Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nanooks Win a 4-2 Thriller Over MSU in Final CCHA Game

What a game. Goals, drama, it had it all. After Taranto sat on an interesting roughing the goaltender call (which just could have easily gone to Yanakeff, honestly) and an extra 10 minutes tacked on for some antics. Anyway, that got TO going and he just goes on a scoring rampage with a pair of power at goals.

After a pretty clean game last night from a penalties perspective, tonight was the exact opposite. After Taranto buried the game winner, Yanakeff headed to the bench and Kunyk fed the Nanooks captain and former Spartan Adam Henderson who did his best impression of Aaron Voros flashing his jersey as he skated by the Spartans bench.

The officials gave him a minor for unsportsmanlike, which should have just been the end of that but a few players seemed to have taken exception to it started going at it, most obviously was Jake Chelios who dropped the gloves and went at it with Nolan Kaiser. Chelios eventually lost his jersey, shoulder pads, and everything. All that he had on when he went to the locker room for top gear was his under armor shirt, and one elbow pad. Everything else including his jersey was rounded up off the ice after everyone cleared.

Not really a fight per se, but certainly a lot of built up drama as the emotions fly there at the end. Interesting to see what or if anything else happens.

Big series next weekend with the Seapups who just got swept by the infamous bye week. More on that later. Go 'Nooks!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Nanooks Can't Break Through, Shutout by MSU 1-0

I was personally hoping that the Nanooks would have taken a note from Lake Superior State's book last week and get off to a fast start and punching one in early, but not so much the case. Some tight checking hockey doesn't leave a lot of room for transition, but each team got their fair share of chances. Unfortunately, the Spartans were able to capitalise on what I thought was a pretty soft goal.

Created by a forced turnover at the Nanooks own blue line by John Draeger., Michigan State was able to trap the Nanooks fourth line on the ice for a good chunk of time and tiring them out.

After Draeger made the play at the blue line, they made a quick dash at an undefended John Keeney. Matt Berry made the initial shot that Keeney stopped, but after leaving a rebound, Greg Wolfe got a stick on it and snuck it past Keeney's left pad for the go ahead goal.

The second and third periods saw the Nanooks piling up the scoring chances left and right. But people and posts kept getting in the way. Definitely not a lot of puck luck going the Nanooks' way tonight. But give credit to Yanakeff and the Spartans defense. They allowed a lot of shots and chances, but the important part was the fact that none of them went in the net.

I thought the Nanooks effort was there, but just not the results they wanted. They'll get 'em tomorrow...

Until then, GO 'NOOKS!

Game Day - Nanooks vs. Michigan State

Game Day

Alaska Nanooks vs Michigan State Spartans
7:05PM AKST - Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Alaska

Live | Live Audio: KCBF 820 Sports

Live Video ($7): | Radio: 820 AM Fairbanks

Twitter: @NanookHockey

I apologize for the lack of material from me this past week. Going through a long week of travel to New York and back has made for some interesting challenges. I've had to reshuffle a lot with the class that I teach as well, so time has not been on my side this week. And with Hockey Week in Fairbanks going on, a lot of my spare time has been spent in the community enjoying this wonderful sport with everyone. I didn't get to watch or listen to any of the Lake Superior series last weekend, and honestly I'm not regretting that decision after seing the results...

But on to the series at hand, this is a bit of a bittersweet weekend for the Nanooks. A lot of fun and festivities around this series, but when you get down to it this is the final two game series the Nanooks will ever play in the CCHA. I know I've been talking about it ever since the beginning of the season but to realize now that this moment is finally here is kind of an awkward feeling. 

Anyway, I don't think its any secret that Michigan State is not having the kind of year you would expect. Two of the winningest teams in conference history are deadlocked in last two places in the conference with four games left to play. 

The Spartans themselves are the lowest scoring team in the CCHA this season, but have been able to hang around in games with herculean games from stud freshman goaltender Jake Hildebrand. He's been consistently one of the best goaltenders in the country, but his cohorts on the other end of the ice have to score more goals than they allow which is proving to be more difficult than it sounds. The Nanooks have had that problem in years past, but now as the second highest scoring offense in the conference, they 'Nooks now have the opposite problem as the second worst scoring defense. Kinda funny how that works.

