Wow. I'm still trying to process this. Honestly I'm still riding on cloud after I made a friend nearly crash his truck when I went crazy when Granberg scored the game-winner. Talk about a momentum builder. The important part here is that I think the 'Nooks are building a sense of confidence in themselves. They're playing hard, smart, and most importantly resilient. They don't get down and flat when they get down in the scoreboard, and that helped them especially in the first period tonight. They didn't get phased at all when Anders Lee buried that first goal. But work and effort as the 'Nooks got a couple of quick goals to take the lead and the momentum away and set the tone.
But anyway, on to the recap.
First period was kind of an interesting start to the game, as the Nanooks and Irish spent the better part of it feeling each other out, and just a little sloppy around the ice. Fast paced, but just a pretty sloppy game. After play tightened up a bit, Notre Dame got on the board first as Anders Lee caught the Nanooks chasing a rebound in front of John Keeney. Lee has some pretty keen stick skills, he chipped it quick up high and over Keeney and under the crossbar for the go ahead goal.
But the Nanooks answered not just once, but twice with two bang-bang goals. The first one was Garrick Perry for his first of the season on a semi 2-on-1 break as Nolan Huysmans had a step on his defender. Huysmans ripped the shot from near the top of the faceoff circle to the goaltenders left, and Summerhays left a juicy rebound floating to his right that Perry banged out of the air past Summerhays to even the game.
Then just 45 seconds later, the 'Nooks came back and Nik Yaremchuk banged in a rebound under Summerhays pad to go up 2-1 in a very similar play to the first one. Jarret Granberg got the first shot on net and rang it hard off of Summerhays pad. The puck trickled over to the goalies right side, but Summerhays kept a pad on it. But with some hard jabs at it, Yaremchuk puts the Nanooks up 2-1 going into the locker room for the first intermission.
The second period wasn't the most exciting of periods for the first half of it, but the Nanooks struck first in the second stanza as Andy Taranto buried one at 17:06, ripping a wrister from the slot that tipped off the glove of Summerhays and trickled across the goal line behind him before it could be covered. But Anchorage native Austin Wuthrich collected a rebound down around the net off a shot from Sam Calabrese.
But the third period. What. A. Trip. Leading 3-2, the 'Nooks get their 2nd power play of the game as Shayne Taker held Colton Beck from breaking a 2-on-1. But just a few seconds in, defenseman Sam Calabrese threaded the needle, getting a puck through the Nanooks defenders and caught a breaking TJ Tynan right on the tape. He made a quick move and buried it past Keeney's pad.
But the 'Nooks would not be denied on a rare power play chance tonight. Seemed as though the officiating continued to be a bit one-sided again tonight. But anyway, the 'Nooks capitalised on a play set up for Nik Yaremchuk, but Summerhays stopped the first one. Granberg found the second one and retook the lead 4-3 just 39 seconds after Tynan's goal.
But hold on, we're not done yet. Mario Lucia hasn't scored yet. But then he did. The son of former Nanooks coach Don Lucia who's now behind the Minnesota bench. Mario was born in Fairbanks about 15 minutes before the truck left for Colorado Springs, and now he's suited up for a Nanooks rival. And he tied the game up with just over 4 minutes left in regulation. But the Nanooks had something to say before the final clock struck zero.
Specifically, 3 seconds before the clock struck zero. And honestly, I have not a clue what happened. A flurry of bodies and a pinballing puck made it past Summerhays. I intended to get home and try to watch what had happened, but apparently I neglected to push record on the DVR. So I'll have to wait to really watch it until it replays tomorrow. For those of you that watched it, let your voice be heard in the comments below!
Really this game ranks among the top Nanooks games I've been around for. But to get that type of finish on the road in a barn as loud as Notre Dame is. Especially after how loud they got and stayed when Lucia scored. But nothing quiets a crowd like scoring goals.
The 'Nooks have earned 9 points on this roadie thus far with 3 more on the table. Can the 'Nooks pull off the full roadie sweep? We'll find out tomorrow.