dumping the puck, cycling, and hitting. All this in my eyes is to combat our opponents aggressiveness. It does well and if we stick to the game plan and don't take too many penalties we are competitive. We stay out of the box and we are dangerous, evidenced by Friday nights previous game.

• Also of note the Skate the Seawolves has been moved to the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, it is at 1-3 AKST this Sunday. 
• And the Green & Gold Friday Promotion is still there
• Students you do get in for free by the way

ADN's Piece (Don't know if it will work though due to the new subscription crap but I can view it here at UAA)
A Goalie doing his time (Guess who it is)

Things to point out, and watch for
• Senior Jordan Kwas is now a Junior, via
• Junior Chris Kamal is 2-2-0 against MSU
• Junior's Kwas and Brett Cameron both have totals of 2-3-5 in eight games against MSU, Brett is still on the Inactive List I believe
• Senior has achieved numbers of 1-5-6 vs. MSU
• Sophomore Kory Roy has yet to register his first collegiate goal, 0-9-9 in 40 GP
• Sophomore Andrew Pettitt is one game from his 25th
• Matt Bailey is one goal away from his career 25th goal
• Junior Brett Cameron is one strike from his 10th career goal
• Senior Daniel Naslund is one assist away from getting his 25th
• Senior Alex Gellert needs two more assists for his 25th
• Matt Bailey needs one more point for his 50th career point
• Jordan Kwas needs two more points for his 50th career point
• Alex Gellert the only Seawolf who is positive in league games +1, and in all games +4 (Freshmen Ben Matthews is even in his one tourney game appearance though)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Game Day 1/12/2013

That one really hurt, we more than needed that win. Nonetheless we can still split with a win tonight. We played very well against the #1 team in the nation, and we were one penalty kill away from a win. Long story short, regardless of whether or not Tyler Currier deserved a five minute major, that was a hit that he didn't need to make. He had backup in Chris Crowell, if he had just pressured Zach Budish, who knows we could've went to overtime at the very least. I'd hate to be so hard on Tyler Currier because I like his style of play, the grit and nastiness of his game. But:

Dude you are a senior, you are from Anchorage, and we could've made the push to OT or won. 

Upon watching this again and again, in all honesty that was a bone-headed play by Tyler Currier. Chris Crowell had Zach Budish all tied up, and occupied. Tyler just got way too excited, and in this one conference win season so far, makes it even worse. Just try to get the puck or skate over to the defenseman and clog up a passing lane Tyler. Here's the video:

And a little breakdown.

Somewhere in the middle of the 2nd period to around the start of the third period, Kurt Haider on air called out Chris Crowell and Tyler Currier. I don't remember his exact words but it went something along the lines of "Currier and Crowell should know better, there are currently taking the bait from Minnesota and should stop biting". Boy was that foreshadowing or what, but I digress.

Feel free to vent your frustrations here, but this is the last time I will bring this up this season.

We need a win badly, and how do we do this you ask? By playing exactly the way we did in the first period last night. We had the #1 team in the nation on its heels, we scored first and got the crowd out of it until Minny scored. Again, Minnesota only scored one even strength goal. We are hard to score against five on five, Don Lucia brought this up in the Golden Gopher's Preview Interviews. If we can stay out of the box, come out fires a blazing and play smart hockey the whole game, ladies and gentlemen we have a split series.

I thought Gundy played very solid last night, the game winner you knew was going in though. Doesn't matter if we had Dominik Hasek or Jacques Plante in net, that baby was going in. I say stick with the rotation, Kamal is 3-4-0 against UM and maybe he can help work some puck luck to the boys. As for the Gophers, it will be interesting to see if there stud Adam Wilcox will start tonight, he has already played two games this week (Notre Dame on Tuesday then us). According to College Hockey News, Adam will get the nod again from Head Coach Don Lucia.

