Thursday, January 17, 2013

Game Central - A Look at the Irish

Game Central

Live TV (Friday) - KFXF Fox 7 Fairbanks/GCI Ch. 1 statewide
Live Internet Stream (Friday, Free) -
Live TV (Saturday) - CBS Sports Network
Live Internet Stream (Saturday) - None :(
Live Radio - 820AM Fairbanks /

The Nanooks continue on the road to South Bend to take on the Hunchbacks of Notre Dame. Who knows, maybe Lennay Kekua will make an appearance in goal for the Irish. In a week long episode of MythBusters for anyone who has even turned on their TV, this whole Manti Te'o fake girlfriend thing is completely hilarious. And perfectly timed to give me plenty of ammo for this series. Honestly, I'm not sure what to think about this whole story, but I find it hard to believe that the most widely known defensive player in college football would have only gone into a relationship "online" to create publicity down the stretch, potentially strengthening his Heisman race. But anyway, this isn't really related to hockey. I'm just hoping that the goals ND scores this weekend are as imaginary as Manti's girlfriend.

The Nanooks enter this series after a sweep of Michigan that concluded last Saturday, scoring a season high 9 goals in the series that concluded Saturday. Notre Dame split a series with Michigan State in East Lansing this past weekend before stopping in Bowling Green, Ohio to take on the Falcons in a lone game on Tuesday. The Falcons got the better of the Irish there as well, winning 4-2.

Can the Nanooks take advantage of an apparently out-of-tune team? The Irish go home for the holidays at 14-4-0, and a six game win streak intact. Coming out of the gate in 2013, ND is 1-3-0. Somewhat the same story last season as well. Into a 20-day layoff, the Irish were 11-6-3. Then hit a bad spell down the stretch, going 9-12-0 before falling to Michigan in the CCHA quarterfinals last season. 

There is a good chance that the 'Nooks can take some points for the first time out of the new Compton arena. Which is still one of the most impressive facilities I've seen after my visit last year. But all of that glitz and glamour, the 'Nooks are positioned to win. Special teams was as solid as ever in Ann Arbor, allowing just one goal on 14 chances, including a shorthanded game winning goal from Tyler Morley, who now leads the Nanooks in goals with 7. As well as 30% on the power play.  

The Nanooks never trailed in that series against Michigan last weekend, starting out fast and keeping the foot on the gas. That plan is a great one if they can pull it off in South Bend. The Nanooks should try to start fast again and get the first goal like they have 11 times this season. But if the Michigan series is any indication of moving forward, reversing the trend and holding the lead will be critical. And with John Keeney elevating his game as of late, I'm pretty impressed with just how his confidence has radiated to the rest of the players.

It's going to be a great series, as both teams play a fast-paced game. And I'm looking forward to every second of it. Go 'Nooks!

No comments: