Sunday, October 29, 2006

Is it Dusty in Here?

Luckily enough for the Huskies, there were no witches in attendance at Saturday night’s pre-Halloween series ender. Only one errant pep-bander was spotted with a straw broom, who ironically brought it out seconds before Seawolf Chad Anderson lifted the score to 4-3. After starting the season 4-1-0, the Huskies hit the ice to better the record, looking for their first home sweep since Alaska Anchorage was swept January 24-25, 2003.

After a truly dominating performance, it seemed the Misfits were ready for another 9-0 win, but as many guessed, the Seawolves came out swinging. Slow play by the Huskies through nearly the end of the second period left the Seawolves to lead for a majority of the game, though. Junior Tyler Shelast was able to even things up with a goal that UAA coach Dave Shyiak and captain Charlie Kronschnabel insisted on contesting incessantly, causing a lengthy delay in play. The goal stood, and Shelast would come through again with the game winning goal in the third.

Though the play may not have been as efficient as the Huskies may have wanted, the parity shown between lines continued Saturday. Shelast had two goals and an assist, while juniors Jake Wilkens and Jimmy Kerr came home with two. Wilkens scored his first career goal, and Kerr finished off the game with a puck in an empty net. Junior Jordan Foote scored the initial goal, and Phil Axtell, Geoff Kinrade, Malcolm Gwilliam, Alex Gange, Tyler Skworchinski and Lars Helminen all tallied assists. Sophomore goaltender Rob Nolan made 23 saves against the Seawolves, earning him his second career win.

The relative laxness of play wasn’t helped by a smaller crowd than usual. Though Mitch’s Misfits and the Huskies Pep Band kept UAA goalie Nathan Lawson on his toes, it took winger Kevin Clark’s ejection, as well as incessant arguing with official’s calls to get the fans fired up. Hopefully upcoming home series will not be plagued by this laziness, though this was the first times I personally have witnessed a lack complaining at the referees, with a very “uncontroversial” first game.

Though this sweep betters Tech’s record to 5-1-0, the Huskies face the Colorado College Tigers in Colorado Springs this upcoming weekend, and despite a slow start for the Tigers, it seems as if predictions can’t accurately be made about which way WCHA games will be going this year. With the evenness of the lines and increased speed of the skaters, it looks as if the Huskies will be able to take to the ice with confidence and hopefully pull off another set of wins.

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