Saturday, November 10, 2012

Goaltending Battle Results in Tie and Shootout Loss

I recall a line in one of the Mighty Ducks movies from years ago, where the new coach enters the locker room and poses this question "how long does it take to score a goal?" then throws the puck and sticks it in the bulletin board at the other end of the locker room and exclaims "less than a second". This is the story of the first 15 seconds of the 3rd period in a sense, as plays can turn around so fast. Now, I have to state that I didn't actually see the play, which makes it a little difficult to recap, but what seemed like an innocent pass turned into a speed play the other direction as Ohio State forced a 2-on-1 that the rookie John Keeney couldn't contain.

Speaking of John Keeney, I thought he played outstanding yesterday, but the defense in front of him was very solid as well, unlike the unfortunate outcome against Canisius during his last start. But I thought that our offense played well despite the lack of goal production. The 'Nooks got their chances, but it was a war of attrition out there and it took odd-man chances to get goals around defenses that both played very well.

The Nanooks penalty kill is also playing outstanding. No goals allowed in 8 chances last night, and 35/39 on the year, best in the CCHA and 10th best in the country. Puck pursuit has just been insane. Passes and loose pucks are never safe, and its amazing how many players make big plays when shorthanded. No shorthanded goals yet this season, but not allowing goals is obviously the priority.

In the shootout, Colton Beck missed just his 4th shootout attempt of his career. He's now 8/12 so far for a .667 scoring percentage, making every goaltender cringe. I'll just say what you're all thinking - Hjelle got lucky.

John Keeney will get his third start tonight after his 33 save performance yesterday. A great move if you ask me, and with a little coaching Keeney could emerge as the starter going forward... But time will tell.

Go 'Nooks!

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