Saturday, March 15, 2014

Beck Gets 100th Point in Tight 2-1 Loss to Seawolves in Game 2

With Campbell out, I had assumed that Kaiser would be in to fill in but I didn't expect coach Ferguson to scratch J.D. Peterson in favor of Tateson, who has played just 2 games up to this point. But I think it worked out. Tateson and Kaiser are both more of stay at home defenders and they are strong on the backcheck. As a result, the 1st period was a little bit slower than we've seen in this series, but I think the Nanooks took it to the Seawolves late in the 1st after Quinn Sproule was flagged for interference.

Then with under 29 seconds on the clock, Parayko just ripped a shot from just inside the blue line as he caught the goaltender out of position to put the Nanooks up 1-0. Beck got the primary assist with the pass through the neutral zone, which ended up being his 100th career point, the 31st Nanook to do so. Big achievement there.

But in the second, the bounces just started going the other way. Every chance the 'Nooks had, the puck would be rolling just enough to miss the stick, or come off the toe of the blade just wrong enough to completely miss an open opportunity. Couple that with 2 quick goals for the Seawolves just 1:28 apart early in the 2nd gave the 'Pups some unnecessary confidence. But the 'Nooks didn't quit, and after the 2nd media timeout they came out firing. Despite the penalty, I thought Atkinson had a hell of a period. He handled the puck well and took defenders and contained to the outside. Very solid.

In the 3rd, much of the same, although a bit more even keel. Sean Cahill kept the 'Nooks in it, but the officials kept them out of it. Terrible offsides calls, terrible penalties both called and not. Was not called fairly. I don't criticize officiating often, even if its terrible as long as it goes both ways. Last night, not so much... Hard to win a game when you're playing more than just the other team.

A deciding game three is now on the books and if the 'Nooks hope to make it to Grand Rapids, they need a coordinated team effort top to bottom. Hard to believe that with one offensive cog missing from the gears, things just didn't roll the same way. Everything seemed a little off... If the 'Nooks want to win, they need to channel individual effort into a team strategy and not just have 20 skaters banging around uncoordinated. I would have much preferred to have most of the lines gelled like they have been, especially the Larson-Hochhausen-Huysmans line who had been creating havoc for defenses, but the only line that hasn't been shuffled is the top line with Beck-Kunyk-Basara. But as the game went on, Perry subbed in on the right wing to try and get things stirred up and eventually moved to center to try and help get Kunyk going.

Hard to say if the lines will be shuffled further for the final game. Time will tell.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Stat Guy - Statistical Edge After First Victory in Best of 3 Series

After the conclusion of last nights Nanooks victory, I was asked by a fellow fan, statistically how important is winning game 1 of a 3 game series? The answer is that it is critical. If the two teams are equally matched, the odds of course of a victory is a simple coin flip, or 50 percent. However after the victory in game one, the odds of prevailing rise dramatically to 66.67%. The odds of the loser of game one taking the series correspondingly drops to 33.3%.


The good news for Anchorage, if there is any, is that if they can prevail in game 2 the odds revert back to a coin toss.

This simple calculation of course does not factor in winning percentage, momentum, home ice or officiating. That's why--I am often reminded--they play the games.

Go Nooks, Math Rocks!


--The Stat Guy

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Captain Clutch Buries in OT as Nanooks Roll in OT

The first period was played very tightly. Both teams getting a number of scoring chances, but ultimately ended in a 0-0 deadlock. Much tighter than I expected to be honest. The 'Nooks played grittier, but didn't get a lot to show for it early. Also I don't know what happened, but Trevor Campbell left midway through the 1st and didn't return. He skated off quickly, like it was an equipment issue. When I saw it, I didn't think much of it, but apparently it was pretty serious. 

In the 2nd, the officials missed a terrible knee on knee penalty at the Nanooks blue line that sprung Dusyk on a 2 on 1 with Trupp. Justin Woods took the pass, but Dusyk got one over the glove to put the Seawolves up 1-0. 

