Sunday, March 2, 2014

Nanooks Continue to Roll, 5-3 over No. 4 FSU For 6th Straight Win

Prior to this weekend, certain folks with much savvier math skills than myself penned a 0.00% chance of Alaska sweeping #4 Ferris State this weekend. For those that don't follow, Geof Morris is an incredibly intelligent UAH alumni and fan, I'll give him that. But just like the weatherman on your local news station, future predictions based on math from previous results and trends don't always shake out. As such, things picked right up where we left off last night. Tight physical play, and strong defense. Alaska again had the upper hand, despite allowing the first goal.

On a power play, Kunyk let up on the entry to assess the play but was checked off the puck by Cory Kane, who buried his opportunity for the 1-0 lead. But Cody would avenge himself later in the first by putting away a juicy rebound off of Motte to knot it up. 

The 'Nooks then pulled ahead on what some would say a controversial goal. CJ Motte tripped over himself (read, flopped) as Cody Kunyk skated in front of the crease. Then some heads up passing between Quinn and Beck found Campbell along the wall who buried it for the 2-1 lead. Ferris poured it on and came back to tie it 1:27 later, on a strong goal from Ryan Lowney with traffic in front. First goal of his collegiate career, too.

Into the 3rd, things got really interesting. Three straight goals for the 'Nooks solidified that one in the books as the guys got CJ Motte completely out of his element. Beck buried a rebound that looked like a perfectly ripe golden delicious apple--JUICY. 3-2 edge for Alaska at this point, but this is where the wheels fell off the bus for Motte.

And my personal favorite...

That was pretty much assured into the 3rd as Jared Larson went to work and caught a clean breakaway with a good stride on the defense. Then in this week's version of Dominik Hasek, Motte charges ahead to poke check the puck away from Larson, and ends up taking him out in the process. As part of this shenanigan, Motte loses his lid--physically and metaphorically--and in the few seconds to follow, Beck pumps one across the goal line with Motte somewhere in La-La-Land. The ruling was (and correctly so) that the goaltender's helmet came off with the puck in play, and thus play is stopped immediately. Granted, the puck crossed before the whistle was blown, but that doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. However, what really got Motte rattled is the tripping call he got for that little stunt.

With the game at 3-2 still, the Nanooks had tons of momentum at this point but was slightly taken off kilter with an untimely penalty for Brandon Morley for being checked into the goaltender. But the penalty kill did its job, and Cody Kunyk quickly got himself up the ice and Morley made the read to join the play on a 2 on 1. Give and go, and Morley puts the puck into an open net.

Then just shy of 3 minutes later, 1:02 on the clock and Motte still in the goal, Garrick Perry with a strong armed play around the defender and puts it through the 5-hole for the 5-2 lead. Ferris would get what I would call a meaningless goal with under 12 seconds left to close the gap back to 5-3, but a good play that they caught the 'Nooks on low. Cory Kane got Cahill to bite on the play, then wrapped around the net and found Huff in front for his second goal of the weekend.

Interesting stat to take away, which I've tweeted a few times. Colton Beck has scored 13 goals in 10 games thus far this season. When he scores, the Nanooks are 9-1-0. I haven't gone through every team in college hockey, but that is the best among captains in the WCHA.

The Nanooks have now won 6 straight, and 8 of the last 9 as we head into the final regular season series--the one every Nanook fan has circled on their calendars... ACC. The final 2 games of the Governor's Cup. It's a white out, so wear white to the game! Not a playoff game, but a whiteout nonetheless. With Anchorage idle this weekend, the results around the league bump them down to 6th with tie breakers in effect. The Nanooks now sit in 3rd with the tiebreakers in effect over MTU at 28 points. Next week is going to prove to be an exciting finish...

Now you have to ask yourself--what's more impressive? Sweeping a team you had 0.00% chance of sweeping? Or getting swept by a team that had 0.00% chance of sweeping you?

All I can say is GO 'NOOKS! Let's keep it rolling, boys!


Avery said...

Thanks for the post, as always

Britton said...

Happy to.