Thursday, October 04, 2007

Week 1 Breakdown, Part 1: Here Come the Canucks!

Well, thankfully for many, competitive college hockey is looming. For some, it’s no more scrimmages, no more “incomplete-ness” of life, no more innuendos and rumors (as new innuendos and rumors will surely generate as the new season progresses), and, among other things, no more boredom.

So, we ditch all of that stuff, along with our summer/fall mistress sport(s), and we take a look at the exhibitions that will take place over the first two days (Friday and Saturday) of play.

This is part one of two, and we will begin by spotlighting the one exhibition Friday contest. As many of us know, we’ll see plenty of Canadian schools that I’m not entirely familiar with, but I’ll try to dip my hand in the analysis bucket anyway.

Again, part one of two (I will be unable to post a Sunday preview, as I will be busy with other matters.)

Friday, October 5th, 2007
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology vs. Alaska-Anchorage (Exhib.)
Menard Arena, Wasilla, AK; 7:35pm AKST.

The Last Frontier plays host to the first exhibition hockey game this season, as UAA takes on the Trojans of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in not-too-far-away (from Anchorage) Wasilla, AK. SAIT, according to their website, are the two-time, defending ACAC conference champions (with an overall record of 16-5-3), and also, are the two-time, defending “Canadian Colleges National Champions.” Another interesting note – SAIT head coach Ken Babey is in his 19th year.

Will SAIT’s potential three-peat season begin by knocking off UAA? Well, the heck if I know. SAIT, from my understanding, did not graduate anybody from last year’s club, but with that said, I cannot properly gauge SAIT’s youth as of yet, as an official roster for the upcoming season has yet to be posted. All I can say for certain is that SAIT will play the role of “mysterious Canadian potential powerhouse” as they trek to #49 for the weekend. They might suit up Godzilla to play defense for all I know.

Meanwhile, third-year head coach Dave Shyiak (19-48-6) is at the helm again for the Seawolves this season, hoping to improve on a somewhat disappointing 13-21-3 record last year. Despite losing last season’s lead-scorer Justin Bourne to graduation, UAA will still have firepower in youth, as sophomores Paul Crowder (11g-13a-24pts.) and Josh Lunden (11g-9a-20pts.) return, along with a young, hungry supporting cast.

Anchorage also has a candidate for NCAA D-I All-Name Team in freshman defenseman Kane LaFranchise. Just thought I’d mention that.

Saturday is on its way, and so is part two.

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