Tuesday, September 2, 2008

WCHA Previews: Alaska Anchorage

One last set of previews to set into motion, our opponents in the WCHA. I'm going to start w/ my projection for last place and move toward the top of the WCHA standings. Let's get things rolling...

School: University of Alaska Anchorage
Mascot: Seawolves
Head Coach: Dave Shyiak (4th year, 26-69-14)

Predicted 08/09 WCHA Finish: 10th

Last Season: 7-21-8, 10th Place

Key Departures:
F Peter Cartwright, 3-14-17*
F Marit Waldrop, 6-6-12
*All stats listed from 07/08

Key Returnees:
F Josh Lunden (Jr), 14-13-27
F Kevin Clark (Jr), 7-16-23
F Paul Chowder (Jr), 7-16-23
F Craig Parkinson (So), 7-9-16
D Mat Robinson (Sr), 3-10-13

Top Sieve: Jon Olthuis (Jr), 6-17-8, 2.90 GAA

Key Additions:
F Tyler Moir, 30-60-90 in AJHL
D Curtis Leinweber, 23-40-63 in AJHL
F Jake Portwood, 16-27-43 in AJHL

When Wisconsin Beats UAA: KC 12/05 & 12/06, Away 1/09 & 1/10

07/08 Recap: UAA again finished at the bottom of the WCHA. They were actually doing pretty well before Christmas, they sat at 6-7-3, but afterward fell apart (you can do the math). They did the WCHA proud by beating up on in-state and CCHA rival Alaska-Fairbanks, going 3-0-1 against them. While UAA was at the bottom of the WCHA, they are far from a bottom feeder overall in NCAA Hockey. If they were part of the CCHA, I would venture to bet they would compete for playoff home ice, something they will likley never see in the WCHA.

08/09 Thoughts: Not much will change this season. Looking at their roster they do have a solid group of upperclassmen, and regardless of talent difference, that is not common in the WCHA. Josh Lunden is a pretty good player who should head up the scoring for the Seawolves. While I think UAA will give teams a run for their money most nights, they will be fighting simply to stay out of the WCHA cellar.