Things to watch for
• The whole score by committee was in full action last night as nine different Seawolves registered a point, nobody had more than one last night
• Blake Tatchell had an assist last night and is the current leader in points 3-9-12 in 19 GP

And the drop of the puck is 4:07 AKST tonight and on 650 KENI for us locals listening in on the great Kurt Haider.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Game Day 1/11/2012

Tonight at 5:07 AKST we face off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Quick tidbit, if you thought ticket prices were bad at the Sully, Minny has base tickets prices of $35 for this weekend (next home series for Minny who faces off against North Dakota, tickets are $55). I can't even imagine what parking might cost, but I think we still might own the title of most expensive soda, the last time I got a medium it was $6. Then again maybe it's good coffee is cheaper than soda, but anyways I digress.

We need a win, as long as we play tight and cycle the puck we have a good shot. We don't always need to try for the home run play, part of this comes from defensive break downs. One shot can lead to playing from behind, if we shore this up we are dangerous. Last time we played Minny they only had one even-strength goal for the whole weekend. We should have won that Saturday night, but Minny tied it up late. It's finally time to avenge this, and salvage something from this season.

As far as the chat is concerned, I think it's best to leave Alaskana's chat the primary one to finish out this season. I will be there and you can find it here.


Things to point out, and watch for
• Junior Chris Kamal is 3-4-0 against UM, fellow Junior Rob Gunderson is 0-2-1
• Senior Jordan Kwas in eight games versus UM has totals of 1-4-5
• Junior Matt Bailey has three goals in eight games against UM
• Sophomore Derek Docken has totals of 0-3-3 in six games versus you guessed it UM
• Sophomore Kory Roy has yet to register his first collegiate goal, 0-8-8 in 38 GP 
• Jordan Kwas is one game away from playing his 75th
• Derek Docken is about to play in his 50th game
• Sophomore Andrew Pettitt is one game from his 25th
• Matt Bailey is two goals away from his career 25th goal
• Junior Brett Cameron is one strike from his 10th career goal
• Senior Daniel Naslund is one assist away from getting his 25th
• Senior Alex Gellert needs two more assists for his 25th
• Both Matt Bailey and Jordan Kwas need two more points for their 50th career points
• Golden Gopher Freshman Ryan Reilly is the only player to be in the - overall, -2 in 7 GP
• Golden Gopher Junior Erik Haula is one point away from his 100th, though he should be out this weekend due to injury 
• In the last 11 games, we haven't allowed more than one PPG per game in this stretch for a 84 kill rate%

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

#1 Team in the nation

This weekend we will face the #1 team in the nation, and to be honest I'm glad it's Minnesota. We haven't had consistent success against them, but we have beat them in their barn before. We are currently the only team EVER to beat them in their current arena in the WCHA playoffs. We have done this three times, and swept them in the 2010-11 Playoffs. It seems there program has been bettered by the firing of John Hill, and good for them. We will forever have ties to the UM program as long as Don Lucia is head coach and Kurt Haider is our play-by-play guy. Kurt is from St. Cloud and it's great to hear his stories when were in Minnesota, and of course Don Lucia was an assistant under Brush and was the coach of UA_ for awhile. But when the puck is dropped, all that is forgotten and it is game time.

Minny has done very well for themselves thus far. Yes they are only in sixth place in the WCHA, but there are 8-0-0 in non-conference play that includes a trashing of BC (8-1) and a win against #2/3 Notre Dame (4-1). In non-conference play Minny has outscored their opponents 37-6, in eight games that averages out to be 4.6-.75. Scary offense outside of league play, but in league play they average a very solid three goals per game, while giving up 2.5. In their past 14 games there are 10-2-2, but in our home league opener against them we lost Friday night, but tied a game we should have won Saturday night.

Much of our season rides on this weekend series, if we split that could go a long ways towards confidence and some inspiration to salvage something from the season. Right now I will classify this as our most important weekend of the season. I don't want another tie, unless that is coupled with a win. Our team does not need a tie, our boys need some confidence to keep grinding.

We will have to play tight, minimize mistakes and strike when given the opportunity. We will have to do our best to take care of the puck, if you have the puck always have a back up plan. Minny is very dangerous again, and they have more than a few guys who can snipe. Unfortunately we will have to dump the puck and work our forecheck. Cycle the puck, as teams do not give us respect whenever we control the puck. Teams are very active around our guys that have the puck, puck control is a must. And if in doubt, just give the puck to Blake Tatchell. He is my favorite freshmen, kid has been a very pleasant surprise so far.

I'd hate to project another split, but I see our guys winning Saturday tight 2-1, after a 4-1 loss. I'd absolutely love to hear some "Overrated" chants Saturday night from some of our fans that I know will be there.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Looking forward to the new WCHA

Well that sucked. On the positive side, it appeared to be much more even Saturday night. I'm afraid if we don't get some points against Minnesota next weekend, we very might well finish in the cellar again. And, honestly I don't really care that much anymore. In the new watered down WCHA, we will get more wins. Yes, getting home ice for the playoffs would have been a sweet finish. But already it has been a long, tough season. I can't wait for the new WCHA, and that new arena that Steve Cobb has been dropping hints about..........wink..wink..

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Valiant Effort

At times we showed some real grit and heart, but sadly it wasn't enough for the win. I'm feeling pretty lazy, tomorrow's a big day for me. Finally seeing a show at the Anchorage Museum with a friend and watching my Minnesota Vikings hopefully beat the Packers again tomorrow afternoon. But I would like to point out some things, that darn Michael Mersch played pretty well and Mark Zengerle did as well for the Badgers. Kudos though to Matt Bailey for putting one in the back of the net and getting his 25th career assist. Interesting to see if Kamal gets the start again tomorrow night. There won't be another post until a series wrap-up. To my eyes, the boys needed a little time to really get warmed up but this same effort for 60 minutes tomorrow night should guarantee a win.

Game Day 1/4/2013

Tonight we entertain the Wisconsin Badgers at 7:07 AKST via the Sullivan Arena. The Friday night promotion is still on. 


Green & Gold Fridays: Wear Green & Gold to Seawolf hockey games on Friday nights this season and get up to two free general admission tickets for kids 12 & under when accompanied by a paying adult. Available only at the Sullivan Arena NW student desk up to 1 hour prior to the game.

Courtesy of Andy Wilheim
Game Day Write-ups & Misc.

What to look for:

Yes, the Wisconsin Badgers have had problems scoring but they also have second-stingiest defense. Their third leading scorer Jake McCabe is busy playing for Team USA in the World Junior Championship, he is the Captain. Wisconsin's leading goal scorer Michael Mersch (11-4-15 in 16 GP), has numbers of 2-4-6 in his last four games. Nobody on UW has had more than three goals this season besides Mersch. Also, Justin Schultz who last season torched us for 1-4-5 and +7, and Mark Zengerle who totaled up 1-4-5 with a +5 in a series up in Madison. The departed Curtis Leinweber had a goal against UW, Austin Coldwell had the other goal for our Seawolves. Warner, Sproule, and Bailey had the assists last season. Bailey looks snake bitten, sooner or later he will get pucks into the back of the net, he's only had two this season. Joel Rumple of UW, and Chris Kamal started and finished both games last season. Brett Cameron is still out (shoulder surgery), and Morgan Zunlnick (leg) will be out for tonight's game. As far as I can tell/remember that is maybe it on the injury front. The only Seawolves skaters not to register a point are Brett Cameron (9 GP), freshmen Ben Matthews (1 GP), and fellow freshmen Chris Williams (13 GP). Again, Rob Gunderson as secured another assist this season (3 for Career), but will Chris Kamal finally break his dry spell? Freshmen D Blake Leask has yet to been whistled for a penalty, he stands alone among UAA skaters. Daniel Naslund and Matt Bailey are one assist away from their career 25th. Alex Gellert is two away. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mid-season evaluation

