Now THAT was a hell of a hockey game...
The Nanooks responded very well to Miami's physical play from a night before and took it to the Redhawks. Overall, the guys not only played physical, but played very smart. They didn't just run and try to hit someone, they made hits when it counted, but played the puck well and didn't get caught in a bad spot. Our guys did an excellent job plugging the shooting lanes with bodies and creating turnovers.
Credit to the Nanooks defense, as they didn't allow a single even strength goal. On the flipside of that, the 2 power play goals Alaska allowed on 6 chances actually amounted to quite the special teams effort. Miami has a great power play, and giving them 6 chances they're bound to get at least one.
On the first penalty to Kaare Odegard, Miami forward and NCAA leading scorer Carter Camper once again found himself in the right place at the right time, on the opposite side of a pass across the crease from Pat Cannone to go up 1-0.
Just after that, the Nanooks answered right back with an even strength goal. Nik Yaremchuk caught a nice pass from Ronnie Meyers on the rush to get the Nanooks first goal of the weekend, as well as the first goal ever on Connor Knapp.Credit to Ronnie Meyers for causing the turnover leading to this scoring chance that Yaremchuk was able to find twine with.
The second period wouldn't feature any scoring, but two very worthy plays worth noting. One was an absolute masterfully crafted hit by Kaare Odegard. He was called for charging, but I thought it was a perfectly clean hit as he flattened Alden Hirschfeld, who played the part of a ragdoll very nicely. The other would be a similar play but the other way. Ryan Hohl gave a little shove to Steve Spinell, who retaliated with a minor shove, and Hohl played it perfectly and grabbed his face and fell backwards drawing the penalty. Spinell went to the box for holding. Seriously Ryan, if this communications degree isn't working out for you, I'm sure the theater department would be glad to take you in. At the end of the 2nd, Petovello and Smith would get offsetting minors as the 'Nooks defended their goaltender. I like Miami's commentators comments on Bryant Molle's removal of Andy Miele from the back of Greenham: "Molle just ripped Andy Miele off of Scott Greenham like you would pull a weed out of the driveway". OK, its kinda dry, but funny nonetheless.
The 3rd period started off 4 on 4 for 1:21, but Andy Taranto would get called for interference after winning the faceoff, as he effectively prevented Carter Camper from doing... anything. Just 10 seconds into the box, he'd come right back out as Wideman blasted one from the point to go up 2-1.
But the Nanooks effort didn't cease, upping the pressure, getting pucks low, taking shots, and it paid off. Aaron Gens wound up and fired from the point which was blocked by a defenseman in front of the net. Cody Kunyk batted it out of the air back in front of the net and found Kevin Petovello by himself, who beat Knapp to tie it at 2.
Just a few minutes later, the Nanooks have a power play courtesy of Alden Hirschfeld, working the puck around the offensive zone. Just as the penalty expired, Beck wound up and took a shot on net that found its way in front of the crease past Connor Knapp, who didn't know Finucci was waiting for it on the opposite post who directs the puck nicely into the net, followed by a perfect rendition of "The Monkey", rubbing it in the student sections face, which I couldn't be more happy about.
With only one minute remaining, that quickly lapsed and the only thing left to do was for Greenham to raise his arms in triumph over Miami's student section, who had been harassing him for the entire evening.
A great game by the Nanooks, now 7-4-1, and 4-3-1 in CCHA play which puts them in 4th place with 14 points, just 1 point behind Miami and 3 points removed from 1st place in the conference standings.
The guys return to the Carlson Center next weekend to take on the Northern Michigan Wildcats, who have been somewhat inconsistent, but maintaining 5th place in the CCHA standings. A pair of losses to Miami, a sweep of Ohio State, followed by a pair of split series between Lake Superior and Bowling Green have earned them 12 points. Currently, the Wildcats have no victories over ranked opponents. Stay tuned to this blog further into the week for a more in depth preview of next weekend's series.
That's all for now. Good job to both Lance West and Brian Meisner for assuming the coaching duties this weekend and rallying the troops to pull off the split tonight. I appreciate your relief efforts in Dallas' absence. Again, my condolences to the Ferguson family.