For the 'Nooks, definitely time to turn this ship in the right direction. After sweeping January, the 'Nooks are 1-5 in their last 6 games, which have pulled them off of everyone's radar for the NCAA national tournament. In the last CCHA series now, it looks as if Michigan State might be making this same trip here again in two weeks if things shake out that way. Back to this series, John Keeney will get the start tonight in goal after getting pulled last weekend at Lake Superior. Hopefully that was his mulligan for the season and he gets refocused for the rest of this stretch into the playoffs. 

Remember to follow me on Twitter for game updates, including lines for the Nanooks tonight. There's a little preview bar along the right side of the blog as well which will feed updates to the blog throughout the game.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Nanooks Suffer 3-1 Loss, Split with Ohio State

A bit of a different game here in round two as the Buckeyes and Nanooks played a much tighter game. While it was a disappointing outcome, as a fan of the game of hockey it was a phenomenal game to watch overall. A lot of back and forth action, very evenly matched between these two teams.

Ohio State did a lot of the little things right countering the Nanooks offensive attack from the night before. They didn't allow forwards around the net and did a good job keeping the road clear in front of Hjelle. With sticks and bodies in the passing lanes, the Nanooks couldn't get much going in the offensive zone for the majority of the night. The Nanooks did have one such event, where they were able to keep it in the zone for an extended shift, but an untimely penalty to Tyler Morley after that 5 minute major seemed to drain momentum.

Coach Ferguson echoed a lot of those sentiments in the post-game press conference that penalties didn't only hurt them with the disadvantage in man power, but they were also a huge momentum drain. In close games like that, momentum really is a huge factor when you're sustaining offensive pressure then a penalty gets whistled down and all of a sudden you have to reel back and defend for two minutes.

The penalties always take their fair share of controversy, but I thought it was a pretty evenly called game. The Nanooks seemed to take the brunt of it through the middle of the game. But the Nanooks did have a few chances in the first period that they weren't able to capitalize on, but credit again to the Buckeyes for playing it right.

There was that 5 minute major to Nolan Youngmun that was pretty borderline. He got 5 and a game for a contact to the head call just outside the blue line by the Ohio State bench. It was a hard hit, but I thought it was clean. Standing across the ice from it, from my view it was a shoulder to shoulder hit that unfortunately caused the Buckeye player to hit his head on the glass. The other unfortunate side of it was the hit was right at the whistle. But when you have a guy already lined up, you can't really deviate from the hit just a split second after you hear the whistle. If it was me calling the game, it would have been 2 for boarding. Not 5 and a game. Nolan plays hard, he hits hard, and he can be pretty fun to watch. The other side to that coin is that these types of calls can happen to these guys and its not going to be at the most opportune time. And in a 0-0 game at that point, it put the team at a disadvantage that they just couldn't kill off as Ohio State's Tanner Fritz put one home after he was left alone on the wing.

Fortunately, the Nanooks were able to get one back later in the period as Andy Taranto fired an absolute rocket from just inside the blue line that beat Hjelle high on the glove side, rang the cross bar and dropped in behind goaltender. Honestly one of the nicest shots you'll ever see in a hockey game, it was just amazing.

That goal made it 1-1 headed into the 3rd period, continuing the excitement of an already great battle. But Ohio State popped in two more quick goals just a minute and 40 seconds apart to pull ahead 3-1, a lead that proved insurmountable. It was a good effort and a hard fought game with a disappointing outcome, which essentially paraphrases coach Ferguson's sentiments in his post game press conference speech.

The 'Nooks head out on the road Monday night headed for Sault Ste. Marie to play their final road series in the CCHA against Lake Superior State. The guys will fly to Detroit and get a practice and a motivational tour in at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday before taking the 5 hour bus ride north on Tuesday evening.

From a standings perspective, Ohio State is the final team under consideration that the Nanooks will face this season. Alaska currently sits at 15th in the Pairwise standings, and a bit less volatile to fall at this point as long as they win. As coach Ferguson pointed out, the rankings and the Pairwise polls don't matter too much if you're not winning hockey games. These last three series' will be a good test to see if the Nanooks can string a few more wins together and carry another win streak into the playoffs. The fortunate side is, all three are very favorable matchups.

