Thursday, February 25, 2010

Governor's Cup Prognostications

I noticed Donald posted a video of a bunch of polar bears falling from the sky, mocking the introduction video that has given our team national attention. I tried to find a similar video to post... but since the nobody knows what the hell a Seawolf is, that makes it kind of hard. I found a video about a U-Boat, but that doesn't explain the fugly green piƱata that occupies a mostly empty 6,000 seat arena.

All pleasantries aside, UAA should be a team where we've wiped the ice with them enough where the Zamboni driver's job becomes irrelevant. But alas, these rivalry games prove to be a series to test the mettle of these Alaskan teams.

Alaska is riding a 6 game unbeaten streak headed into this series, ACC is riding a 4 game winless streak, and have won just two of the last eight.

The 17th annual Governor's Cup series is currently tied 8-8 since its inception, with the Seawolves holding on to the cup for the last 3 seasons. The Nanooks hold the longest consecutive cup streak at 5.

I will say the Nanooks and the Seawolves could not be farther separated in any statistic like they are penalty minutes. The Nanooks are 58th of 58 teams in Division I college hockey, at 9.4 penalties in minutes per game. Spanchorage? 1st in the NCAA with 21.0 per game. That is over an entire period without a player. I know they got a little heated down in Denver a few weeks ago, and I think the teams short tempers play a contributing factor.

OK, so where are the teams at? The Nanooks are currently ranked 17th in the USCHO/CBS College Sports poll, which is the second week in a row being ranked since dropping out on January 11th. The Nanooks have been ranked in the top 20 13 times out of the 19 polls that have been released so far, and have been mentioned in the other teams receiving votes category for the remaining six polls. Not factoring in the PairWise (because it means exactly nothing until March 24th), looking strictly at RPI and KRACH (arguably my favorite comparison tool), the Nanooks sit 17th and 15th respectively. The Seawolves at 31 and 36. Now, I'll give credit where credit is due, ACC has the 4th most difficult schedule in all of Division 1 hockey. Getting so much as a single win all season is nothing short of a miracle. The interesting thing is, schedule difficulty is gauged directly on the strength, not only of the teams you are playing against, but also the win-loss record of your previous season. I've heard tons of Spanchorage fans use their schedule difficulty as a crutch, but with a team that has finished under .500 for over 10 years, playing Robert Morris every game could potentially be the most difficult schedule ever, especially since Robert Morris already beat the Seawolves early this season.

The Nanooks defense is pretty stout again this year, allowing just 2.31 goals per game, good for 2nd in the CCHA and 6th in the NCAA. The Nanooks penalty kill is an efficient 84.8 percent, which is 15th in the nation, allowing just 20 power play goals all season. The Seawolves scoring defense, is again, on the exact opposite end of the spectrum, at 6th worst (or, if your half full glass type of person, 53rd best) at 3.73 goals against per game.

I could go through every stat in the book and spell out in oblivious detail that the Seawolves team is sub par, but I won't, this series should prove my point for me. Here's the tale of the tape.

Tale of the Tape

Alaska vs. Alaska-Anchorage / February 26, 2010



Alaska logoAlaska-Anchorage logo
Goals85 / 2.6672 / 2.40
Goals Against74 / 2.31112 / 3.73
Power Play18.5%12.6%
Penalty Kill84.8%80.3%
Avg. Height / Weight5' 11.37" / 191.96 lbs.6' 0.89" / 191.56 lbs.
Avg. Age22y 4m22y 11m
CoachDallas FergusonDave Shyiak
Latest Results 2/20 vs. Lake Superior ... 5-1 W

2/19 vs. Lake Superior ... 4-0 W

2/13 at Ohio State ... 3-3 T

2/12 at Ohio State ... 4-1 W

2/20 at Minnesota State ... 3-4 L

2/19 at Minnesota State ... 2-5 L

Injuries Brad Gorham (knee)

Team Scoring Leaders
A. Taranto13-21-34
D. Knelsen16-16-32
D. Sather9-11-20
N. Yaremchuk5-15-20
J. Sova5-14-19
K. Clark17-13-30
T. Grant7-14-21
S. Wiles9-8-17
J. Lunden7-7-14
K. Lafranchise2-10-12
Team Goaltenders
S. Greenham14-9-9 2.17
S. Thompson0-0-0 3.53
J. Olthuis7-12-2 3.60
B. Christianson3-6-0 3.75
D. Sidor0-0-0 6.00

I would like to stay here and extensively ridicule Anchorage, but I don't have to, they take care of all of that for me. I will, however, close with a comment spotlight, taken from the comments from some of my recent posts.

Alaskan_XL said...

From the "Tradition" link on UAA's pathetic website:

The Seawolf
UAA’s athletics teams were originally known as the Sourdoughs, but the university adopted the Seawolf moniker in 1977 when it elevated its program to the NCAA Division II level.
The name Seawolf represents a mythical sea creature that, according to Tlingit Indian legend, brings good luck to anyone fortunate enough to view it. The exact nature or shape of the Seawolf, however, is left to the imagination, thus the creature has been depicted in many forms throughout the years.
The Seawolf logo of today was designed and introduced in 1985 by Clark Mishler & Associates in cooperation with a university committee. It represents an adaptation of a more traditional Alaska totemic-like characterization of the mythical Seawolf.


So --

"Brings good luck to anyone fortunate enough to view it". This infers, then, that it does not bring luck to itself, but rather to not itself; thus, it brings luck to everyone else. Everyone else, by definition, includes the Nanooks.

Thanks for the good luck, Spanchorage - not that we'll need any with you pansies on the ice --

Warbird said...

Hey diddle diddle,
Lookit' ACC piddle,
Seawolf defeat will come soon,
The Nanook fans will laugh to see such sport,
As we engulf them like a typhoon!

I love it. Now I can finally go to bed. I'm headed out early in the morning and heading to Los Anchorage for this one. I've been told that the bus full of students is 100% full, so expect them to be louder than the rolling tumbleweed that is the Anchorage student section.

If you aren't making it down to Anchorage, hopefully you'll make it over to the Princess Lodge for the dinner and wine tasting, as that may be your only available option to see the games live.


Friday 4-1 W
Saturday 5-0 W


Donald Dunlop said...

A well-done preview. Only one gripe from me.

"Strength of Schedule" factors in the RPI and KRACH do not include the previous year's schedules. Looking at them pretty much anytime during the 1st half of the season is not advised. It takes that long for the iterative comparisons to become valid.

And according to GCI, the games should be on their Channel 1 in Fairbanks live. If not your readers can jump on their webcast at their portal page.

Good Luck ... you're Hobbits will need it.

Amanda M said...

Can't wait for the game, would love to see Los Anchorage fans eat their words :)

And did you know apparently they like to pee IN polar bears? (read Donalds blog and if you translate the spanish title, yeah...SICK SICK MAN YOU ARE DONALD!)

Donald Dunlop said...

And look at the comment above ... I used the contracted "you are" instead of "your" ... Gee.

Engrish Fail and Spanich Fail in 24 hours ...

Anonymous said...

Good preview. I do think your predictions are a little over-optimistic, but I guess only time will tell. :)