Welcome back, oh dear readers. After what seems like the busiest month of my life, I'm finally back. Again, sorry for the lack of preview this week, but coming into the series, the Nanooks are undefeated in the last 15 games against Ferris State, with a 13-0-2 dating back to 2003-2004. If you had a chance to check out my Twitter feed, you might have seen the video put together by a couple of ESPN hopefuls. Assuming these guys can get the pronunciations of... well... anyone or anything not on their own team right, that is. Anyway, on to the recap of the first game with the Bulldogs and the "Nan-nukes", as they call us.
Good to see Andy Taranto and Michael Quinn back on the ice. I guess the bye week gave them a bit of rest to recover. Nanooks captain Kevin Petovello still remains on the injured list, and still in Fairbanks as he didn't make the trip down with the team. Hopefully he'll be back right out of the gate after the break.
With that said, the Nanooks got off to a good first period. Andy Taranto, fresh off an injury that kept him on the bench for 3 games, picked right back up where he left off, backhanding in a rebound off of a shot from the point off of Joe Sova's stick. Add Carlo Finucci to the stat sheet with the secondary assist all at 13:33 into the first period.
But that was the last lead the Nanooks would see tonight...
The first of which came on a well placed screen, as Nate Hennig put the first goal for Ferris on the board to close out the first period.
In to the second period, Mike Embach, the games eventual 2nd star, buried a goal past Greenham off of the left goal post unassisted. And Zach Redmond would also get on the board in the second with a power play goal, which would be the eventual game winner.
The third period would see the Nanooks apply pressure, and eventually Jarret Granberg would crack the defense and net the Nanooks only power play goal of the evening (1 for 7 on the night). That got my blood pumping, as the guys pulled within range to potentially tie things up. With about 1:12 left, Scott Greenham left his crease, and on came a 6th skater...
But, it worked against the 'Nooks, as Ferris forward Jordie Johnston picked off a pass, and took the empty netter in to seal a 4-2 win for Ferris State, their first victory over the Nanooks in over 6 years. Not that it means anything, but a stat that has gone in our favor for some time, so it had to be mentioned.
Tonight marks win number 299 for Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels. With 300 on the doorstep, the 'Nooks will have to slam the door and lock the deadbolt tomorrow. Tomorrow also features the "Big Chill at the Big House", a Guinness World Record setting outdoor hockey game with over 108,000 fans in attendance. That will be on Fox channel 7 here in Fairbanks for your viewing pleasure. Should be over about an hour before the 'Nooks game starts.
The Wall Street Journal has an article up regarding the Big Chill, as well as the college hockey landscape as a whole. One of the better articles I've read in a long time. Check it out.
And just to help out those two Ferris State guys who did the aforementioned series preview, and for everyone else out there who has no idea how to pronounce our team's name -- it's "Nan", like Nano. "Nooks", like the plural of Barnes and Noble's eReader "nook". Nanooks. There ya go... I'll get to the player pronunciations someday if I have to...