Seals host their first 3 game home series of 2013 this weekend (January 4th - 6th) against Ontario Avalanche. From the WSHL Weekend Preview:
The two first-year teams in the Pacific Division will open 2013 against one another and both are looking like they’re just starting to hit their stride.
The Ontario Avalanche looked solid at the Showcase, where they went 2-2-0 but beat two good hockey teams in the Boulder Bison and Southern Oregon Spartans and also took Idaho to the edge, before falling by a score of 2-1.
Prior to their success in Las Vegas, they took one of three games in Fresno from the Monsters and at the time, were the only team to defeat the top team in the Pacific Division.
Head Coach Chris Shaw has his team playing hungry hockey and they don’t take a shift off. The best example of this is assistant captain Sean Carpenter, who is a workhorse that was rewarded for his efforts with the first hat-trick in Avalanche history, coming in a 4-1 over Boulder.
They will also be seeking revenge against the team that beat them two out of three to open the inaugural season for both teams.
The Bay Area Seals were the surprise of the Showcase and one of only three teams to go undefeated, a perfect 4-0-0 in Las Vegas.
They didn’t play the stiffest of competition but they played the most complete hockey we’ve seen out of them and looked like a formidable opponent.
The biggest key to their success was the acquisition of three Slovakian players, who jumped right into the lineup and immediately helped the team win games.
Goaltender Filip Orcik won all three games he started and looked very good in doing so, while fellow countrymen Kristian Kucera and Filip Ondracek each played on the top forward line and sparked the offense from the start.
Defenseman Ladislav Hruska is also back and looking like his old self, after sitting out a handful of games for a suspension early in the season.
Combine everything with a pinch of confidence and the Seals can very easily climb the standings and snag a playoff spot but they have to continue their momentum and that begins with three games against one of the most disciplined teams in the league this weekend.