Sorry for the delay on this, I thought I published this Saturday night until a friend said "Hey, where the hell is your post?" Sunday evening. Not sure what happened, I hit publish but apparently Google didn't want to cooperate. So here it is, a day late...
A much better start tonight for Alaska as they banged one in just 59 seconds in as Cody Kunyk took out the trash. Good stick work down low to get free and bang it home. All too often a bounce, or a quick defensive play ousts efforts to get a stick on a free puck, but a good quick whack at the puck put the 'Nooks up early. Nice reaction time, if you ask me.
Into the 2nd, BG controlled play with a power play to start the period. While they didn't score with the advantage, they used it to create some momentum. As Cam Wojtala snapped one home from the back door on a feed from Bobby Shea off the back wall, his 4th point of the weekend.
But about 7 minutes later, Michael Quinn had some antics of his own to share as he planted eyes on the rubber and sent it flying. Somehow, it found its way through a sea of legs and under the glove of Andrew Hammond. After it went in and the horn sounded, I think he was just as surprised as I was that it found the net. One hell of a shot.
Speaking of a hell of a shot, Quinner took one of those from a Bowling Green player behind the Nanooks' net and sort of looked like Manny Pacquiao there for a second. I was a bit worried there for a second, especially for how thin the Nanooks are on defense, but he got up after a quick eval from Doc Keller and trainer Mike Curtin (forever known as MC) and skated off eventually under his own power. And after a few tours on the ice between face-offs to loosen up, he got another shift in towards the end of the period and didn't seem phased. Again, very happy to see that as the 'Nooks defenders are a little thin back there, with only Nolan Kaiser/Justin Tateson able to provide relief. Hopefully JD Peterson will be able to get in the line up after the break, and Richard Coyne will be eligible to join the team after the first of the year so more bodies will be available but with neither Coyne nor Peterson getting any game time, hard to say where they will be at in terms of game shape, but who knows. Coyne might be a phenom hanging in the shadows waiting for his release.
Anyway getting back on track, the 3rd period saw the 'Nooks take advantage of a bad high sticking penalty by Dan DeSalvo getting his stick tied up with Colton Parayko. And when you think about the height difference (5' 8" DeSalvo (really like 5' 6") vs. 6' 5" Parayko), you can really see how high that stick actually went. In the Nanooks 6th power play opportunity of the night, freshman forward Tyler Morley put one home on a play created by the presence of Trevor Campbell getting the puck in up on the rush. Campbell was very active for most of the game, but he gets his 12th point of the season still tops on the team. A good strong goal from Morley somewhat similar to Kunyk's goal early in the game, even on the same side. A quick play as it looked like the PK unit for BG was expecting Campbell to pass it. But instead a quick release to the goaltender's right caught the defense over pursuing left and Morley was left with only one guy to his side.
That 3-1 lead would soon evaporate as the defense started letting Bowling Green dictate the play. As the game got a bit more physical, a couple of quick penalties to Yaremchuk and Odegard had the 'Nooks looking to kill a 3 on 5 power play chance. But Odegard's penalty wasn't even finished being announced when Bowling Green forward Mark Cooper put in his 2nd goal of the weekend. Kind of an odd play, as the Falcons stacked 3 players above the circles. DeSalvo and Perrier passed the puck between them quickly about 3 or 4 times (DeSalvo in the middle) when Perrier passed it cross-ice to Cooper who blasted it passed Keeney, and the 2 Falcons that were screening him uncontested.
Then at the end, just after Hammond got to the bench, Bowling Green crashed the net as the Nanooks over pursued the forwards versus playing position. As a result, the passing lanes were open and unfortunately the 'Nooks don't have The Flash in goal, and the Falcons were able to tie it with a couple of quick passes up to the point where DeSalvo took a shot, and Berkle got the rebound and put it in the back of the net.
Nothing big to speak of in overtime, and Andy Taranto got the only goal of the shootout as John Keeney was perfect. Which is a good sight after allowing goals on both shootout attempts back in Marquette a few weeks ago.
2 points out of 6 on the weekend for the 'Nooks, seemingly avoiding disaster. I think it goes without saying that everyone was looking for 6. The 'Nooks were certainly capable of sweeping this weekend, but so it goes. The 'Nooks will not play another home series until the 25th of January--7 weeks way! 2 road series against Michigan and Notre Dame to start the new year before getting back to Fairbanks against NMU. Just 3 home series left in this CCHA season before the Governor's Cup... That is... Unless the world ends on the 21st...