Penn State won the first 50 minutes of this game. They had the Nanooks dead to rights early in the 3rd, and I thought they were the better team up until that point. I just felt like they wanted it more. But the 'Nooks kicked the tires and lit the fires late in the game and Austin Vieth took over. 2 goals just 27 seconds apart for the Nanooks freshman catapulted him from an honorable mention, to the all-tournament MVP in the same amount of time. 3 points tonight, and 4 on the weekend (3-1-4) should make some noise nationally.
Adversity and Character seemed to be the theme from the coaches in both press conferences. Both games the 'Nooks were trailing in the 3rd period, and both nights they found a way to win. That's the mark of a good team. But a better team doesn't put themselves in that situation. Not how a coach draws it up, but they pulled it out and got 'er done.
Not the homecoming Gadowsky was hoping for I'm sure. His Nittany Lions had both Alaska teams down early but couldn't close them out. Seems like it might be a conditioning issue, as both of the Alaska teams play a very fast paced game. But Guy will get this ship on course for them very soon.
A lot of players had a great weekend that stood out to me. The guys that made the all-tournament team, obviously. But Nolan Kaiser, especially. He has really emerged as a stand-up defensemen early this season. I had him on my all-tournament ballot... Shawn Hochhausen and Nolan Youngmun both did some serious grinding work tonight. Garrick Perry is a beast to contend with on special teams. Trevor Campbell put himself among the best defensive defenseman in the country in my opinion this weekend. I haven't seen everyone of them, but I'd put him up against anyone at this point. I had him at 5 blocked shots tonight. 3 were hard and heavy and he got right back up and engaged back in the fight. And once Colton Sparrow figures out that he doesn't have that extra half-second of time that he thinks he does, he will be yet another force to be reckoned with.
The 'Nooks head out on the road for two straight weeks. First to Western Michigan, then on to Bemidji State to open up WCHA play. Western has had a tough couple of games, but they're still a good team. Frank Slubowski is still one of the best goaltenders in the country. Should be a good series down in K'Zoo. Bemidji was off this weekend, but they've got a big non-conference series with the Gophers next weekend.
Until the preview, Go 'Nooks!