Saturday, March 6, 2010

White Out Shut Out - Nanooks Blank WMU 4-0

Well, that went well.

Simply put, the Broncos were outplayed in every facet of the game. There were a few shots that Western could likely have capitalized on, but with 44 shots on goal, the Nanooks weren't going to be stopped. It was well over 7 minutes into the game by the time Western got their first shot on goal, at which point, the Nanooks already had 6 with 2 good scoring chances.

Easily, the best goal of the night was the first one. Kevin Petovello caught a nice pass from Brandon Knelsen from down low, and with Peto in the circle, there wasn't much to shoot at, but he got it in there, tucked it and rang in off the far side post, 1-0 Nanooks.

Although the second goal was officially credited to Dion Knelsen, the goal was really scored by Tyler Ludwig, who tried (and subsequently failed) to knock the puck off the play of a streaking Dustin Sather, who was in prime position to get the goal. If I find video replay footage, I will most definitely post it. As Dion's shot went cross-crease, the puck tipped up a bit and Ludwig tried to knock it wide, but instead, knocked it right under the blocker side of Gill. "Oops, sorry, didn't mean to do that". Yeah yeah, it's OK, we didn't need the help anyway.

With goals coming from Gens and Yaremchuk in the subsequent periods, Western got a little rough. Gotta say I wasn't too impressed with their players composure. Sure, eventually you get tired of losing, but keep it together, and channel your emotions into your play. I thought some of the Broncos players made some pretty cheap plays that weren't called (in fairness, there were a lot of calls on both sides that went unnoticed), some of it being holding the stick, interference, just to name a couple.

Off hand, I don't remember the player, but one of Western's guys got clearly frustrated and took the butt of his stick and blatently stuck it under the mask and into the chin of Joe Sova, knocking him down. They called it contact to the head, high sticking. Easily could have been a 5:00 major, which the referees were rightfully handing the Bronco goons left and right.

Regardless, it was a game dominated by the 'Nooks. There were some small fundamental mistakes in terms of positioning, and some turnovers that I know coach Ferguson and his staff will look at before tomorrow. Those kinds of things can't be happening that often going forward.

As far as commentary goes, I was very disappointed with the crowd tonight. A lot smaller, and a lot more disengaged than in recent history. The box score posted on USCHO showed just 2012 fans in attendance for the game. Honestly, a little saddening, considering the near sellout we had for the UAA game.

As mentioned previously as well, I thought WMU's players were pretty goonish. Kind of sad to say that, but their players behaved very poorly, without class in the 3rd period, which the Nanooks threw up an astounding 22 shots on goal in those 20 minutes. Penalties flew on each side, and it really was a sad site to see.

Not sure why Dion got that penalty in the 3rd period. All he did was take a whack at the puck before the whistle was blown, and then some Western goon tries to shove him around for trying to score. Trying to instigate fights with our players is not acceptable in my book, or by the standard of college hockey. For that fact, I sincerely hope we run the score up even higher on them next game. End their season on the lowest possible note, say, an 0-12 loss to the 'Nooks. Lofty goal? Whatever, they deserve it.

Some other game notes, tonight, the Nanooks tied their program best 17 win season. Scott Greenham tied the school record for career shutouts for a goaltender (6). And the Nanooks are now part of a 3 way tie for 5th place in the PairWise rankings, the system that tries to most accurately predict the contenders for the NCAA tournament. Not sure on this, but I'm going out on a limb to say that its likely the best performance out of this teams history.

To listen to tonight's post game press confere, you can download the audio track.


Amanda M said...

Another thing is when it looked like Western was about to skate off the ice without shaking REALLY?!

Anonymous said...

Blame the attendance on Forrest Karr constantly raising ticket prices. Last year my family cut down on the games we went to by at least half. You add up the price of tickets for two games, plus popcorn and soda and whatever, and a UAF hockey weekend ends up costing quite a bit.

mmf said...

Regular season tickets prices are not cheap, but reasonable. I don’t believe we have anything to say about playoff ticket prices.

And low attendance this weekend should not be unexpected. Yesterday was the beginning of spring break for the U and public schools. UAF students and a lot of families head off somewhere. We also have the Ice Dogs (Jr. A team) in town and fighting for home ice, local families attending regional basketball championships hosted here and on the road , and a MercyMe concert (Christian rock) going on. Plus the Arctic Lions Hockey Association is hosting the Bantam Tier II State Tournament here through Sunday at the Big Dipper and the University's Patty Center. A lot of these folks make up the Nanook fan base but are otherwise engaged. A lot going on for our small berg. And family comes first.

Mercedes said...

Playoff ticket prices are determined by the CCHA. Only 10% of that money is kept by the athletic department for operational cost. The other 90% of the funds generated by ticket sales goes directly back to the conference.

The rising ticket prices are directly related to the raised lease price from the use of the Carlson Center, as well as rising costs of travel (remember, we subsidize travel for most visiting teams).

The attendance thing should be rectified tonight. Kudos to the partnership set between the ice dogs and the Nanooks. Discounts for tickets both ways is a great idea. $2 per ticket isn't a lot, but like I said, I don't think Alaska had a lot to say in the matter.

Blaming Forrest seems to be the vernacular that a lot of people take to blame everything on. I don't think that is fair. The guy does a lot, specifically a lot of good for the team.

pjwertz said...

I was amazed at the low turn out, whatever the reason..I remember the very first year we earned home ice for playoffs and it was something that even the players then haven't forgotten. The place was crowded, loud, fireworks and even when the nooks left the ice, after the game, they came back out because of the crowd chanting "UAF, UAF". We've got to figure out how to fill those seats next season.