The Nanooks avoided another turnover becoming disaster as a 3 on 1 for UAA was turned aside by Cahill by some strange Hockey Gods intervention. No idea how that stayed out
But the Nanooks got some jump in their step and answered with one of their own as Justin Woods corralled a rebound as he pinched in on the right wing to bury his first career collegiate goal!

Into the 3rd, the Seawolves got another off a lucky bounce created by Tatchell off a turnover at the blue line. Some power moves and throwing it to the goal and deflecting in off a skate. 

That didn't settle to well, and the Nanooks offense kept churning. Plays were happening but Gunderson was strong. But the Nanooks drew a penalty as Dylan Hubbs was caught giving Perry the business behind the goal. A roughing call got the 'Nooks pumped and set up for another power play and they took advantage to tie the game up 2-2. Great moves by the freshman to dangle through the D and bury. Collected his own rebound and got the second chance goal. 

The Nanooks would need extra time to try and get it done as 60 minutes just wasn't enough. 

But it didn't take long as Colton Beck went top shelf on Gunderson to win it. No idea how he sniped that, but that one is one for the ages. Video will be shared
later for sure. Just an unbelievable goal. 

The 'Nooks tomorrow need to come out and set the tone early. You can tell UAA is going to be ready, and the boys need to take it to 'em. 

Go 'Nooks!

Nanooks Earn Top WCHA Honors



Cody Kunyk caps his senior season off with the league's top honor, the 2014 Player of the Year and Scoring Champion. Colton Parayko added to that with the other top performing skating honor as the Defensive Player of the Year. Both players of course situated atop the All-WCHA First team.

Basara finished second in voting as Rookie of the Year despite tying LSSU's Alex Globke in scoring. I suppose you gotta give other teams a bone. But he did get himself on the All-WCHA Rookie Team

Also congratulations to Colton Beck and Tyler Morley for making the Second and Third team rosters, respectively.

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.

Go 'Nooks!

The Stat Guy - Pi Day

Pi day celebrated by mathematicians around the world on March 14th (3/14) every year. Pi (Greek letter) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant - the ratio of the circumference of a circle to it's diameter - which is approximately 3.1415.

Why does this matter you ask? Pi is an irrational and transcendental number. It will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern.

Pi day in Fairbanks, Alaska presents a statistical anomaly which involves The WCHA, Nanook Hockey, and the Carlson Center.

With Alaska locking in the 3rd seed, they will host 6th seeded UAA. Due to the Arctic Winter Games, our home playoff series must start on March 13th rather than March 14th as games elsewhere in the WCHA. That means that Pi Day could be a very special day for Nanook fans as well as mathematicians. The Nanooks could be the first team to punch their ticket to the WCHA Final Five in Grand Rapids, Michigan's Van Andel Arena March 20th-22nd, 2014. So let's hope to celebrate together on Pi Day, fans!

Go Nooks, Math Rocks

The Stat Guy


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Full WCHA Playoff Scenarios for Saturday

Thanks to Tim Danehy at collegehockeystats.net for putting this together. 

Here is every possible conclusion on the final night if WCHA hockey. Note Alaska can not improve nor falter it's position from third. 

Minnesota State -

Seeded 1st with a win.

Seeded 1st with a tie and a Ferris State loss or tie.

Seeded 1st with a loss and a Ferris State loss.

Seeded 2nd with a tie and a Ferris State win.

Seeded 2nd with a loss and a Ferris State win or tie.


-------------------------


Ferris State -

Seeded 1st with a win and a Minnesota State loss or tie.

Seeded 1st with a tie and a Minnesota State loss.

Seeded 2nd with a win and a Minnesota State win.

Seeded 2nd with a tie and a Minnesota State win or tie.

Seeded 2nd with a loss.


-------------------------


Alaska -

Seeded 3rd.


-------------------------


Michigan Tech -

Seeded 4th with a win.

Seeded 4th with a tie and a Bowling Green loss or tie.

Seeded 4th with a loss, a Bowling Green loss, and an Alaska Anchorage loss or tie.

