Nanooks Enjoy a Tasty Seawolf Dinner
"What's a Seawolf?" ...... "UA_"...... Whatever cheer you want to go with, in the end, its the final score that matters, and tonight, the Nanooks were the better team. What better team for the Nanooks highest scoring game of the season to go against? Yeah, none. Miami could have been favorable, but sticking it to Spanchorage leaves a delectable after-taste in my mouth... one of... victory.
I give all the credit in the world though to the Anchorage team, I do. They forced us to play their game. They played a hard nosed check-heavy game that the Nanooks stepped up to, and, ultimately, beat them at.
Honestly though, my heart kind of sank when ACC jumped out to the early 0-2 lead, the first of which, you can probably question. But all I could think was "here we go again..." But no. Not this time. The Nanooks battled back. Andy Taranto played a big role in this win, and expect the Seawolves to target him tomorrow (err, tonight, since its after 1AM) and put two guys on him. Any how, I'm getting distracted. Number 29 took off from this point forward and lit his first of 3 lamps tonight off of an interesting play in front of the net on the power play. It looked like Dion had shot it, and Andy picked up the rebound from where I was sitting, so that's what I'll go with, but this is just the beginning. Taranto's first goal was the first of a round of 4 unanswered goals for the 'Nooks.
Just a little over 3 minutes later, it was Ronnie Meyers that knotted the game up at 2, and would be the first even strength goal of the night as Chad Gehon made a very sweet pass in traffic on the rush across the crease. On the same note, I like how Kurt Haider decided this goal went to Jarret Granberg, who wasn't even on the ice. Not to mention his endless mistake with Justin Filzen's last name, who he constantly called "Filzer" throughout the game. I guess an N and an R look a lot alike, right? Not.
But it was Brandon Knelsen and captain Derek Klassen that broke that tie on a 2 on 1, and the Nanooks never looked back. Brandon rotated out on the rush, saucered it right over the defenders stick, and Klassen put on the brakes on at the right time, in the right spot, and it deflected off of his skate into the net.
Skating into the second, just shy of 6 minutes in, UAA winger Sean Wiles roped down Brandon Knelsen on a breakaway chance with one hell of a hooking penalty that spawned a penalty shot. Now Brandon's brother Dion has had a lot of the spotlight in these types of situations, but Brandon, with his first 1 on 1 opportunity, I wouldn't say embarrassed Christianson, but definitely made him look pretty bad as . All of a sudden, Nanooks are now up 4-2.
UAA forward Kevin Clark would end that unanswered goal run, and bring the Seawolves back within 1, making it 4-3. 3:59 later, Dustin Sather would be left completely alone within 10 feet of their goal would catch a nice pass from Dion Knelsen and had an open net to shoot at on the backdoor, and he buried what would eventually turn in to the game winning goal on the power play, which was a work of art. The power play goal would take just 19 seconds to tally up. Which would end play for the second period, which the Nanooks scored twice in, despide having just 4 shots on goal (keep in mind though, one was a penalty shot).
With the Nanooks now up 5-3, Kevin Clark would again bring the game in close. But two goals, numbers 2 and 3 for Andy Taranto just 12 seconds apart from each other to seal the 7-4 victory. Andy Taranto who has got a seriously loaded stick, and showed it again tonight for not only his second career hat trick, but his second hat trick...in February just two weeks apart..!!
The Nanooks shamed the Seawolf netminder and forced in 7 goals on just 19 shots. That is a .632 save percentage for Bryce Christianson... Yeah... Expect to see Jon Olthius tomorrow...
Greenham allowed 4 goals on 27 shots, for a .852 save percentage. Not his best outing, but he was definitely solid.
If you weren't in attendance at the Sullivan Arena, the Nanook fans in attendance was seriously magical. A group of about 80 students spread across about a section and a half, the voices of these fans were unreal. I was sitting just above them in section 119, and I couldn't believe how loud they were the whole game, it was unreal.
During the intermissions, I played guest host with premier sports radio commentator Bruce Cech, which I hope to become a regular thing, talking a little bit about the game, but a lot about the atmosphere of the Sullivan, which was a bit more packed in than normal, but a lot of Nanook fans in attendance too, so that probably filled the otherwise empty seats.
Regardless of it all, Spanchorage lived up to its name and took a beating. The Seawolves generally play a much tighter game on Saturdays so I expect to see a lower scoring type of game, but in the end, the cup is still coming home to its rightful bearers.