Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 1 - Nanooks Down the Falcons, 5-2

The first period was a pretty even match. Both teams played some pretty tight hockey. A little conservative, but a bit sloppy. A lot of turnovers on both sides. neither side really had many chances.

A couple of penalties on the Nanooks in the first period, with the first one of the season to Kaare Odegard, which resulted in a power play goal for Stephen Carew, from John Kruse just 12 seconds later. It didn't take long for the Nanooks to rebound though.

Cody Kunyk Scores Goal # 1
The Nanooks would go on to score 4 unanswered goals over the next 35 minutes. Cody Kunyk gets the credit for the first goal of the year for the Nanooks. The 5' 11" freshman took a pass through traffic from fellow freshman linemate Colton Beck to beat Falcon netminder David Bosner stick side, which would end the first period 1-1. I wasn't too astonished with the play in the first. A lot of neutral zone turnovers, a lot of botched passes. Air Force did a good job of putting defensive pressure on, but the Nanooks have got to find guys in open ice and make plays. I thought it was a little timid, but at the same time, it was the first real game of the season.

The second period opened up quite a bit more. Passing efficiency increased, they picked up speed, and obviously so did the scoring.

Colton Beck gets goal # 2
Joe Sova took a pass from Petovello and blasted a shot from the point that was expertly deflected by Colton Beck. The deflection went perfectly, the high shot, deflected low was too quick of a change for Bosner to do anything about. More importantly, the development and the motion of the whole team on this play is ultimately how it turned into a goal. motions behind the net around to the other side forced another defensemen on the scorer, the wingers pinching out to the corners forced defenders to the outside, opening up a channel in front of the net for the scorer to occupy, shot from the point, deflection, and goal.

Just before Yaremchuk puts it in the net.
Nik Yaremchuk would get his first goal of the season, getting involved in activity around the net and burying the rebound from Cody Kunyk to go up 3-1. It was a nice shot too, Bosner left a juicy rebound, Yaremchuk buried it.

Nanooks crash the net and get some good pressure.
Klassen would get the next goal, in which everyone in the Sullivan thought that it was going to be an icing penalty as Klassen left the box just before this. Now this year, it isn't  straight up no touch icing, its a new hybrid icing rule if the team that ices the puck enters the zone and is the first to pass the face off dots, icing is waved off. If the defending team has the clear advantage to get to the puck first, icing is called. It is a very interesting situation, since it puts the power of subjectivity in the hands of the linesman. In this case though, it was a good call, and a good play. Klassen, fresh out of the penalty box, took the puck, dangled in front of the goaltender, shot, gathered his own rebound and buried the goal, all among just him and the goaltender. EDIT: Stat correction, Scott Greenham and Joe Sova will get assists on Klassen's goal per the updated box score.

Nanook captain, #9 Kevin Petovello
Going into the 3rd period, play tightened up for Air Force. They got faster, they put more pressure on the puck carrier, they cycled the puck better, which eventually paid off for them. Forward John Kruse would earn his second point of the night, getting one past Greenham to cut the lead to 4-2.

But the Nanooks weren't finished yet. Senior captain Kevin Petovello, had some serious wheels tonight, by the way, buried a rebound off of a shot from Aaron Gens and put it in to close out the scoring for the night.

To me, the game got off to a bit of a rough start. Again, I thought Air Force contained the 'Nooks well and didn't give them much, but our guys have to keep the puck moving and maintain possession to beat North Dakota. The best way to win against a team like that is to limit their chances and keep the puck away from them and out of the defensive zone, but to do that, you have to maintain possession under pressure, which the 'Nooks had trouble doing.

Kevin Petovello buries goal #5.
Tonight will be a great game, I still attest to my prediction, 2-1 over North Dakota.

Congratulations to UAA to turn a slaughterhouse into a game. Down 5-1, they rallied for 4 unanswered goals to go into a tie, 5-5. While North Dakota would win the shootout, UAA still made something out of nothing, and looked good doing it, especially for a young team. That's all I'll say. See you at the games. Be sure to check out my Twitter feed for live coverage. Don't forget about streaming audio feed from Bruce Cech.

Photos by mmf.

More Photos:

Cody Kunyk centers a pass to linemate Colton Beck

Ronnie Meyers gets it out of the corner

Junior goaltender Scott Greenham robs #9 Kyle DeLaurell of Air Force

Derek Klassen beats Falcon netminder David Bosner gloveside.

Additional photos by Paul McCarthy


mmf said...

Nice recap Britton. The boys definitely need to step up the intensity and sense of urgency tonight. UAA stirred up a hornet’s nest last night. It was fun to watch even though it makes our job tougher - good job UAA.

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