Seeded 5th with a tie and a Bowling Green win.

Seeded 5th with a loss, a Bowling Green win or tie, and an Alaska Anchorage loss or tie.

Seeded 6th with a loss and an Alaska Anchorage win.


-------------------------


Bowling Green -

Seeded 4th with a win and a Michigan Tech loss or tie.

Seeded 4th with a tie and a Michigan Tech loss.

Seeded 4th with a loss, a Michigan Tech loss, and an Alaska Anchorage win.

Seeded 5th with a win and a Michigan Tech win.

Seeded 5th with a tie and a Michigan Tech win or tie.

Seeded 5th with a loss and a Michigan Tech win or tie.

Seeded 5th with a loss, a Michigan Tech loss, and an Alaska Anchorage loss or tie.


-------------------------


Alaska Anchorage -

Seeded 5th with a win and a Michigan Tech loss.

Seeded 6th with a win and a Michigan Tech win or tie.

Seeded 6th with a tie and a Northern Michigan loss or tie.

Seeded 6th with a loss, a Northern Michigan loss, a Lake Superior State loss or tie, and a Bemidji State loss or tie.

Seeded 6th with a loss, a Northern Michigan loss, a Lake Superior State loss, a Bemidji State win, and a Minnesota State win.

Seeded 6th with a loss, a Northern Michigan loss, a Lake Superior State tie, a Bemidji State win, and a Minnesota State win or tie.

Seeded 7th with a tie and a Northern Michigan win.

Seeded 7th with a loss, a Northern Michigan loss, a Lake Superior State loss, a Bemidji State win, and a Minnesota State loss or tie.

Seeded 7th with a loss, a Northern Michigan loss, a Lake Superior State tie, a Bemidji State win, and a Minnesota State loss.

Seeded 7th with a loss, a Northern Michigan loss, and a Lake Superior State win.

Seeded 7th with a loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, a Lake Superior State loss or tie, and a Bemidji State loss or tie.

Seeded 7th with a loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, a Lake Superior State loss, a Bemidji State win, and a Minnesota State win.

Seeded 7th with a loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, a Lake Superior State tie, a Bemidji State win, and a Minnesota State win or tie.

Seeded 8th with a loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, a Lake Superior State loss, a Bemidji State win, and a Minnesota State loss or tie.

Seeded 8th with a loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, a Lake Superior State tie, a Bemidji State win, and a Minnesota State loss.

Seeded 8th with a loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, and a Lake Superior State win.


-------------------------


Northern Michigan -

Seeded 6th with a win and an Alaska Anchorage loss or tie.

Seeded 6th with a tie, an Alaska Anchorage loss, and an Lake Superior State loss or tie.

Seeded 7th with a win and an Alaska Anchorage win.

Seeded 7th with a tie, an Alaska Anchorage loss, and an Lake Superior State win.

Seeded 7th with a tie, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, and an Lake Superior State loss or tie.

Seeded 7th with a loss, a Lake Superior State loss or tie, and a Bemidji State loss or tie.

Seeded 8th with a tie, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, and an Lake Superior State win.

Seeded 8th with a loss, a Lake Superior State loss or tie, and a Bemidji State win.

Seeded 8th with a loss, a Lake Superior State win, and a Bemidji State loss or tie.

Finishes 9th with a loss, a Lake Superior State win, and a Bemidji State win.


-------------------------


Lake Superior State -

Seeded 6th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, and a Northern Michigan loss or tie.

Seeded 7th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, and a Northern Michigan win.

Seeded 7th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, and a Northern Michigan tie.

Seeded 7th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, a Northern Michigan loss, and a Bemidji State loss or tie.

Seeded 8th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, a Northern Michigan loss, and a Bemidji State win.

Seeded 8th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, a Northern Michigan win, and a Bemidji State loss or tie.

Seeded 8th with a tie, a Northern Michigan loss, and a Bemidji State loss or tie.

Seeded 8th with a tie, a Northern Michigan win or tie, and a Bemidji State loss.

Finishes 9th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, a Northern Michigan win, and a Bemidji State win.

