First let's take a look at Friday's game, and what better way then to actually show you some highlights.
Matt Friese and Alec Hajdukovich hooking up again in the first period early, as the history for these two continues to mount. Last season, Alec assisted on Friese's first goal of his career. Then in Anchorage Friese assists on Alec's first career goal. Now Alec returns the favor again. It would go the other way again on Saturday yet again. Entertaining statistics when you think about it. Ward's goal for BSU was a snipe. Can't fault Cahill for that too much, Ward is the leading scorer on their team for a reason and he showed why.
Hochhausen's play off the turnover to go ahead 2-1 was a thing of beauty too. What a snap. He's an impressive kid, and I like the way he plays. He's got some grit and he grinds hard. Love it.
BSU's defensive captain Matt Prapavessis tied it early in the 3rd on the continued power play from an unfortunate call to Basara for cross-checking late in the 2nd. Needless to say, penalties were an issue this weekend as well, but for both teams. Langseth as a CCHA vet I kind of expected a bit of a looser game, but I thought the little things just kept getting whistled. At least it went both ways.
Anyway, Perry's go ahead goal was the raw definition of a bad beat. Parayko earned that, and the players recognized it and got up on the play quick. A read that Bemidji's defenders didn't make with the exception of one: Matt Prapavessis. He gets so knotted up in impending doom and just falls over. Now its a 3 on 0 from the blue line in on the goaltender. No chance. Morley to Perry with Hochhausen trailing. Pass-Shoot-Score. 3-2.
Sadly the 'Nooks allowed the late tie. From? Guess who? Matt Prapavessis. Nearly the same damn play off the draw from the beginning of the period. Same side, same shot, high glove, with 1:40 to go on the clock. Ugh... Cahill played a good game for the most part, and I know that's a tough shot to track through traffic, but its a play that needs to be made.
On to Saturday's game, here's some more highlights.
Just a dominant performance. Davis Jones owned the Beavers that night, stopping 25 of 26 on the night, and putting up the wall on all 8 power play tries the Beavers had. A performance that ultimately landed him the nod as the WCHA's Rookie of the Week. Hajdukovich and Friese hooked up again as this pair seems to be rolling along and clicking. Beautiful play by Perry for his second goal on the weekend just driving the defender wide and straight up outworking him to get to the net. Then a quick wrister top shelf for the 2-0 lead. Then in the second period, just getting on a power play off the faceoff draw, the puck trickles to the high slot and Quinn just ripped a rocket high glove side for the 3 goal lead. I had this tweet out there just after the goal was scored that summed it up nicely.
QUINN SCORES!!!! Michael Quinn now on the FBI watch list. He just dropped a BOMB off the face off draw. PP goal off Kunyk draw, 3-0 Alaska.
— Nanooks Hockey Blog (@NanookHockey) December 15, 2013
What a beauty.
The d-men kept rolling as Colton Parayko caught a pass crashing the net from Colton Beck who forced a turnover in the corner off the forecheck, finds Cody Kunyk going to the net, but just misses him on the pass but Parayko was coming down and picked it up. Goaltender didn't even have time to react as Ray made the quick deke backhand to forehand to bury the shot and the 4th goal on the night. Then Shawn Hochhausen with the long stretch pass up ice to Nolan Youngmun who gets behind the defense with 48 seconds to go in the period to go up 5-1.
While that closed out the scoring, the 3rd period was not to be without its theatrics. Beaver freshman forward Philip Marinaccio, with just under 3 minutes to play, with the game already out of reach, pulled the dirtiest play you can pull as a hockey player - taking the blade of his stick and spearing Trevor Campbell in the family jewels. A play that got him immediately thrown out of the game with a major and a game misconduct, and a play that I hope gets reviewed by the league. As a man there is nothing you can do or say to anyone else that makes actions like that justifiable. You know what they say about karma...
To get back on a happy note, the 'Nooks take 3 out of a possible 4 points out of the weekend as the WCHA closes up for the holidays. The 'Nooks return home January 3rd and 4th against Minnesota State before embarking on the annual 2-week roadie to Bowling Green and Northern Michigan. Then 8 of the final 10 games will be spent on home ice as the 'Nooks look to turn it on in the second half and rack up some points.