Congratulations to Sean Cahill for putting on a strong showing tonight in a 3-3 tie against Air Force. The numbers won't tell the whole story with 3 goals allowed and a 0.789 save percentage, but he made some pretty strong saves tonight. 1 of the goals was a tip in, another looked like a deflection down low, but not 100% sure on that one. And the other goal was a lost scramble effort in front of the net. Overall, he played well, but we'll see who goes tomorrow against Canisius. But on to the recap...
The first period saw some interesting action as the Nanooks got on the board first with Nik Yaremchuk putting it in right in front of the net, catching a feed from Jarret Granberg after Josh Atkinson got the puck down low. A well set up play that paid off, as they caught the Falcons playing the perimeter. Atkinson got some pressure up on the point and made a good read down low to find Granberg perched to the goaltenders right as Yaremchuk was sneaking down the slot. Feed. Bang. Beautiful. 1-0 Nanooks.
But the lead wouldn't last long as Air Force came right back to tie it just 48 seconds later, as the Falcons came back down the ice with a vengeance. Jason Fabian took a cycle to cover the point after the defenseman left his post, so Jason took a point shot of his own just above the right face-off circle over Cahill's glove as he allowed his first goal of the season.
A bit later, with Colton Parayko in the box for tripping, a big net mouth scramble in front of Cahill as he fell backwards resulted in a power play goal for the Falcons. With just two seconds left in Parayko's penalty, Adam McKenzie made a feed down to John Kruse, who took the initial shot. That one to me looked like it went in, but apparently McKenzie got a stick on it and they called it his goal with a secondary assist to Kyle DeLaurell, who brought the puck into the zone at the beginning of the play.
And just as I thought that nothing was going our way, Parayko made a BEAUTIFUL shot on the rush after the feed from Quinn to take it in. He couldn't have made that shot any prettier. Quinn caught him coming in to the zone as he was breaking coverage and Colton took it to the house for his first collegiate goal. Tape it up, mark it, and put it on the shelf! Maybe even consider bronzing it, I don't know...
The teams skated to the locker room at the end of the first tied 2-2, but the Falcons really had a lot of momentum as the 'Nooks couldn't get anything set up. They took 19 shots, but about 1/3rd of them were blocked, and a bunch went off target.
In the 2nd period, the Nanooks fared a lot better, outshooting the Falcons 11-4, and getting much more pressure down low and getting the offense going as Air Force elected to refresh their goaltender putting in Jason Torf, but that didn't seem to create the momentum that Air Force was hoping for. But they did hold pretty solid defensively. Until a key turnover in front of the net as Yaremchuk caught an outlet pass attempt right in perfect position. It couldn't have been placed any better, and Yaremchuk had no problems burying that golden beauty. And the Nanooks took over the lead with 11:35 remaining in the 2nd, and would hang on to the lead as they skated back to the locker room.
In the 3rd, the Falcons came out pretty fast, and I think they caught the Nanooks sleeping a little bit. A few turnovers at the start of the Nanooks breakout and zone entry sent the puck going the other direction. On one unfortunate occassion, the Falcons got in an odd man rush, going 3 on 2 with the Nanooks. And a good feed from Scott Holm across the net mouth to Demers to even things up at 3 a side.
Into OT, neither team really got any breaks early and couldn't really set up, until the Nanooks really got some late pressure. A few chances then started to break for the Falcons, but Cahill stood strong. But with no team actually putting goals on the board, the game officially goes in the books as a tie. But in the sense of tie breakers, we went to a shootout. And the Nanooks are no strangers in that department. Both Beck and Taranto put pucks in, as De Laurell's goal for Air Force just wasn't enough.