With the Nanooks' offense kicking it in to gear, its time to rev up the RPMs in the engine. Pat Nagle is just as stingy of a netminder as Greenham is, and the guys will have to get into high gear in the offensive zone to get pucks past Nagle.
Ferris State boasts a stingy defense surrounded around him too, just like I mentioned before. The difference is a Bulldog offense that has plummeted to the 5th worst in the country at 2.21 goals per game. Granted, the Nanooks are still technically considered bottom tier, but that is certainly picked up. Going back to the Notre Dame series, the 'Nooks have scored 15 goals in their last 6 games, 2.5 goals per game, or 10 goals in the last 3 games, 3.33 goals per game. Certainly better than the 2.35 goals per game average the Nanooks have posted thus far.
The difference has been the rise of guys like Nik Yaremchuk, and Cody Kunyk, who have added immense depth to the Nanooks roster. 8 Nanooks have registered 12 or more points, and Carlo Finucci isn't far behind with 9. While those numbers aren't necessarily the highest in the nation, they do indicate that the lines have a lot of balance. Last year, the Taranto-Knelsen-Sather/Yaremchuk line accounted for nearly 70% of the team's total scoring between them. Not so much the case this year. The guys are playing with and without the puck very well. Although they haven't scored a lot of goals, they aren't allowing very many, either. Going against Pat Nagle and the 7th ranked Ferris scoring defense will be a test for the Nanooks in the offensive category. Getting some strong goals, and even some solid scoring chances would be a great indication of offensive production heading into the last part of the season.
While I don't see this game being very high scoring, I don't imagine Ferris comes out with a win this weekend, especially after getting hung up in travel issues with the snowstorm (hence the delay to Sunday...), I won't bet against Greenham, who has been quite hot as of late. Nagle is a great goaltender, but that 6 goal spark Ohio State let up last week hopefully should feed some momentum into a Nanook offense that's needed a bit of a horsepower boost. I guess Kunyk remembered the nitrous last week...
OK enough car references. As I already mentioned earlier this week, the games have been pushed back a day. If you already had a ticket for Friday's game, those tickets will be honored on Sunday. So don't party too hard for the Super Bowl (which Green Bay wins, just throwing that out there...) and don't get too hammered before heading to the Carlson... Games start at 7:05PM both nights. See you there.