All good points to keep eyes on as we move towards the final game of the season down in Anchorage. Until next week, GO 'NOOKS!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Game Day - Round 2 with the Buckeyes

Game Day

Alaska Nanooks vs Ohio State Buckeyes
7:05PM AKST - Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Alaska

Live | Live Audio: KCBF 820 Sports

Live Video ($7): | Radio: 820 AM Fairbanks

Twitter: @NanookHockey

The boys have gotta be sharp tonight as you know Ohio State is going to try and rebound and bring everything that they have at the Nanooks tonight. Brady Hjelle dropped a mulligan in the first two periods yesterday, and he looked like he was intensely studying the Nanooks offense from the bench last night to exact vengeance tonight. 

The Nanooks offense, well its rolling to say the least. Only Notre Dame has scored more goals than the Nanooks this season, and part of that comes from the Nanooks active defense. They were alive and up on the play and challenging the Buckeyes in every zone. From rushing for keep-ins, to disrupting the cross-ice pass and taking away the lanes, they really set up the offense to be successful last night.

The only line change for the Nanooks tonight is Nolan Huysmans swaps with Nik Yaremchuk. Check out the full line chart for Alaska after the break.

Alaska Nanooks

F1 36 Colton Beck (A) - 37 Cody Kunyk - 29 Andy Taranto (A)
F2 17 Jarret Granberg - 27 Tyler Morley - 24 Nolan Huysmans
F3 12 Garrick Perry - 14 Adam Henderson (C) - 7 Nik Yaremchuk
F4 25 Nolan Youngmun - 20 Matt Friese - 11 Alec Hajdukovich

D1 6 Michael Quinn - 5 Richard Coyne
D2 22 Josh Atkinson - 4 Colton Parayko
D3 13 Kaare Odegard (A) - 10 JD Peterson

G1 39 John Keeney
G2 1 Steve Thompson

Another Look at The New Look WCHA

Everyone that seems to have something to say about the revamped WCHA next season has been calling it the "New Look WCHA". Its an interesting moniker, but I can see their point. The WCHA does have a great legacy of quality hockey, and while a lot of that legacy of national championships and Hobey Baker winners are vacating the conference, the quality of hockey remains. Extracting the teams from their existing conferences today, the standings in that "New Look WCHA" would look like this. (Conference, Overall). Current as of the results on 2/8/13.

1. Minnesota State (11-9-1, 17-9-3)
2. Ferris State (12-9-2, 14-11-4)
3. Alaska (11-9-3, 13-10-4)
4. Bowling Green (8-10-3, 11-13-5)
5. Lake Superior (8-13-1, 11-13-5)
6t. Northern Michigan (5-12-4, 11-13-4)
6t. Michigan Tech (5-12-4, 8-14-4)
8. Bemidji State (4-12-5, 5-16-6)
9. Seapups (2-15-6, 4-16-7)
10. Alabama-Huntsville (N/A, 3-18-1)

The huge elephant in the room here as you look at that list is that only 3 of the 10 teams have winning records. Granted, that's with existing conference records, but here you get an idea just at the strength of these teams in comparison to "stronger" competition. When you round this out to purely wins versus current teams under consideration, they look something like this.

1. Alaska (10-7-2 .5789)
2t. Minnesota State (8-9-1 .4722)
2t. Lake Superior (8-9-1 .4722)
4. Northern Michigan (8-10-3 .4524)
5. Ferris State (4-7-2 .3846)
6. Bowling Green (5-11-4 .3500)
7. Michigan Tech (3-12-3 .2500)
8. Bemidji State (3-12-2 .2353)
9. ACC (2-15-3 .1750)
10. Alabama-Huntsville (0-10-1 .0500)

Looking at it this way shows that only the Nanooks have a winning record against NCAA hockey teams whose RPI is .5000 or better. While Minnesota State has a better overall record than Alaska, they have benefitted from a weaker schedule, notably a non-conference schedule against Alabama-Huntsville, Connecticut, Brown, Providence, and RPI. Only two of which are above the TUC line. I'll leave this up to my fellow readers here to discuss in the comments. And again, we'll take another look at these numbers after the end of this season.

