Thursday, December 3, 2009

UA and WMU, an objective preview.

OK, so UA notched two shoot out wins last week against a team that swept Nebraska-Omaha a week earlier. Nebraska-Omaha sweeps Western last week. Does that mean UA should win easily? Not exactly.

One thing the Nanooks are learning this season is that no game is a guaranteed win. Yes, there are games we should win, but you have to work in every game, nothing is a "gimme" at this level and the Nanooks are realizing that (perhaps a bit more than ACC is, as a win on Friday appears to be an impossibility in Anchorage). The real challenge is going to be game one, sealing off 3 points tomorrow night. Obviously, if you look at the scoring summary in the screenshot above, comparatively, the Broncos have no comparison. Goaltending isn't very close either. Remember a post I made about a week ago? Talked about Paula Weston's weekly article about CCHA goaltending. Mentioned an interesting case about WMU goalie Riley Gill. I didn't mention it then, but its worth it to say that I didn't think he was good enough to earn those stats, and how right I was, as they have already fallen off.

I obviously expect the Nanooks to sweep this weekend. There should be no reason UA can't leave Kalamazoo with 6 points. Here are some pretty intriguing series notes from the media release from the UA athletic department:
  • The Blue and Gold trail the Broncos 18-22-4 in the all-time series and 8-13-0 at Lawson Arena. Here are this week's need to know notes about the WMU series and Alaska Hockey. 
  • Last year the teams were clustermates and met four times during the regular season. The teams split their four encounters first the two in Fairbanks on Dec. 19-20 (W 6-3, OT L 2-3) and then pair at Lawson Arena (L 0-3, W 4-3). 
  • SR F Dion Knelsen leads the Blue and Gold with 2-7-9 in 11 career games against WMU. JR F Dustin Sather leads in points-per-game against the Broncos with 1-7-8 in six career games (1.33).
Last 5 games - Alaska leads 3-2
Last 10 games - Alaska leads 6-4
Series total  - 18-22-4 WMU leads all time

This weekends predictions:
Friday     4-1 W
Saturday 4-2 W

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