Sunday, February 26, 2012
Alaska Nanooks are Governor's Cup Champions
Say what you want about the shootout, but it's nobody's fault that the Seawolves don't have enough offensive talent to take down the Nanooks. Tonight, and even last night, the Seawolves were outworked, outskated, and outplayed this weekend by this Nanooks team. The 2nd period of Friday's game was a little disappointing. But the guys got the job done on home ice, playing their game for a full 60 minutes. Greenham said earlier this month that the one thing they were missing from the team was a full 60 minute effort, and they got that tonight.
The first period had a lot of action, and a few interesting penalty calls. The most absurd of which came on a Gensy-patented-hip-check, which was miraculously called tripping. I'm not sure how you call a beautiful check like that a tripping call, but sometimes that's how it goes.
Into the second, scoring kicked in as Daniel Naslund knocked one in after Tateson got caught behind the play Greenham was pulled way out of crease and somehow wound up in the corner after Naslund tipped it around Greenham's left pad, his momentum carried him through Greenham with Scott Enders tying him up. It was a good goal on an opportunity that the Seawolves were able to take advantage of.
But the Nanooks kicked it into high gear, and worked the puck down low and Cody Kunyk buried a backdoor feed from Gens to even things up. The play developed very well off of a quick cycle off of the faceoff, and the puck came up a bit towards the point. Aaron Gens was right there, skated the puck down inside of the faceoff circle and found the angle to Kunyk's blade on the backdoor, who rang it home.
A few minutes later, Gensy made the play again. This time finding Andy Taranto streaking in who sniped another one high blocker side on Kamal; a mirror image of the power play goal he scored in Anchorage last night. Taranto is really playing on a whole other level lately, and he's getting rewarded with goals. His work early in the first fighting through players and drew a penalty while shorthanded to end ACC's power play after that aforementioned "penalty" to Gens.
The semi-ironic part is that Henderson would get the final goal of the evening after a rebound, who has probably one of my favorite players to watch over these last few weeks.
Adam has been an unstoppable force in the faceoff circle week in and week out (a bit shy of 50% tonight). He has also really helped make that 3rd line click with Gehon and Meyers. That top defensive line of Gens and Quinn played outstanding tonight as well, and always seemed to be in sync with each other throughout the game.
Well, the Nanooks have won their 11th Governor's cup in its 19 year history, and have won 8 of the last 11 series. It was great to see the guys skate so well, and get it done on senior night. I made a point to thank each of the 7 seniors tonight. But the season isn't done. The Nanooks travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to take on the Lake Superior State Lakers in the first round of the CCHA Playoffs.
Also, as an aside, congratulations are in order for Bruce Cech, the Voice of the Nanooks for the last 24 years was inducted into the Fairbanks Hockey Hall of Fame during Hockey Week in Fairbanks. Congrats to Bruce, and here's to the next quarter of a century!