Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nanooks Crank It Up, Take Down WMU 4-1

Nanooks come up big and get their 3rd win on the road, and a solid 3 points as they vie to crawl up the ladder to get home ice for the 1st round of the CCHA playoffs.

A very open 1st period, as the Nanooks power play clicks on the first chance as Chase Balisy was forced to sit on a tripping call in the their offensive zone. Michael Quinn with a hell of a snipe from the blueline beats Slubowski's blocker through traffic as the Nanooks take the early 1-0 lead. Western began throwing every puck they had at the net, but couldn't get anything past Greenham.

The 2nd period was the same story, the Nanooks were controlling quite well, but had to step up their defensive pressure, as Western did a pretty good job getting pucks down deep, and getting chances, but Scott Greenham denied everything that the Broncos could muster. Then after an extended offensive possession by Western, Quinn caught the Western's defense sleeping, getting an outlet pass out to Finucci, who had Yaremchuk and Granberg step for step in a 3 on 1 as Matt Tennyson was left alone helplessly. Finucci saucered it over the defender, and found Granberg who didn't even hesitate. Perfect pass, perfect shot, no chance for Slubowski.

Into the 3rd, the Nanooks still playing a great containment game, attacking the puck while staying solid positionally. The story of this game was the Nanooks forechecking and backchecking efforts, playing extremely well without the puck to disrupt every play.

The Broncos tried throwing everything that they had at the Nanook in the final stanza, but could not get a goal through. On one of the dump ins, Slubowski came out to play the puck behind the net as Quinn picked off his passing attempt and found Henderson in the slot fresh off the bench after a change to get his second 3rd point of the game. Then with over 5 minutes remaining, Andy Murray does his best impression of Dave Shyiak and pulls his goaltender for the 6th skater. Needless to say, the Nanooks scored, but it took a little while to get it done. Nik Yaremchuk missed a wide open opportunity, putting it off the side of the net. Finucci's shot just outside the blue line bounced and went just wide right. But eventually, with just under a minute left, Cody Kunyk forces a turnover on the Broncos' entry and gets it ahead to Beck, who buried his 11th goal of the season.

The drama didn't end their, as Greenham's shutout bid was ended by Matt Tennyson with just 25 ticks left on the clock, pinching down to find a loose puck on a rebound, a goal that's about as useless as a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest. Greenham did play as close to flawlessly as one could, blocking damn near everything, enough to earn him the first star of the game.

Nanooks return home next week for the final CCHA regular season home series against Lake Superior State. Look for the preview a bit later this week.

No comments: