The RedHawks got the best of the Nanooks tonight in a couple of bounces, but the Nanooks had chances of their own as they were able to lock out the RedHawks offense for over 30 minutes of play. But all good things must come to an end as the Nanooks winning streak is snapped in Oxford.
The first period saw some strange bounces find their way to the back of the net, the first of which being a goal from Blake Coleman from the far corner just above the goal line threw the puck towards the net, which deflected off of Trevor Campbell's skate and went through the legs of John Keeney and just squeaked inside the far post. The second goal came on a puck that was sort of dumped in and as Michael Quinn tried to play it, the puck went off of his skate and right to the tape of Cody Murphy's stick in front of Keeney, and Murphy elevated the puck over Keeney under the crossbar to put Miami up 2-0. The Nanooks were not able to generate really much of any offense in that first period despite a couple of power play chances.
Into the 2nd, the Nanooks had some great pressure to start the period and started to turn things around. Miami seemed to fall back a bit, but the Nanooks took advantage. With a call to Marc Hagel, the Nanooks looked to get something going on their 3rd power play of the game. But when Kunyk started a wrap-around behind the net, Colton Beck got tied up with a defender and he went down as Kunyk put the puck in the net, but was waved off due to the penalty.
Now 4 on 4, the Nanooks caught Miami on a bad change as Morley headmanned a 3 on 2 rush with Campbell and Granberg flanking. As both defenders collapsed to the center, Morley made a great no-look pass to Campbell across the slot inside the circle, who went top shelf and buried the goal past Jay Williams.
Into the 3rd, great play by the 'Nooks as they controlled a majority of the play during the final 20 minutes. On a power play, Cody Kunyk made a great pass to the back door with Andy Taranto perched and ready for it, Taranto had a wide open net and he missed high, catching the crossbar and bouncing harmlessly to the glass.
The 'Nooks had some good chances in the 3rd and played fairly well, but weren't able to capitalize. With some offensive pressure going, John Keeney headed to the bench just as Miami was gaining possession, and Austin Czarnik made a dump in from the red line that found its way to the goal. Then with 40 seconds left and a faceoff coming in the RedHawks zone, the Nanooks call timeout down 3-1. With the extra attacker on the ice, the RedHawks win the faceoff and get the puck down to Czarnik again who buries another empty netter to ice the game 4-1.
This game obviously much closer than the final score alludes, but the Nanooks have a lot to be proud of, and also things to improve. Early on, one of the Nanooks downfalls was the passing on the breakout and in transition. Too many turnovers in the Nanooks own zone, and a lot of missteps on the entry through the neutral zone. Honestly, not the best games from some individual players tonight as well.
What the Nanooks did have was good offensive positioning on the power play. The Nanooks left two goals out there, one was waved off for Kunyk, and Taranto missing the net this game could have been 3-2 Alaska midway through the 3rd.
Certainly some puck luck for the RedHawks tonight as well. That first goal certainly a little fluky, and a good heads up play by Murphy in front of Keeney after the puck found his stick. Hopefully tomorrow the puck will bounce the Nanooks way a time or two and a different outcome tomorrow.