Friday, October 15, 2010

Nanooks Deorganize Union Behind the Great Wall of Greenham, 2-1

After watching UAA drop the first game to Colorado College, including Seawolves defensemen Brad Gorham knocking Colorado College's Eamonn McDermott into next week. Gorham's weekend came to an abrupt finish as he was ran out of the rink with a game disqualification, which not only takes you out of the current game, but a mandatory one game suspension, so he will not see the ice against Union tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised if he sits out a few more after league offices get wind of it. Nanook fans will remember Gorham getting thrown out during the second game of last years Governor's cup, after he laid out Justin Filzen with a hit that gashed Filzen's face. Justin, being the man that he is, put a band-aid on it and kept playing. Funny thing is, this won't be the last time UAA sees Colorado College, so Gorham may want to keep his head on a swivel. That is, assuming he's not suspended for those games too...

Andy Taranto celebrates with his teammates after tying the game
But anyhow, on to the game we care about. The first period got off to a very fast start, with a penalty being assessed in the first minute to Adam Presizniuk of Union. Although the Nanooks didn't capitalize, they certainly challenged Keith Kinkaid. Andy Taranto had a few good chances off of some juicy rebounds. Not long after, however, the Dutchmen went on their own power play as Joe Sova was flagged for interference. Just 45 seconds later, Union winger Josh Jooris centered a pass to Jeremy Welsh who quickly fired a shot past Scott Greenham, who really had no chance at it. The shot came off of Welsh's stick like a gun shot, which surprisingly enough didn't burn through the twine of the Nanooks' net. The Nanooks didn't give up though, they kept applying some serious pressure, doubling Unions shots 14-7 through the first period. With strong puck possession, tape to tape passing, and good cycling, the Nanooks generated chances, but were unable to solve Union netminder Keith Kinkaid.

That all changed at the beginning of the 2nd period, as Andy Taranto gloved a puck down as Union tried clearing the zone, and buried it over the glove of Kinkaid just outside of the right faceoff circle. Joe Sova also earned an assist on this play. This was Andy's first goal of the 2010 season.

Ronnie Meyers and Ryan Hohl playing keep-away.
The Dutchmen from Union came back fired up though, outshooting the Nanooks 12-7 in the 2nd period. The Nanooks also went to the box twice, which didn't help their cause. Ronnie Meyers though, give him the credit, put a clinic on in the offensive zone, throwing checks, keeping possession, even while being triple teamed. I'm fairly sure he killed about 25 seconds of penalty time on that shift alone. Not much later, Nanook rookie Erik Slemp got the crowd all riled up as he knocked a Union forward into next week on the forecheck. The Nanooks generated some good pressure to end the period, but unfortunately came up empty. A lot of momentum to build on going into third though.

Kevin Petovello gets the game winner.
As you would expect though, Union built some of their own momentum. Both sides came out in the 3rd and fought in all three zones, not getting many chances. Play did open up, with Ron Meyers and Andy Taranto trying to catch some stretch passes to get things going, but Union was up to the task. It wasn't until 17:30 into the 3rd period that the deadlock would be broken. Jarret Granberg won the faceoff, Taranto swooped in and got it back to Joe Sova who fired a blast at the net from center point that bounced right to Petovello's stick, and got it right in the net past Union netminder Keith Kinkaid. I had a chance to speak with No. 30 after the game about that second goal "In the third period, our whole team was playing really great in our zone. We kept [Alaska] to only 4 shots all period, but the one that came by was just like a pinball. Nothing you can really do about that one." True story. It took several attempts to solve the stingy netminder. Kinkaid, who played just over 96 minutes of hockey with no goals allowed going into this game, played phenomenally, but it was Scott Greenham that earned the win.

Scotty saw some good chances and turned them away. I thought he hand excellent rebound control, and saw the puck very well. The aforementioned goal he allowed was on the power play to Jeremy Walsh which was a precision shot. The defense did a great job staying in the shooting lanes, shutting down the centering plays and keeping the back door shut. There were a few odd man rushes in Unions favor, but most of them didn't make it to Greenham. Just through the second period, Union and cumulatively attempted 40 shots, just 19 of them found their way to the Great Wall of Greenham (yes... I'm coining this nickname...), just one of which found twine. Scotty had 23 saves on 24 shots, for a .958 save percentage with just one goal against.

While the media will elect an all-tournament team, there are no formal "Three Stars" selections for these games. Perani cup points only matter for CCHA games, but I'm a purist, I'll come up with my own:

3rd star - Joe Sova
Joe Sova playing solid defense in front of Greenham
Although Joe could be the one to blame for Union's power play goal, the truth is he played some very solid defense tonight. Sova assisted on both goals for the Nanooks, and made very good decisions defensively. As an offensive defenseman, I didn't see any inopportune plays from him. He played his role very intelligently and it clearly paid off.

2nd star - Andy Taranto
Andy got his first goal of the season on a play that he created. As Joe Sova put it " what he does best." He had some great positioning tonight, seemed like he played a little cautious but played very smart. The lineup changes coming into this game including a shake up of this top line alongside Andy. Last year, Andy and Dion fed so well off of each other, it was like bread and butter. With Peto on the top line with T.O. now, it looks like coach has found a match.

1st star - Kevin Petovello
That late game winning goal wasn't all that this senior captain impressed me with tonight. Kevin clearly plays with such a passion for the game, and has shown me that through all three games this season. After being out for quite a bit the first half of last season, he's already matched his goal totals from just a season ago in just 3 games. Just like tonight's Unsung Hero, he played hard every shift and opened up plays and generated good scoring chances.

NHB's Unsung Hero - Ronnie Meyers
The Cowboy poured it on tonight. Although he didn't get a point for his efforts, he poured it on every shift. He was on the ice in all facets of the game, and he made himself a force to be reckoned with. He must have had his Red Bull before the game...

Tomorrow night, the Tigers from Colorado College become the next victims, as they take on Alaska for the Goal Rush title at 7:05PM (not 8:05)  at the Carlson Center. For those that would like to see Union and UAA (sans-Brad Gorham) square off, their game starts at 4:05PM.

For those that made it to the Carlson tonight, what were your thoughts of the new dashers and glass? It was a significant upgrade that added a nice new feeling to the arena.

Photos by mmf. See more in his gallery.


Anonymous said...

Meyers is a stud. New glass = awesome!

Anonymous said...

I think the new glass is great! What's going on with the announcing though? We could barely understand the guy most of the time. I don't remember there being a problem with that last year.