16 games into the 2012-13 season and we are in last place in the WCHA. In league play we are 1-8-3, which is good for five points. Looking up to two teams directly above us, they have nine points each. We could very well catch up to those teams, surprisingly one of those teams are the Wisconsin Badgers. Who we can say are on the downswing right now, last season they finished 11-15-2 in league for 24 points which saddled them with a tenth place finish. And, the season before that finished one point ahead of us for 8th place. Which means they have reacted negatively to the addition Bemidji State, and Nebraska-Omaha, who would have thunk it? Even more surprising, they only have two more league goals then us in league play this season (23 vs. our 21). Speaking of them, we play them at the Sullivan Arena at 7:07 AKST Friday and Saturday night.

Courtesy of the website, current as of 1/2/2013
There has been some legitimate concerns for us Seawolves fans that we might once again finish last. There are various reasons, but I think we all know what these are so I will not mention them. I have hope that is blind, unfiltered, and what some sane people would describe as a fool's paradise. But we all have to be a little crazy to be a Seawolf fan. I have stated before that being a Red Sox fan is easier than being a Seawolves fan, and this is true. Well, pre-October 2004 to say before the 2009 season for being a Red Sox fan. Both of these respected teams have easily snatched away defeat from the jaws of victory on such a regular basis that it has hardened me both mentally and emotionally.

From the past three seasons, 28 points or more have resulted in home ice for the playoffs. This includes the pre-Bemidji and UNO WCHA. Which means we would need 23 points to finally boo and badger (see what I did there!?) a fellow team in our Sullivan Arena. This is asking a lot, considering we have 16 league games left. Let's take a look at our upcoming schedule:

Shamefully ripped from
Looking to this weekend, I project a series split with Wisconsin. I'm looking out for Wisconsin to come out guns blazing Friday night looking for some "easy" points, and our boys shaking the rink rust off Saturday night. This would leave us with 21 more points to take from seven more WCHA weekend affairs. To accomplish this from a split with Wisconsin, it would require us to at least win and tie every weekend to close out WCHA play. This is a tall order, but I look amped to see we face Minnesota next weekend. This might be our last hope of home-ice in the dominate WCHA. Now of course this is all under the premise that the 28 point ticket to home ice is still in force. Upon further inspection, only once since the 2006-07 season has this not been the case, St. Cloud State in 2008-09 missed the playoffs by one point, they had 28.

At times we have look liked a home-ice team, but other times we have looked young and maybe in awe of our opponents. Most of our freshmen have at least got their feet wet, we can still do this. We have to believe. The emergence of Blake Leask, kid has got numbers of 3-7-10 to lead the team in points, and the goal-scoring of Scott Allen 7-2-9 have got to be corner stones of our offense. Bailey, Gellert, and Kwas have put up some nice numbers so far too. Where are we? Well, were down looking up. Is it time to just give up? No, a 8th or 9th place finish would still please me. But I want more. I need more. Feed me more!

Imagine sitting in your seat at the Sullivan Arena and you hear this song come on, and out come the Seawolves at out at the 25 second mark. Next, hold up the visiting team until the 1:10 mark when the lyrics go, "You're so damn weak...". Would that not pump you up? It would pump me up, and the music at times is not much worse that this. So why not? It would certainly give us an identity, my absolute dream is to have this song come out before we play this season's Governor's Cup against UA_. This song hits, we win the game, and win the shootout, or OT, or goal differential, or whatever the hell actually decides the Governor's Cup. That folks is my dream. After that happens, this song will live on and follow us into the watered down WCHA. Where we will very well eat our opponents because face it, what else do the Seawolves actually eat?

Friday morning/afternoon I put up another post, regarding other people's write-up's. Hope everybody had a great holiday season, and I look forward to MOAARRRR hockey!!