The 'Nooks had the weekend sweep of the Lakers in their grasp. And last Saturday night, it just slipped away... Friday night was quite the different story as the 'Nooks charged ahead with their best scoring performance of the year. The 'Nooks had Kevin Aldridge's number all night sniping shots all night high blocker. Up 6-2 early in the third, the game ended up 7-5, a bit closer than it should have been. Those 3 goals allowed to Lake State in the waning minutes of the third gave some momentum going forward, and it gave a bit too much hope for the Lakers going into Saturday's game.
NMU comes into Fairbanks after splitting with Anchorage and spending some time meandering The Last Frontier. NMU has been historically a tough opponent for the 'Nooks. I don't know what it is, but Walt Kyle always seem to have our guys' number. And this season, they've been statistically better than years past, currently at 7-2-1 through their first 10 games compared to 4-5-1 through the first 10 games last season. But, the Wildcats' have benefitted from an easier schedule thus far.
An early series against Wisconsin (just after the 'Nooks played them) with a neutral site sweep. Lake Superior State, Alabama-Huntsville, and a formerly slumping Ferris State squad at home before the split against an equally slumping UAA team.
I was hoping last weekend was the series to turn the slump around for the Nanooks. It seemed like it started off that way, but maybe this series will be a bit different. Matthias Dahlstrom has been the only guy between the pipes all season for NMU and averaging just under one goal allowed per game, and has a nation-leading 4 shutouts to his credit. The 'Nooks will certainly be challenged offensively, but I don't believe the Nanooks will get swept. I'm expecting a split in either of two closely matched games. They're always played quite closely, even last year's 4 game series was split evenly 2-2, and all 4 games were decided by one goal.
My apologies again for the lack of posts. I'm traveling visiting family for Thanksgiving, and will be the first series in Fairbanks I've missed since 2011. The Ice Dogs' announcer Raleigh will fill in for my announcing duties this weekend.
Here's to hoping I can watch the games at least!