Friday, October 26, 2012

Nanooks Open CCHA Play Against Defending Champ FSU

Last week, the Nanooks took out a good Hockey East team, along with the number 2 team in the country from the WCHA, and now the Nanooks open CCHA conference play against last season's defending champions. After the sweep last weekend, I hope the 'Nooks are still hungry to go in for seconds!

Ferris State is always a tough place to play. The arena is small, the ceilings are really low, and the crowd makes it really loud. And the FSU players don't make it any easier to play their either. The Bulldogs were 15-4-2 at home last season, with one of those ties coming to the Nanooks this past January.

After Ferris State's big National Championship run last season, a lot of people wondered about their goaltending situation (sound familiar?) with the departure of senior Taylor Nelson. CJ Motte saw action in 12 games last year, with an impressive .925 save percentage and a 1.98GAA, but just barely over .500 at 5-5-2. Seems that the start of this season isn't much different for him as the Bulldogs have yet to really get going after a loss and a tie to RPI, and a win and a tie against Mercyhurst. 

The Bulldogs did lose two key players from last year to graduation, in Jordie Johnston team leader in goals and points (20-16-36). As well as Chad Billins, the big defensive leader who was no stranger to the stat sheet either with a 7-22-29 line. But now in his senior year, Kyle Bonis is picking right back up where he left off in a tie for first in scoring with 4 points.

The Nanooks really do have a lot going for them coming into this weekend. Not a lot of hype around the 'Nooks nationally despite the victory over North Dakota last weekend. Ferris State remains ranked at #18 with a 1-1-2 record (Nanooks are 2-1-1 & unranked). Steve Thompson will get his 3rd consecutive start this weekend, which he has rightly earned.

The interesting part though to the Nanooks goaltending... It's the Nanooks scoring. The top scorers currently on the Nanooks roster are two defensemen, Trevor Campbell and Josh Atkinson each are 1-3-4. Good for them, but I think that also tells that our forwards aren't getting on the scoreboard yet. And with Taranto and Beck still without a point, it could get interesting.

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