This weekend, the Nanooks remain on the road and head up to Sault Saint Marie, Michigan to take on the Lake State Lakers in the dreaded Taffy Abel arena.
The Nanooks history at Taffy Abel is not a bright one. In the last 10 meetings against LSSU, the Nanooks are 2-4-4, with all four of those losses happening in Taffy Abel. Last season, the Lakers ventured north to the Carlson Center, and walked out with just one point as the Nanooks earned a win and a tie with the Lakers. But our record in Sault Saint Marie is a dismal 6-17-0, and trail overall 11-23-5. Their students can't be THAT rowdy, can they?
Although I like our chances this weekend, I wouldn't be surprised of another road series split. Obviously, I have to expect a sweep. Statistically speaking, LSSU's 31 goals for and 36 goals against are resoundingly trumped by the Nanooks mark of 29 goals for and just 17 against...
So the Lakers don't look very strong, more goals against than for is usually a bad sign in terms of outlook for the season. The most recent polls that came out, LSSU did garner some votes in the USCHO poll, putting them on the bubble.
Based on LSSU's record, and our history, I expect a hard fought game, but UA should still come out on top. Since the Nanooks have been in Sault Saint Marie since Wednesday evening, I don't expect the travel issue to be a problem, especially since they didn't come back to Fairbanks before this one.
Since we are clustered with them this year, there will be a rematch in Fairbanks for our final CCHA series in February. Hopefully they won't have to wear Ice Dogs jerseys this time...
Scores this weekend.
Friday: 3-1 W
Saturday: 2-0 W
Current Nanooks record, 7-2-1
Nanook Hockey Blog picks, 6-4 (right-wrong, in terms of strict win or lose). Score differential, 7 goals.