Skaters drop the ball, er, puck…again

Sometimes statistics are just plain meaningless.

UAA goalie Kevin Reiter stopped 68 shots combined in a weekend series against No. 4-ranked North Dakota while the Fighting Sioux’s goalies only blocked a total of 32.

The result? The Seawolves gave up five goals and only managed to score two themselves, dropping both games by scores of 4-2 and 1-0. The Seawolves extended their winless streak to nine games; their last victory was Oct. 11 versus Fairbanks.

The Seawolves (1-7-2, 0-5-1) remained winless in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while the Fighting Sioux (9-1-0, 3-1-0) held their place in the middle of the pack.

The statistics also didn’t tell the whole story in shots on goal as UAA had only 12 while tallying twice in the Nov. 15 game at Ralph Englestad Arena. The next night, they had 22 shots but were shut out. For the series, North Dakota doubled UAA in attempts, 73-34.

The Seawolves didn’t have a lead all weekend as the Sioux pounced early on Friday scoring two goals in the first period thanks to WCHA all-star forward Ryan Hale and rookie of the year Brandon Bochenski.

The Seawolves were scrambling in their own end all night as they managed only five shots on goal in the first two periods.

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The unrelenting pressure led to a power-play goal in the middle of the second by Fighting Sioux sophomore defenseman Nich Fuhur. The Seawolves attempted to get back in the game on an even-strength goal by freshman Matt Hanson and a breakaway off the stick of Curtis Glencross, but it wasn’t enough.

Saturday, the game was over at 6:32 of the first period when North Dakota senior Kevin Spiewak scored on the power play. Reiter finished the game with a .97 save percentage, but it didn’t matter as UAA went 0-5 on power plays and scoreless for the game.

The Nov. 16 shutout proved that when the freshmen have an off game, no one else can pick up the slack. The Seawolves’ most troubling statistic reared its ugly head again – zero goals from UAA upperclassmen.

“We didn’t create any scoring opportunities, and when we managed to get a shot, we missed the nets,” assistant coach Martin Bakula said. “You can’t depend on your freshmen to carry the team, and that’s what happened this season.”

The Seawolves are going to need contribution from everyone as they await the Denver Pioneers, ranked third in the country, in weekend home series Nov. 22-23.

Net notes

The Seawolves are 0-6 in their attempts to secure the program’s 350th victory … Take away Matt Shasby’s seven assists, and UAA’s 11 juniors and senior have four assists and zero goals … UAA has no shutouts on the season, while they’ve been blanked twice … The team announced Friday that it has signed two defensemen for next season, Chad Anderson and Mark Smith, in an attempt to offset the losses of seniors Matt Shasby and Steve Suihkonen … UAA’s third winless weekend in a row dropped them into sole possession of last place in the WCHA … Over half of the team has yet to register a goal or assist after 12 games … UAA defensemen have scored more than three times as many points this season as last year’s two main scoring lines … In the WCHA, the Seawolves are ranked first in fewest penalty minutes, second in power play conversions, but last in total offense … UAA hasn’t scored three goals since a preseason win Oct. 11.