I'm going to preface this recap with the statement that the Nanooks team that I saw on the ice tonight, was not the same team I've watched for the last two months. Coach Ferguson said in the post-game conference that this team doesn't quit. While I agree with that, they didn't even get started until its was 4-0. I was not impressed at all by the defense tonight. John Keeney was the reason that game wasn't more out of hand than it was. Although he did let that 5th one slip under his arm.
A lot of mental mistakes tonight, but there are certainly some positives to head into tomorrow. The big story is Andy Taranto hitting his 100th career point. Sad that it couldn't come with a win, but certainly a special moment for the Nanook senior. Over the last few years watching him play, Taranto is a special player that is going to be exciting to watch where he goes after he graduates. I'd expect the NHL, but at this rate I'm not so sure the NHL will exist anymore...
On to the game, the Nanooks seemed to start well in the first period, but a couple of bad breaks put them 2 goals in the hole. Austin Czarnik scored first with a strong possession, dangling around Nanook defenders and beat Keeney one-on-one. Cody Murphy extended the lead to 2-0 from a shot around the crease on the power play. After that second goal, the 'Nooks just seemed to fall flat.
The second period saw a flurry of scoring, but MU ultimately took advantage and extended their lead and controlling possession for the first 11 minutes. Now with the Nanooks getting in gear, Andy Taranto put the Nanooks on the board with the 100th point of his career on a beautiful shot from the high slot to beat Williams. Atkinson made a nice play to set everything up, and Taranto found some open space in the high slot, and he buried it.
Just 3 minutes later, Huysmans helped close the gap to 4-2 shortly after having his baby picture up on the video board (gotta love some of those promotions). Really just a nice play coupled with a good bounce to keep the puck on his stick as he danced right around Williams.
MU's 5th goal was alluded to in the beginning of the post, but this goal was really created by a 3 on 1 rush off a center ice turnover by the Nanooks. The unfortunate bounce put the freshman goaltender in a bad spot, but nearly had the save but it trickled through just under the arm.
At the end of the second period, Jarret Granberg collided with a Miami player right at the buzzer and didn't lighten up before the hit occurred. To make matters worse, the Miami player didn't see it coming and didn't brace for it. That hard hit equalled an early shower for Jarret and a 5 minute penalty kill to start the 3rd.
The 'Nooks were buzzing and got a number of opportunities on the PK to narrow the deficit, but when one puck went in to the back of the net, the goal was waved off after a brief review, saying that Morley intentionally kicked the puck in. While I don't disagree that it went off the skate, I do question the kicking motion. I don't think it was there... He did change the angle of his skate as he started to slide to a stop. An unfortunate call that I think ended the hopes of the team, and to have it happen there so early in the 3rd can be maddening.
The 'Nooks look to rebound tomorrow and get some points out of this series. I wouldn't be surprised to see coach Ferguson chew into this team during tomorrow's morning practice. They seemed uninspired and ill prepared for a team of Miami's caliber tonight. Hopefully the guys can put this one behind them quickly and get to a new day and a new game.