Modest goal scoring, and depth of goal scoring, have often shackled UAA in its Western Collegiate Hockey Association history, and the Seawolves are enduring such difficulties again.
UAA scored just one goal last weekend, when it was swept in a WCHA series at Minnesota State-Mankato, and its average of 1.90 goals per league game ranks last on the 12-team circuit, though Wisconsin (1.92) isn't far removed.
Not only are the Seawolves having trouble scoring, but they also are not generating an abundance of shots -- their 22.1 shots per WCHA game are fewest in the league. League opponents have outshot UAA by an average of 9.7 shots per game, the widest disparity in the league.
UAA has one last weekend before the holiday break to reverse those trends. The last-place Seawolves entertain Minnesota-Duluth, which sits in a three-way tie for eighth, Friday and Saturday nights at Sullivan Arena.
Junior left wing Scott Allen continues to pace the club in goals through 14 games with seven, more than double his three goals as a rookie. His linemates, senior right wing Alex Gellert (four goals) and freshman center and team-leading scorer Blake Tatchell (three goals, 10 points) give the Seawolves one productive line.
Otherwise, senior wing Jordan Kwas (four goals) is the only UAA skater with more than two goals this season. The likeliest suspect to pick up the pace is junior center Matt Bailey, whose goal last Friday at Mankato snapped his 10-game goal drought. He scored 10 goals as a sophomore and 10 as a freshman.
UAA's best bet for ending the first half on a happy note -- and this is true of most teams -- is to score at least three goals a game.
In all games this season, UAA is 2-2-2 when it scores three or more goals, but just 1-5-2 when it scores fewer than three goals. In WCHA games, UAA is 1-2-1 when it scores three or more goals, but 0-4-2 when it scores fewer than that.
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.
By DOYLE WOODY