Saturday, November 29, 2014

Nanooks' Lack of Discipline and Special Teams Sink Chances for a Sweep

NMU scored 4 power play goals on 7 chances, 2 of them majors and the Wildcats skate to a 4-1 final.

Ugly loss, it really is. I could give a laundry list of opinions about why tonight went like it did but in the end, the Nanooks did not get their heads into the game like they did last night. NMU got them off their game and it stayed that way and the Wildcats made them pay. That simple really.

Brandon Morley got tossed early in the second for a check from behind against Reed Seckel. It looked to me initially like they both lost their footing and fell forward into the boards, but Brandon did initiate that contact. Then tack on another major as Alec Hajdukovich leveled Reed Seckel (pretty sure that's not coincidence. He's pretty chirpy.) who started to lose his footing as he got rid of the puck. Unfortunate timing, but officials called it interference, which is essentially code for an unnecessarily rough late or early hit per the emphasis established for this year.

Nanooks got nabbed for a bunch of ticky tacky minor calls throughout the game too, that honestly shouldn't have been called. The officials let most everything go yesterday until Walt Kyle flies off the handle. Then today, the tune changes and it's slighted. Right after Duke's major went up late in the 2nd, Garrick Perry made an awesome center ice play to take the puck into NMU's zone to kill some time off the clock until an NMU player holds and rips the stick out of his hands. Right in front of Keith Sergott, one of tonight's officials who just let it go.

But either way you look at it, the Nanooks didn't play well enough to take the officiating out of the game and when your special teams unit allows 4 power play goals against, that's a hole that any team is going to have trouble digging out. 

Next week the Nanooks are on the road to take on a highly ranked Minnesota State team with a familiar face between the pipes in Lathrop grad Stephon Williams. Will be a tough test for sure. 

Got a long travel day ahead to get back to Fairbanks myself. But until next week, Go 'Nooks!

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