A bit of an offensively challenged evening for the 'Nooks as the guys finish their last CCHA regular season series. Senior goaltender Drew Palmisano got the call in net for the Spartans, and he was very sharp with the 27 save shutout. I almost feel like some kind of higher power prevented the puck from going in for the 'Nooks tonight, but that's the way the game goes sometimes.
The 'Nooks really started outworking the Spartans midway through the 2nd period, and were controlling play, but they weren't developing any quality scoring chances. They would cycle well, but as soon as an angle to the net came open, the shot would get taken and wouldn't get through. MSU's defense did not leave many passing lanes open, so it was really up to the puck carrier to make a play with it, and their 3-2 box defense kept the play to the outside.
Chelios' goal, the first for the Spartans, was a series of slaps taken at a puck that Greenham had
trapped along the left post. After the first shot, Scottie tried to keep
it out but couldn't get his glove on it, and the defense wasn't in a
position to clear it. Sadly, it was eventually driven home and the Spartans never looked back from there.
The Spartans also did well to keep traffic away from Palmisano's crease, an objective that the Nanooks weren't able to accomplish at the other end. Michigan State often stacked at least two guys in the box to screen Greenham, and had the other three cycle the puck around. All three goals came in this exact play. Coincidentally, all of the goals also came to Greenham's left. Both Sorenson's deflection, and Reimer's one-timer were up high. I think the deflection actually wound up going over Greenham's blocker, but Reimer's power play goal in the third beat Greenham clean to the glove side. Again with traffic in front, but the lane was cleared too late, and Greenham couldn't see it in time.
I've said it before, it's another game where I thought the Nanooks deserved a better fate. They played well for most of the game, but seemed to lack offensive aggression and production to put a goal on the board. Honestly though, congratulations is due to Palmisano. He played a hell of a game and earned the shutout tonight.
In other news, it is now Governor's Cup week! On Friday, the Seapups earned their first win at St. Cloud since 1987 (yes, older than anyone on their team), a 25 year streak which was broken after a 3-2 win in Overtime. Tonight, the St. Cloud players essentially said "here's to the next 25 years!", gave them the middle finger, and stomped them 8-3. The game really was pretty close after ACC scored to make it 4-3 St. Cloud, until a monumental collapse on Anchorage's part threw it away, giving up the last 4 goals in a span of about 8 minutes late in the 3rd period.
Certainly a lot of talk is going to happen around what I consider the greatest college hockey rivalry. DU and CC have the Gold Pan, BU and BC have the Beanpot, but the Governor's Cup is really in a category of its own. Fortunately, the final game is in Fairbanks this year, so the cup can be awarded to the 'Nooks on home ice after the sweep.
On a completely unrelated note, every once in a while a big fight breaks out in college, but due to the rules and regulations at this level the anger level really has to rise pretty high for the gloves to go off. But since pretty much anything goes at the junior level, fights like the Sioux Falls/Sioux City full line brawl tonight happen. As the saying goes, you can take the kid out of juniors, but you can't take the juniors out of the kid. That will be tested as the key fighter here, Joe Lordo is a commit to Penn State's inaugural season, of which their first games will be against the Nanooks and Seawolves in 2013 up here at the Brice Goal Rush. Mostly I just wanted to find a reason/connection to link the video here, because it is highly entertaining.