Friday, October 1, 2010

Nanooks Rout the Lancers, 9-0

Pre-game social.
Frustrations running high.
Putting the score aside for a moment, the key point to touch on here is special teams. These Canadian teams hit hard and they keep going. They eventually forced retaliation from the Nanooks and penalty after penalty (15 total for 41 minutes against UA) was called. After UA dug their own hole, they were able to pull themselves out of it. Granted, Windsor had a few chances, but they shut the door quick enough to keep it out of the net. I'm not one to appreciate a hockey game turn to a boxing match, and I'm not gonna put anyone down for it, but the guys responded to Windsor's tough play, and handled themselves. That said, they wound up put a lot of pressure on their special teams to perform, and they did. Windsor wasn't able to really get many quality chances with the man advantage, but they really didn't get any angles, since our guys moved faster than their passes... Our speed and their offensive zone mistakes set up 4 or 5 short handed chances, including a 2 on 1 that came up just short.

Sather gets the first Nanook goal of the season.
That said, Coach Ferguson has put a very well rounded team on the ice this season. Our freshmen look like they will be very productive, and positive contributors to the team in all facets of the game. The guys worked very well together, more conducive to team play than a game of individuals. The guys cycled the puck very well in the offensive zone, held the puck in for what seemed like hours, very fast on the breakout, forechecking was great, backchecking was good (and I think that's what pissed off Windsor, aside from the score). Both Steve Thompson and Scott Greenham were great in net. Granted, they didn't really get tested, but after the 'Nooks went up 5-0 in the second, Thompson got his shot and kept the goose egg going.

Peto roofs one in, 4-0 'Nooks.
One thing I paid attention to tonight was line combinations. The top line of Sather-Yaremchuk-Taranto will be very interesting. Last season, Yaremchuk and Sather traded duties on the top line with Taranto and Dion Knelsen. Now that Dion has gotten his degree, the three remaining unite. With Yaremchuk centering that line, my only concern was faceoffs, and it didn't take long for that concern to settle. For the night, Nik was officially 15-7 on the draw, but he should have gotten the W for a few more of those but control went the other way. Absent from the lineup tonight was Justin Filzen, who lead in faceoff win percentage last season with over 70%. I've been curious where he will fit in the lineup this season, but I didn't get a chance to see that tonight. Anther notable line, which I believe is the second line was Peto centering for Kunyk and Beck. Both of the freshmen wingers were scoring machines in their respective junior leagues last year, and with Peto healthy, I would expect to see both of these top lines score some points. The other two lines that rolled tonight have strong potential too. Ronnie Meyers and Chad Gehon centered by Derek Klassen spells positive things here as well. Gehon and Klassen had some good chemistry towards the end of last season, same with Ronnie Meyers. The two hooked up on that goal in the Governor's cup series against ACC. You all know which goal I'm talking about too... where Gehon embarrased their poor captain, and got the pass to Meyers who buried the 'Nooks 2nd (of 7) goal of the night. Anyway, getting sidetracked, there is some pre-existing chemistry here that produced an even strength goal tonight.

Finucci's Shorthanded Goal. 8-0
Speaking of goals, Alaska got 9 of them tonight. There is no way in hell I can recap them all, but both Yaremchuk and Kunyk officially lit the lamp twice. I thought Yaremchuk's second belonged to Sather (which would have been his second), but was a close call either way. Kunyk's second of the night was a thing of beauty. Beck catching a rebound, and Kunyk getting a shot in, and followed his rebound through for the score, that was a spectacular play. Gehon's goal came on the rush with a very accurate shot through traffic over the blocker side. A goal that makes me wish we had cameras in the nets. Carlo Finucci put up a shorthanded goal towards the end of the third period on a developing play, set up by Beck and Kunyk. It was right at the tail end of their last shorthanded endeavor, so after getting close quite a few times, punching a shorthanded tally on the board on top of everything else is satisfying.

Well with that said, take a look at the box score from tonight's bout. You can definitely see how the penalties shaped out.

The Windsor Lancers will take on UAA on Saturday in my old stomping grounds in Soldotna, which should be an interesting match. Anchorage has historically been a very physical team, so I'm pretty sure Windsor will be up to it. I might actually tune in for it...

Photos by mmf. Check out more awesome photos at mmf's online gallery.

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