Saturday, March 2, 2013
Taranto And Top Line Roll as Nanooks Sweep the Cup
Four consecutive Governor's Cup wins is a great statistic as this year's senior class makes history in the deciding game of the 20th annual Alaska Airlines Governor's cup. Only 7 others have their name on the cup 4 times, and 7 more will have theirs permanently etched into history (Corbin Schmidt now with 5, 4 as a player, 1 as a coach).
But skipping the theatrics, lets get to the game...
The first period got off to as good of a start as anyone could have hoped, as Colton Beck buries on the first shot of the game right off of the opening draw just 9 seconds into the opening frame. Kunyk won the draw back to Parayko who cycled the puck up to Taranto who entered the zone and halted just inside the blue line and found a streaking Colton Beck to the net. And when Beck is alone, Beck doesn't miss. Just a beautiful shot, quick wrister that goes top shelf over Kamal's shoulder and pops the water bottle off. Just pretty.
Throughout the first period, a lot of tight checking and good transition hockey throughout the period, but largely controlled by the Nanooks. A lot of scoring chances, but the Nanooks have missed a number of open nets.
But in the waning seconds of the period, a time slot the Nanooks failed to control last night, the top line does it again as Andy Taranto nets his second point of the game on a give and go with Colton Beck as Becker finds T.O. left alone in front of the net for the goal with just 2.5 seconds left. Quinn with a second assist on the play with the outlet pass.
The second period featured much of the same in the way of Nanooks offense. A lot of puck movement and control with clean passing. However, play after play seemed to keep missing the net despite the goaltender leaving it completely vacant. However, Taranto would light the lamp a second time on a rush with Cody Kunyk after Nolan Kaiser knocked the play in the other direction. They all just made a fantastic play in transition to create the scoring chance... All with speed, keeping the skates moving.
Less than a minute later, Bobby Murphy capitalized on a chance with Nolan Kaiser screening Keeney unknowingly. Murphy let the wrister go from just about the top of the near-side faceoff circle. Nice shot, I'll give him that. Beck nearly nabbed his second of the game, but just before the shot was taken Taranto was assisted to the ice and into the back of the net just as Beck put the puck in. Originally called a goal, then waved off as the officials said he interfered with Kamal.
Into the 3rd, a lot of back and forth action again as the Nanooks kept the action going, but ACC kept coming but couldn't crack through the Nanooks defense. Give Keeney credit, he played a hell of a game. The final shots on goal show nearly even markers, however the scoring chances for the Nanooks greatly outweigh the chances for the opposition.
The 3rd period would continue scoreless through the end, despite a fair number of power plays that were well defended. And through until the final buzzer when the Nanooks would raise the Governor's Cup victorious for the 4th consecutive season.
Big sweep for the Nanooks as they ride 3 consecutive victories into the 1st round of the final CCHA playoffs as Michigan State makes the long haul back to Fairbanks, the second trip in a span of two weeks. Should be a great series.