Also, just another tidbit here to close this out, the WCHA announced that it approved a plan to remove the previous playoff format which pitted the Nanooks and ACC to play each other in the first round of the WCHA playoffs every season. The new plan provides a more favored playoff format in a traditional bracket. The reasonings for the previous format was somewhat justified in last minute travel costs to Alaska should the Nanooks or (miraculously) Anchorage host a first round series. Most of the concern coming from Michigan State's issues getting up to Alaska for the first round of the playoffs in the 2010-11 season. I've heard multiple figures thrown out there, like $32,000 for the team to fly up on a Wednesday night booking the tickets on the previous Sunday, having to break up the team between 4 separate flights with not everyone getting to Fairbanks until Thursday morning. I don't know how true a lot of that is, but I believe the cost for 25 tickets from Detroit at that time of the year.

As I understand it, both Alaska schools along with UAH has agreed to extend the regular season travel subsidies agreed to in their contracts with the WCHA to the playoffs. So should teams have to travel to one of these outlying schools, the impact of last-minute travel arrangements should be minimized.

The WCHA tournament location is also in the process of being ironed out. The WCHA Final Five has historically been held at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis, however the Big Ten has laid claim to the XCel center next season, as well as in 2016, so the WCHA will likely alternate that venue with them, and likely the other location coming at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the home of the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Beck Bags a Hatty as Nanooks Roll Buckeyes 6-1

Resiliency again the key term for the Nanooks as they scored 6 unanswered goals to rout the Buckeyes tonight at the Carlson Center. Scoring first apparently aggrevated Colton Beck as he just went off tonight, scoring 3 goals, and adding an assist for a four point night. Cody Kunyk, the dishmaster tallied four helpers as well on the night.

The opening period saw some great back and forth hockey action as both the Buckeyes and the Nanooks played very well in transition, and did a nice job limiting shots and chances to the outside. The Nanooks let in a bit of a soft goal there early in the period as Keeney tried to cover the puck, but a delayed whistle allowed Alex Szczechura on the doorstep to jam it under Keeney's pads to get the early lead at 6:35 of the first period.

But the 'Nooks fought back, creating a nice trap preventing OSU from generating a clean rush late in the period. One such play saw Andy Taranto intercept a quick outlet pass just outside the Buckeyes blue line, creating a quick 3 on 2 rush with Beck and Kunyk on the wings. Taranto got it to Kunyk as they crossed into the zone on the left side, and Kunyk made a phenomenal feed to Beck waiting on the back door to tie the game. Really a great highlight goal to watch.

The Nanooks kept pulling ahead into the 2nd with 3 more unanswered goals to continue to roll ahead. The first one coming just 56 seconds into the frame as Andy Taranto came up with a nice heads up play in front of the net collecting a rebound off a shot by Colton Beck.

Nolan Youngmun added an extra one in there for good measure making a nice play crashing the net, getting a stick on a loose puck in front of Hjelle and banging one home, similar to the first goal the Nanooks allowed early in the first. Nice work by Younger to keep motoring and crashing the net.

About 5 minutes later at the half-way point of the game, a very nice turnover and transition by the Nanooks forced another odd man rush with Taranto, Beck, Kunyk and Odegard. Taranto made the entrance as OSU disrupted the chance, but Odegard got a stick on it and fed it to Cody Kunyk to keep the scoring chance alive. And woowwwww did Kunyk make a play, call him the dishmaster tonight with the pass of the game, and all Becker had to was put some tape on it.

Into the 3rd, the Nanooks kept rolling as Nik Yaremchuk capitalized on a turnover created by Adam Henderson in the offensive zone, burying the puck past Collin Oleson after the Buckeyes pulled Brady Hjelle.

And to top it all off, Colton Beck netted his first collegiate hat trick with his 3rd of the game on a 2 on 1 rush with Cody Kunyk flanking on the rush after Richard Coyne sent the puck out of the zone to set up the break. Great to see all of the hats flying tonight!

The Nanooks now move to 5th in the CCHA, leaping Ohio State by 2 points as the Nanooks prepare for the sweep tomorrow! Go Nooks!

