This week is going to be the longest week I've experienced in a while. The Gangchorage games provided some anxiety, but not as much as this Northern series is for me. Perhaps its the 'Nooks current win streak? Perhaps its the implications of an NCAA tournament bid? Or, perhaps its due to my personal desire for Alaska to give a fresh zam of the ice with Wildcat blood?
All three? Check.
The Nanooks have the only pair of 40 point scorers in the conference in Andy Taranto and Dion Knelsen. In the last 10 games, the Nanooks are unbeaten (8-0-2) outscoring opponents 37-13 in that span. Andy Taranto has two hat tricks in that span, and Dion Knelsen has had 2, 4 point games, and has scored at least one point in 11 out of the last 12 games.
The Wildcats have one major (read..minor) offensive threat in Mark Olver-rated (yes, I said it, he's over-rated). His most impressive feat this season was a 4 point weekend against Miami in a losing effort. In four games against the Nanooks so far, he has 2 goals, and no assists for 2 points. Hardly amazing. But seriously, Olver irritates me almost as much as Sidney Crosby does, and that is saying a lot.
Let's not forget about Brian Stewart. Poor guy's got more holes than a golf course, and its not entirely his fault. Compared with Greenham, Stewart has played fewer minutes, faced more shots, and allowed more goals. Sad story too...almost. Good to know a 4 foot by 6 foot slice of swiss cheese will be occupying the crease this weekend. Wouldn't expect much from nothing more than a safety school. But, I suppose one could lay part of the blame on a defense that hasn't exactly been spectacular, but I won't.
Wildcats had a good run, but it ends this weekend. Light 'em up, 'Nooks.
Our guys left about an hour ago, bound for Marquette. Word on the street is Western Michigan is still in Fairbanks. Sounds like their travel agent couldn't get them out until Wednesday.
3-1 W Friday
4-2 W Saturday
Realistically, it might go to 3 games. Optimistically, 'Nooks take it in 2.
This ought to get the trash talk started...