Friday, January 31, 2014

GAME DAY - Nanooks Take On UAH - First Series Since 1992

Game Day

Alaska Nanooks (10-12-4, 7-11-2 WCHA) vs UAH Chargers (1-24-1, 1-14-1 WCHA)
7:07PM AST - Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Alaska

Live | Live AudioKCBF 820 Sports | 820 AM Fairbanks

Live Internet Video ($9): WCHA TV | TV: KFXF Fox 7 (Tape delayed)

Twitter: @NanookHockey

Well, after that heartbreaker Saturday falling to Bemidji after watching the guys play so well, I hope the guys got some extra rest and motivation coming into this week. Colton Beck said it best in the post-game Saturday, "we just didn't bring it tonight.".

I hope they bring it this weekend, as it brings opportunity. While Alabama-Huntsville is a great story, having (finally) joined a conference and playing conference opponents, they're in a rebuilding mode. And with that comes some challenging times, which they're facing now currently in last place in the league, and currently at 1-24-1 on the season with a win over Bowling Green, and a tie against our little adopted stepchild to the south. But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves, they are not a bad team. They have nearly gotten a few other wins along the way, including a 2-3 loss to Wisconsin just before New Years. 19 seconds were left on the clock when Jack Prince brought the Chargers to within a goal in that loss to the Badgers.

Excluding the tie against ACC though, since UAH's win over BG, their average margin of defeat is  -4 goals. Not the greatest statistic in the world, coupled with their goals for (25) on the season is overshadowed by their goals against (113).

After Sean Cahill's first career goose egg last Friday, the defense kind of left him to dry a bit Saturday. I'd like to see him get another start this series as well heading into a bye week. The offense has to stick to the game plan and keep their heads in the game. Coach Ferguson said the boys got out of rhythm after allowing those two power play goals to Bemidji early and started chasing the game. They can't do that. UAH plays a tough game, and to have the success that I want to see, they need to simply make passes and make plays.

Defensively, if they can contain the D zone like they did last Friday, I have no concerns. I'd like to see Trevor Campbell and Josh Atkinson step up this weekend and make sure that the crease is clear. Cahill needs to see the shots coming at him and have the angle to make the stop. Saturday, the defense was giving too many lanes open to open shooters, that Cahill had no chance on. Cory Ward's two goals was nothing unheard of, and while the Chargers don't have a sniper like that, their shooters should not be uncontested.

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