So, history prevails as the Nanooks escape the horrid black hole in Marquette with 2 points. Although Northern is a team that they can beat, that arena is haunted or something. But if there is anything that can bring a team together, its a long road trip. Fortunately school doesn't start up here until Thursday, so the guys can use this opportunity to build more relationships without the pressure of school, or the lethargic-inducing cold of Fairbanks (of which, I've heard forecasts for temperatures as low as -51F).
Despite this past weeks loss, there's enough evidence after rewatching the game that the opportunities were there for the 'Nooks. My initial recollection after the game is still intact in that staying focused offensively took away from the defensive aspects. But historically as a defensive team, I don't think it will take long to get back on the right foot. When you look at history, and you look back on how the 'Nooks have fared in their road trips, it's not always been great. But generally speaking, it revs the engine up to get the team into the next gear down the stretch.
The opportunity to start that is now. This will be Ferris' second straight home series after sweeping Colgate by a collective 7-4. But before January, the Bulldogs faced some struggles posting a collective 1-5 record through the month of December. In saying that, I'm not so sure that the C.J. Motte/Taylor Nelson rotation is really working out for the team like they would want it to, but Nelson did start for both of the Colgate games, so we'll just have to follow that story and see where things go from there. Nelson is the better goaltender, but I think some of his miscues have come a lack of reps, but he may be getting them now, I don't know. The new year is young, I'm still learning things here!
But when you look at the Ferris State stats, and you look at their roster, all you see is depth. You look at a guy like Jordie Johnston, despite how the team does you can almost always find him on the score sheet. However, when the Bulldogs came to town in November Jordie's name was nowhere to be found. If the 'Nooks can stop everyone else, our fate may be better this time around. From the other perspective, the Bulldogs had Nelson in goal for their loss, but beat the Nanooks with Motte in goal the second night with both allowing two goals.
Now regardless for how the individual matchups play, I would really like for 'Nooks to come out with wins this weekend and start the home game stands headed in the right direction. They were playing high level hockey in December up until that break until that heartbreaking loss against Michigan in OT. Did that have an effect on the team through the break? Maybe. After watching the first game against Northern, I'd say for the better. After going down 2-0 in the 2nd, the 'Nooks seemed determined to not let that game slip away. It took the 'Nooks a bit, but they came back to rally in the 3rd and showed some grit and fight in there game, and that's the kind of thing I like to see.
Hopefully, the 'Nooks don't find themselves chasing the lead for 60 minutes and can solidify themselves and earn a few wins this weekend. History prevailed last weekend, let's watchthe 'Nooks successful history in Big Rapids prevail this weekend!