Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Snowball Effect: WMU Defeats Nanooks 4-1

Tonight seemed to be one of those situations where you get to the top of the hill quickly, and then the snowball starts to roll and get bigger and bigger until it eventually crushes something at the bottom. I will say though, that before I get any farther with this, the officiating in this game was about as bad as the Boston Red Sox this year.  Honestly, who call minor penalties to BOTH teams for too many men on the ice when the puck doesn't even touch anyone as it glances by the bench?  Also, Ronnie Meyers' breakaway that was eventually nullified was NOT offsides. I was right there on the line, he was on sides all the way. But anyway, I digress...

In the first period though, the Nanooks held their own, and capitalized on a chance as Granberg came out of the box (on a crap call, mind you) and perching his stick on the net mouth and buried a feed from behind the net courtesy of Carlo Finucci. Boom. Up 1-0. And from there on, the Nanooks seemed somewhat in control of the flow of the game. Of which didn't last too long

After the period ended though, that's where the snowball started to roll down the hill. Into the second period, the Broncos didn't take but 2 minutes to knot the game up with Ben Warda nabbing a goal. Visualize the snowball start to roll. Once the game started to go on, Western started to control the play by their strong extended possessions, and their controlled forechecking and backchecking.

With that snowball continuing to roll, the Nanooks really started to skate a little flat. They seemed to really have lost a lot of their drive after Western scored the tying goal, and before you knew it, the Broncos popped in two more before the end of the second period. That snowball is pretty massive and rolling pretty fast by now.

At the bottom of the hill, about half way through the 3rd period, the Broncos scored goal number 4 just as that mythical snowball crashed at the bottom of the hill.  The goal came after Nanooks freshman defenseman Trevor Campbell took an unfortunate penalty that found him hitting the showers early. In an unfortunate series of events, Trevor checked a player tight who appeared to lose his footing. As he fell, Trevor's momentum continued to drive his opponent into the boards from behind. I'm not 100% convinced that it was purely intentional. I know Trevor has some hard hits to his credit, but I don't think he intended for that hit to happen like that. And as a result, both he and his team paid for it. Listening to the post-game press conference afterwards (I wasn't able to attend this time around...) you could tell that Coach Ferguson was not happy in the slightest about that penalty.

The Nanooks almost got some good scoring chances off of it though, too. But eventually WMU was able to generate a shot, and they were able to get one through to net the final goal of the game.

Coach Ferguson went on record to say that he wasn't happy with how his team responded to adversity tonight. However, this proves to be a good learning opportunity here early in the season for a lot of the new guys to learn from. Tomorrow, look for the guys to rebound, and look for vengeance. If you're a Western fan, expect tomorrow's game to have a much different result.

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