Finishes 9th with a tie, a Northern Michigan loss, and a Bemidji State win.

Finishes 9th with a tie, a Northern Michigan win or tie, and a Bemidji State win or tie.

Finishes 9th with a loss.


-------------------------


Bemidji State -

Seeded 6th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, a Northern Michigan loss, a Lake Superior State loss, and a Minnesota State loss or tie.

Seeded 6th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, a Northern Michigan loss, a Lake Superior State tie, and a Minnesota State loss.

Seeded 7th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, a Northern Michigan loss, a Lake Superior State loss, and a Minnesota State win.

Seeded 7th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, a Northern Michigan loss, a Lake Superior State tie, and a Minnesota State win or tie.

Seeded 7th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, a Lake Superior State loss, and a Minnesota State loss or tie.

Seeded 7th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, a Lake Superior State tie, and a Minnesota State loss.

Seeded 7th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, and a Northern Michigan loss.

Seeded 8th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, a Lake Superior State loss, and a Minnesota State win.

Seeded 8th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, a Lake Superior State tie, and a Minnesota State win or tie.

Seeded 8th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, a Northern Michigan loss, and a Lake Superior State win.

Seeded 8th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, a Northern Michigan tie, and a Lake Superior State loss or tie.

Seeded 8th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, and a Northern Michigan win.

Seeded 8th with a tie and a Lake Superior State loss.

Seeded 8th with a tie, a Northern Michigan win or tie, and a Lake Superior State tie.

Seeded 8th with a loss and a Lake Superior State loss.

Finishes 9th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage loss, a Northern Michigan win or tie, and a Lake Superior State win.

Finishes 9th with a win, an Alaska Anchorage win or tie, a Northern Michigan tie, and a Lake Superior State win.

Finishes 9th with a tie, a Northern Michigan loss, and a Lake Superior State tie.

Finishes 9th with a tie and a Lake Superior State win.

Finishes 9th with a loss and a Lake Superior State win or tie.


-------------------------


Alabama Huntsville -

Finishes 10th.


-------------------------

Cody Kunyk and the Nanooks Take ACC to the Woodshed 7-2

This is rapidly changing from a rivalry to an ownership. All I'm going to say right now is that Cody Kunyk is like a man amongst children. Certainly a guy you don't want to leave open ever, but Anchorage didn't learn that soon enough. Torched tonight for 4 by the Nanooks senior who put a clinic on not just for his parents who were in the crowd, but for the NHL scouts that made it to town for this series. I've heard 3 teams have representatives in town, Edmonton, Tampa Bay, and Anaheim are the teams that I have heard. Anaheim is the only one that I can actually confirm. 

Tyler Morley put the exclamation point on this one with two early goals in the first period. The first was an absolute beauty of a rocket over the glove on the rush. The air would be quickly let out of the building as Tyler went down on an awkward hit delivered by Austin Coldwell coming out from the boards. Weird momentum, Tyler didn't see it coming. Strange angle. Wasn't a dirty hit, just one of those things that gets a little scary. Watching him in pain as he's helped off the ice was a very unsettling feeling. 

I very much hope that he's OK. I do not know how serious the injury is. Obviously I hope its minor. But all things considered, I don't expect him to play tomorrow.

Tomorrow is senior night, so be sure to get their early to support our 3 graduating seniors. All 3 of these guys are exemplary young men and we owe it to them to give them the send-off they deserve. Going to be an emotional one, I'm sure I'll shed a tear or two. These guys are special. 


Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Stat Guy: Net Profits

Sometimes mathematicians or statisticians have a simple gut intinct about data. In my favorite book 'Against The Gods' written by Peter Bernstein, the gambling addict Girolamo Cardano has a suspicion that a certain play gains him a very slight advantage and is therefore profitable. His instinct proves true upon further investigation by a famous mathematician of his time Blaise Pascal which he has consulted. The hunch I started with but couldn't quite put my finger on until I consulted the statistics was that the Nanooks were improving as a team and in net...



