Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nanooks Humbled, Swept by Miami

After nearly crawling out of a 2 goal lead yesterday, and gaining a lot of momentum towards the end of the game, the Nanooks weren't able to carry a lot of that momentum into the early part of the first period Saturday night, as the Nanooks were not able to maintain puck possession early on. Miami's strong neutral zone trap forced numerous turnovers as Riley Barber was able to get a couple of clean looks at the net, beating Alaska defenders on the edge and put the puck in the net twice to get a quick 2 goal lead.

The 'Nooks got a break as Joe Hartman was called for interference 8 minutes into the period. On the power play, a RedHawk defender tried to clear the puck and Parayko made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone, finding Cody Kunyk in the corner who made a nice pass between two defenders to find Taranto right on the doorstep who put it past Ryan McKay to cut Miami's lead to 1 into the 2nd period.

The Nanooks were able to capitalize on a 5 on 3 power play to even the game up at 11:28 of the 2nd period as Tyler Morley made a great play coming down the slot as both defenders adjusted to Morley, then he made a great no-look pass to Yaremchuk who was left alone to the goaltenders left, as Yaremchuk let it fly and buried it into the open net to even the score at 2 a piece.

A couple minutes later, Kevin Morris got one past John Keeney who was one on one with Michael Quinn. Pretty clear that Keeney wanted that one back as his glove just missed the puck. And it was all Miami from there, as that was just the first of four unanswered for Miami as they rolled to a 6-2 win. 

A number of chances though for the Nanooks as they crashed the net well but the defensemen were very active and the 'Nooks gave up a lot of odd man rushes the other way. But the Nanooks were definitely in the game through the first 40 minutes. After the first two periods, the 'Nooks seemed to get away from what was working in the first two periods. 

A rough start, a good recovery, and a finish that got away from them tonight as the Nanooks fall to 5th place (possibly 6th depending on how the Ferris State/WMU game pans out). John Keeney was named the Head Coaches Association National Rookie of the Month for January yesterday. Then allowing 8 goals to Miami this weekend has probably wished for different outcomes. Hard to say if this weekend's performance will give another of the two netminders a chance in net this next weekend when the 'Nooks come home to face Ohio State.


stay balanced said...

Saturday really highlighted the Nooks need to have a couple big physical bodies out there defending their goalie and capable of clearing guys out away from in front the net. Sometimes you need defenders who defend, not just guys who would make great forwards. Where were Tateson and Kaiser against a big, physical team on small ice?'

Squarebanks said...

Tough loss. Miami is one team we have never matched up well against...we hung with them for about five periods this weekend but couldn't get over the hump. I am not going to miss them.

I missed the 3rd period yesterday so I can't comment much on Keeney, but we need points against Ohio State next weekend, both for the CCHA standings as well as to stay in the Pairwise mix. Gotta go with whoever gives us the best chance, and right now I still think Keeney is our guy.

In 2010 we had a similar series against Miami at this same point in the season. It caused us to get re-focused and we steamrolled the rest of the CCHA season, swept the seapuppies and came within two bad bounces of upsetting Boston College. It's not over yet.

Squarebanks said...

@Stay Balanced...

This year's version of Miami isn't nearly as big and brawny as years past. Playing them used to be like trying to fight the schoolyard bully.

My guess is the coaching staff decided to try and out-skate Miami. It nearly paid off...the Friday game could have been ours if Taranto doesn't whiff an open net (don't forget Kunyk had a goal waved off) and Saturday was tied halfway through the 2nd. Even Miami's homer TV announcers were commenting on how the Nooks were outskating Miami.

Anyway, that would be my guess as to why Tateson didn't get time this weekend...he's a useful player but definitely not the fastest skater.

Just my $0.02.