Game Day - Nanooks vs Buckeyes

Game Day

Alaska Nanooks vs Ohio State Buckeyes
7:05PM AKST - Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Alaska

Live | Live Audio: KCBF 820 Sports

Live Video ($7): | Radio: 820 AM Fairbanks

Twitter: @NanookHockey

The Nanooks come in after a disheartening sweep at the hands of the Miami RedHawks in Oxford last week, but the Nanooks will have a home ice advantage this time to exact revenge against the state of Ohio. This meeting versus tOSU will be the last of the CCHA, and I know I've said that a lot, but it remains true this weekend (and really every weekend until the end of the season).

Anyway, Brady Hjelle in goal for Ohio State is as good as any goaltender right now, as he's backstopped the Buckeyes to a 4 game unbeaten streak with 2 wins against Lake Superior, and a win and a tie last week against Notre Dame. 

With that success, the Buckeyes have climbed to the number 5 spot, just one ahead of the Nanooks. The Buckeyes haven't had as much offensive success this season in conference, but the Buckeyes are 2nd in the CCHA in team defense with 1.85 goals allowed per game.

The Nanooks will be tested, but it proves to be a most intriguing series. John Keeney starts in goal tonight. And unfortunately, the Nanooks have lost our top scoring defenseman in Trevor Campbell possibly until the playoffs according to Dallas Ferguson. Nolan Kaiser also sits out this weekend due to injury, so Richard Coyne will again step in again on defense back at his normal position, paired tonight with Michael Quinn. Colton Parayko will fill in with Josh Atkinson on that second pairing.

With that, here are the Nanooks lines after the break...

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.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Couple of Bounces, and Empty Netters Pushes RedHawks Past Alaska 4-1

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.

Series Preview - Round 2 with the RedHawks

Game Day Info

Date: Fri., Feb. 1/Sat., Feb. 2
Time: 3:35 p.m. AKT/ 3:05 p.m. AKT (7:35/7:05 p.m. EST)
Venue: Steve Cady Arena, Goggin Ice Center , Oxford, OH
Live Stats:
Live Audio: KCBF 820 Sports
Live Video:
Twitter: @NanookHockey
Radio: 820 AM Fairbanks
TV: KFXF Fox 7 Fairbanks (Live in HD)

First of all, shout out to Chris Brooks at the athletic department for putting these awesome videos together. Really cool features for the program with quality production. Well done!

Looking at this series with Miami, the RedHawks are a very tough team. They exhibited that when they visited Fairbanks in the first half of the season, routing the Nanooks 9-2 on the weekend as the Nanooks sank further into their December slump.

Certainly a different story for round 2, as the Nanooks have earned some confidence and have positioned themselves really well to compete with the best teams in the country. The Nanooks have swept Notre Dame on the road in South Bend just two weeks ago. A large part of the recent success has been the CCHA Rookie of the Month in between the pipes for Alaska in John Keeney. He's developed very well in the past few weeks and has emerged as the number one guy in goal for the 'Nooks.

Keeney led the nation in wins during the month of January with 6, and a 2.17 goals against average with a .915 save percentage. And as the guys in the video said, he's made a lot of crucial saves when needed and he's done a great job of keeping the team in the game. 

From a matchup perspective, the Nanooks and RedHawks matchup very closely in terms of size and speed. However the first matchup, the RedHawks were the first team I've seen this season physically out skate this Nanooks team in the first half. Definitely a rejuvenated Nanooks squad this time around and this series will certainly be a measuring stick of the Nanooks squad going forward.

The lineup tonight is unchanged from Saturday's game versus NMU, which seemed to click very well and has been the base lineup for Ferguson during this stretch.

F1 Colton Beck (A) - Cody Kunyk - Andy Taranto (A)
F2 Jarret Granberg - Tyler Morley - Nik Yaremchuk
F3 Garrick Perry - Adam Henderson (C) - Nolan Huysmans
F4 Nolan Youngmun - Matt Friese - Richard Coyne

D1 Michael Quinn - Colton Parayko
D2 Josh Atkinson - Trevor Campbell
D3 Kaare Odegard - Nolan Kaiser

G1 John Keeney
G2 Steve Thompson