Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Look at the 2012 Goal Rush

I love tournament weekends, especially home tournaments. And the field for this years Goal Rush is pretty impressive. In the next two days, the Nanooks will take on two very impressive teams in the Merrimack Warriors, a Hockey East team that matches up very well with the Nanooks. As well as the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux who enter the 2012-13 season without their storied moniker, or a majority of their players after a wild drinking party resulted in emergency phone calls for help, which in turn yields four freshman receiving citations for minor consumption, and 11 suspensions handed out as the team is dressing the bare minimum of 16 players for tomorrow's game against Anchorage.

The interesting headline is North Dakota team assistant captain Danny Kristo, the team's second-leading scorer from a year ago, didn't even make the trip. Team captain Andrew MacWilliam, also suspended for the game against the Seapups. Only one of the team's regular four captains will wear a letter on Friday as Carter Rowney will also don the coat and tie serving a one game suspension. Just a crazy story if you ask me.

Speaking of crazy stories, if you haven't yet heard the tale of Pete Friesema, the WCHA official who is currently not allowed to leave the state of Alaska after cracking a joke at the Anchorage airport last week about a bomb being in his friends' bag. The ADN reported that the Alaska Airlines baggage attendant mistagged Pete's bag with his partner's, which shouldn't have been a big deal, and it probably wasn't with him since they were going to the same place. While I find the whole thing somewhat funny in that he said one of probably the most reveling words you can say in an airport, which after seeing Meet the Parents I think its something you should just know not to do. For what its worth, the WCHA has declined to make a comment on the issue, other than that they've suspended him until they have a chance to review it after he returns. When will he be able to leave the state? Who knows. He is out on bail, but to my knowledge is staying in a hotel.

Anyway, back on topic. Goon's World blog has a nice breakdown of who is and who isn't playing this week for NoDak:

This is the list of UND hockey players that will miss the game for UND against Anchorage Alaska.

1. Danny Kristo – Suspension
2. Corbin Knight – Suspension
3. Andrew MacWilliam – Suspension
4. Carter Rowney – Suspension
5. Brendan O'Donnell – Suspension
6. Michael Parks – Injury

This is the list of UND hockey players that will miss the game for UND against Alaska

1. Danny Kristo – Suspension
2. Connor Gaarder– Suspension
3. Andrew Panzarella– Suspension
4. Stephane Pattyn– Suspension
5. Michael Parks – Injury
North Dakota will have a very short bench, no doubt about that. But they played a lot of the late season last year with a shortened bench due to injuries. So it'll be interesting to see how this team responds in the early part of the season. Interestingly enough, 3 of NoDak's first 4 games, are against ACC...

Merrimack is kind of the unknown here, as I've never seen this team play. The Hockey East conference is no stranger to Dallas Ferguson, who was almost able to upset Hockey East champs Boston College's National Championship run three season's ago in the first round of the tournament in Worcester. As I said in the introduction, Merrimack matches up well with the Nanooks. With a lower tier offense and a top 10 defense last season, the Nanooks will be challenged to score, and challenged to keep the Warriors off of the board.

Josh Myers has been the breakout player so far with 2 goals against Union and an assist in the Northeastern game, who now has almost half of the point total in two games that he had all of last season. The top returning scorer for Merrimack this season is Mike Collins, who has yet to crack the stat sheet, save for one minor penalty.

Rasmus Tironnen, a Finnish goaltender in his sophomore season was tested last week vs. Northwestern allowing 3 goals on 33 shots. Sam Marotta, the junior goaltender for the Warriors started the season's first game against Union in a 4-1 win allowed one in 34 shots. But who will get the start this weekend isn't in stone.

Same goes for the Nanooks. Both Cahill and Keeney each allowed 3 goals against, but Keeney was kind of left hanging out to dry in the game against Cansius. And with Steve Thompson yet to skate in the crease this season so far, who knows what Dallas has in store for the tournament this weekend.

Go 'Nooks!

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