Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Slam Dunk Friday

The big question this weekend is how Coach Dave Shyiak will deal with having six players out of the lineup on Friday night. Here's what the lines looked like last Saturday vs. CC (DQ'd players in green):
Lunden, Beagle, Clark
Waldrop, Crowder, Bourne
Tarkir, Cartwright, Lowe
Tassone, Corrin, Tuton

Beaverson, Robinson
Backstrom, Smith
Lovdahl, Anderson
The three players who will fill those six spots are forward Ken Selby with defensemen Trevor Hunt and Ryan Berry. The scoop on these guys is as follows. Selby has the most experience having played in 6 games this season. Trevor Hunt has appeared in 4 games and Ryan Berry is yet to skate in his first NCAA game. When Selby and Hunt have played I thought they both played well. Selby is a skilled forward with great wheels and hasn't cracked the lineup primarily because he isn't really suited to being a 3rd or 4th line role player. It will be good to see him with an opportunity because it's possible he could have an impact. Trevor Hunt hasn't cracked the lineup because UAA is so deep defensively (enough so that defenseman Jared Tuton has been converted from D to forward). Trevor has good wheels and a hard shot. I don't know what to expect from Ryan Berry except to say that he was his junior teams leading scorer on defense last year.

How will Dave Shyiak plug the holes? I dunno. I'm not in his head so I'll just tell ya how I'd do it.
Waldrop, Crowder, Bourne
Lunden, Selby, Corrin
Tuton, Cartwright, Lowe

Beaverson, Berry
Robinson, Hunt
Lovdahl, Backstrom
So far this season with a full roster I'd characterize UAA as having two skill lines and two role playing lines. With the lineup above the Seawolves will likely be reliant upon a single line to provide scoring. Waldrop, Crowder and Bourne have been the best power play and have accounted for 14 goals overall. The suspended forwards (Beagle, Clark, Tarkir and Tassone) have accounted for 12 goals so far this year. The suspended defenseman have accounted for 9 goals.

Can DU fans expect anything other than an all out defensive effort on Friday from the Seawolves? They'd be smart to expect exactly that. Only being able to roll 3 lines will definitely be a challenge for UAA. I can't see any strategy that makes sense other than being as tight as you can possibly be in your own zone and limiting the Pioneer's chances. To win the game UAA will have to do exactly that and capatilize on any PP chances. Additionally, the Seawolves will absolutely have to stay out of the box. Conserving energy will be important and skating shorthanded won't contribute to that effort.

The Pioneer players should be supremely confident in their abilities to get points Friday night. They're playing a team that only has 15 skaters, who's Captain broke his leg two weeks ago and as a result of the DQ's against CC last weekend will be missing almost 45% of their scoring. If the Pioneers don't win on Friday then they really oughta fly back home that night.

1 comment:

dggoddard said...

Nice line up for tonight, but where are the "walk-ons?"