Thursday, March 13, 2014
The Run Begins - Nanooks Chase for National Title Begins with UAA
After claiming their 5th straight Governor's Cup, the Nanooks welcome back the 'Pups for a best of three, which really can be realized as a best of 7. Would have been interesting to see if the Governor's Cup series could have been altered to be given to the playoff winner, but we weren't that lucky.
Nothing changes between these two teams. Tyler Morley still remains day-to-day. No word has come to me yet whether he is skating or not. I'm told a game time decision for Friday.
With UAA coming back and the game they played Saturday, one has to assume they are going to have some confidence headed into this weekend. On Saturday, the 'Nooks played with new line combinations for the first time in the past 4 weeks with just a preskate under their belts. Now with a whole week of practice, I would have to assume that would change.
I was surprised to see the Huysmans-Hochhausen-Larson line split on Saturday with the injury to Tyler Morley. With Linnell out, I would have expected to see Youngmun on the right or left side with Brandon in the center and bring in Duke and Friese with Erickson, who were so successful down in Anchorage. The latter part still happened, but more shakeups were seen than I expected.
With this weekend, the 'Nooks are 4 wins away from a WCHA title, and 8 wins from the national title. Having won 7 in a row already, the 'Nooks are in a good place. If you had to end a winning streak, the final game of the regular season would be it.
Against Anchorage this weekend, the boys just have to recollect their focus. As last Friday showed, the Nanooks are the better team, its just a matter of keeping the pedal to the metal. Either way you look at it, its going to be a great series.