Before I get into this, the box score from Friday's game was corrected for Yaremchuk's goal. The assists were credited to Andy Taranto and Dion Knelsen, and yanked a point away from Joe Sova. Just thought I'd mention that.
This game didn't really seem to kick into gear for the Nanooks until about the middle of the second period. We were asleep for over 20 minutes, spilling into the second period. Not sure what was going on there, but we were losing face offs, not retaining the puck, failed to generate a single scoring chance, and only managed to put up 2 shots on goal in 20 minutes, compared to UNO's 17 shots on goal with 1 score going into the break. They just failed to handle the puck. Chasing a puck for 20 minutes with out actually generating any offensive pressure is disappointing. Fortunately, they only scored one goal. If it wasn't for Greenham, it might have been a little different.
2nd period took a while, but the Nanooks shifted the momentum and the tables turned, but not until after UNO scored goal number 2. Once that Hudson guy...whoever he is...scored again, the Nanooks woke up, and sensed a bit of urgency with about 35 minutes left in the game. After that, they started generating shots, just keeping the puck in the offensive zone, and generating scoring chances.
I gotta say though, Taranto disappointed tonight. He played well, don't get me wrong. UNO did a good job containing him, and I think UNO's coach kind of exploited him a little bit and got under his skin. Andy just didn't maintain his discipline. He showed some signs of that last night, but with 3 consecutive penalties, come on man, that's not playing good hockey. Coach Ferguson benched him for a while, and I think that did him some good. He came back out and played a little stronger. You can tell that UNO keyed on him quite a bit and kept their best D-men on the ice when Andy's out there.
Coach Ferguson deserves some more praise for shaking up the lines. The matchups out there were a little uneven through the lines. Usually, it works out with Andy, Dion and Nik on that first line, but Nik was a little outmatched, getting knocked around quite bit, but throwing Chad Gehon/Derek Klassen/Brandon Knelsen in the mix really helped balance things out.
These line shake ups paid off as it was Ron Meyers hooking up with Carlo Finucci pulling the Nanooks to within one and a clutch goal to at least give the Nanooks a chance at a come back. It was a scoring drought that seemed to last forever, but alas, the two got it done. Finucci nearly had goal number two just about a minute later, but he rang the post. Almost tied it up, but missed the mark by just inches.
"We didn't lose, we simply ran out of time."
An applicable quote, but we might have had more time had the first period gone a little differently. The outcome of the game might have been different too, who knows.
Next weekend, I'm hoping for a better outing against a rebounding Michigan team who has yet to score a goal on Scott Greenham, after he shut them out in the Kendall Classic at the beginning of the season. Both games of that series will also be televised by Fox on channel 7 here in Fairbanks. No word on GCI yet, but count on KSUA or B2 for those outside the Fairbanks area.