So then why do I say this is "An Important Game"?
I was prompted when I read a blog post over at UAA Hockey Fan Blog titled, "Crucial Series With Huskies Looms". I generally do not read this blog (as it often uses "colorful" language and is mostly negative and confrontational) but I do find it interesting to stop over there before a St. Cloud game. At first I scoffed at the title (particularly the word "crucial", as you may have scoffed at my title word "important") but the author makes a very sound argument as to why this game is important for both the Husky Hockey team and the Seawolves Hockey team. The author has this to say about the importance of this weekend's game for SCSU:
"This series is no less critical for St. Cloud. The Seawolves and the Huskies are amongst the minority of teams in the WCHA who have played only 6 conference games. St. Cloud has 5 points in those 6 games. Obviously there is lots of conference hockey yet to be played. But there are corners to be turned at multiple points during the long WCHA grind and this weekend ... either direction represents a sharp 90% turn for both squads."Also...
"The Huskies are performing well below the preseason pundits prognostications. Almost universally they were expected to be one of the top teams in the nation. Their roster sports 17 veteran skaters of which 15 are upperclassmen (7 juniors and 8 seniors)."The assertion that St. Cloud needs WCHA conference points is absolutely correct. The point that the Huskies are playing WELL below expectations (and I would add ability) is absolutely correct. The Huskies were expected to be one of the nations (not just WCHAs) best teams were right on. They do have that potential, but have not lived up to it. A loss this weekend to the UAA Seawolves would be completely disheartening and disabling to both the Husky Hockey team and its fan base. Another reason (not mentioned in the UAA blog) why this game is important for SCSU Hockey is that our next opponent (on December 3rd and 4th) will be against the University of North Dakota. This series is what most Husky Hockey fans would consider "crucial" or "important". I, however, believe that it is just as important for the Huskies to get some wins (hopefully a sweep) and gain some confidence before going into the Ralph in couple of weeks. Do not be mistaken about the importance of this weekend or the ability of this Seawolves team. After all, this team was able to win last Friday against a pretty darn good Bemidji team. (Side Note: from seeing Seawolves freshmen Matt Bailey play for my Sioux Falls Stampede, I believe he is a real solid player and should do some great things for the UAA hockey program).
Although I do not agree with statements like, "The Huskies are clearly beatable" or agree with the idea that the Huskies identity is "Team Inconsistent", I do believe the blog post, "Crucial Series With Huskies Looms" is worth your time to read as a Husky fan. He makes some solid points and was very intelligently written.
In case you had forgotten about Ben Hanowski's heroics last year scoring with .1 seconds left in the game (to keep our unbeaten record against UAA at the NHC), the awesome video is below: