Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Humbling Experience - 2 Points in 2 Weeks

Sorry for the late post, the Thursday-Friday game gave me an opportunity to jump on a plane and go enjoy the warmth and the outdoors in south-central Alaska while it was still here. So please forgive me for the untimeliness and brevity of this post.

The first game was thrilling for me both as a Nanooks fan, and just as a fan of the game of hockey. Knowing that in a 0-0 game, bounces can go in any way, and one bounce can dictate the outcome of the game. That moment when a scoring chance is developing, and you slide forward in your seat in anticipation, and subsequently hearing the ping when it hits the post, that is what I love. That game was filled with several of those moments. The second game, not so much...

In Thursday's first period, the bulk of the chances went to OSU. In the rest of the game, not so much the case. Going into the locker room after the first period with the score still tied at 0-0, I don't suspect the coaches were too pleased about the 9-2 shots on goal disadvantage that they were facing. Needless to say, it was a much different 2nd period. The guys were skating harder, they were able to maintain puck possession (which is something that couldn't be done during the first period), and as a result they were generating scoring chances by the truckload. Unfortunately, a few went off of the goalposts, but again, back to the game of bounces thing.

In the third, the 'Nooks gave up an unfortunate goal just a minute into it. But that offensive motor was still turning, and they were finally able to pop one in when Granberg got his second of the year at 8:02 into the third to tie it 1-1. Just a good extended possession by the offense, and a great pass by Aaron Gens to find Granberg breaking towards the middle. Some nifty stick work to put the puck on his backhand while being challenged by Buckeye defesneman Devin Krogh. Granny ripped the backhand shot right over Heeter's left shoulder.  That's back to back weekends for Granberg with goals, which is great to see from my perspective. He's been doing a great job in front of the net creating scoring chances for the guys around him, and its good to see him find twine.

Just about a minute later, Justin Filzen got his first goal since January, attacking a loose puck on a feed from Chad Gehon. The pass was initially intended for Meyers, but his stick was tied up nicely by a defender. Filzen did a nice job of crashing the net quickly and getting his stick on the loose puck to bury it. After allowing the game tying goal, and dropping the shootout decision 2-1, the Nanooks left the rink with a point in hand.

As for Friday, I didn't get a chance to see the game, and since the scoresheet said that we lost 6-0, I'm kind of glad that I didn't. From the looks of things, Scott Enders took an unfortunate penalty that put Ohio State on the 5 minute major power play, and were able to get 3 goals on us in a hurry. Having never seen our team be able to battle back from a situation like that (and honestly, that's not a situation I've seen the Nanooks get put in but maybe twice before) and emerge victorious, I think the guys got away from the game plan a bit and tried some desperation moves that didn't quite work out.

Again, I didn't see this game. It's a hard score to look at and swallow, but at the same time, I know that the coaches got a lot of key points to focus on and things to fix. I guess I'm glad to say that it happened this early rather than later on. Looking ahead to Miami, I'd be intrigued to see if any noticeable changes are introduced. I doubt there will be right away, but subtle tweaks to some of the traditional breakout plays that they run, things like that. I'll keep an eye out for those interesting developments.

All of that said, Miami rolled into town sometime early this morning. I'd have to assume that they're looking to really rebound from two back to back series in which they have yet to earn a single point. The Nanooks and Redhawks are 10th and 11th in the conference respectively right now. So somethings got to give! Look for my preview of this series late tomorrow night.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Should be an interesting weekend with Miami. Talk about two teams that have underachieved and are desperate for conference points. Hopefully we are more desperate...and hopefully our guys recall Miami ending our season last year.