My basic premise was that the team has played much better in the second half of the season and even better in the last 10 games than the first half. Upon further investigation a couple of things stood out and if you are like me it will come as quite a surprise. But enough foreshadowing, lets get to the numbers and figure out the conclusion together.


In the first half of the season (18 games) the 'Nooks scored 55 goals (3.06 GFA)and surrendered 54 goals (3.00 GAA) a very marginal difference for a record of 8-10-4. In the second half 14 games thus far, the Nooks have scored 55 goals (3.92 GFA) and surrendered just 35 goals (2.5 GAA)a statistically significant difference. A wonderful improvement right, wait it gets better. In the last 10 games the Nanooks have scored 46 goals (4.6 GFA) and surrendered only 23 goals (2.3 GAA).


Prior to the final 10 games Keeney was 3-3-2, Jones 4-5-1 and Cahill 1-2-1. In the last 10 games Keeney has gone 1-1-0 and Cahill is 7-1-0. The recent winning streak of 8 of the last 9 games means that the Nanooks are now fighting with their arch rivals for home ice in the playoffs this weekend.


Let's delve deeper into the goaltender statistical archives and tempt fate even further. Since Cahill has gone 7-1-0 in his last 8 starts his GAA has dropped to 2.25 per game. How good is that you say? Well he has continued to climb the Goaltending Leaders list in the WCHA during that stretch and now occupies the number 2 position behind Minnesota State Freshman sensation Cole Huggins at 2.08. The recently dispatched C.J. Motte of Ferris State, resides in third place with a (2.37 GAA). Cahill was certainly the benefiary of the 'Nooks hanging 9 goals on Motte last weekend in two games at the Carlson Center as he passed him on his way to the top. Save Percentage currently has Sean at number 9 and rising. Finally, perhaps the ultimate test of a goaltender is his winning percentage, the WCHA leader is C.J. Motte at 22-7-3 or .734 and yes you probably guessed it by now but sitting in number 2 and heating up is Sean Cahill at .708.


If you attend the games this weekend and Sean is in net, let's let him hear it from the crowd. He and the team in front of him have made quite a run and they are absolutely on fire. So what have we learned from this somewhat long and arduous research project? Well, my business law professor in college was fond of the latin phrase "ipsa loquitor" or "the thing speaks for itself". In other words, the facts (stats) in the case lead to only one logical conclusion. One of my favorite mathematics instructors believed that the "proof was in the pudding". Translation: he felt that it was easy to make profound claims in math but it was a bit more difficult matter to prove them. I had suspected after the Nooks made their recent run from 9th place to a tie for 3rd that they had improved significantly. What I was not expecting to find in the data which Malcolm Gladwell points out in his best selling book of the same name was that Sean Cahill and the Nooks had become statistical 'Outliers' in their league. No team in the conference would want to face the Nanooks if they can maintain their current momentum.









Go Nooks, Math Rocks!

The Stat Guy

The Drive For Five

This year's senior class has never seen the Governor's Cup raised by the team in green. Four in a row now for the 'Nooks, and the three captains celebrating their final regular season games this weekend have no intentions seeing their arch rivals raise the cup on their home ice. It's just not going to happen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An Introduction

My friend Britton has recently been kind enough to allow me column space within his blog. It is very important because I prefer to be anonymous to all. I wish to be the "deep throat" of Nanook hockey statistics. This is important to me going forward because as Shakira often says "the hips don't lie", neither do the stats. We may love them or hate them but we simply can't escape them. Wow, sounds like a song, by the way music is the sound of math but that's a story for another entry. The numbers are the "facts" of today. They may change with time as a variable but they are constant today.


As many coaches have said in the past, we may think we are better than our record today but ultimately we are what our record or stats says we are. In other words, you can outrun the numbers in the short run but eventually the math will simply catch up and overwhelm you. I will give you examples of this in future posts.


My background is mathematics and I hope to share with you in the future the true beauty of math and it's application in the "real world" and specifically as it applies to Nanook hockey and the WCHA conference. As a mathematician, it is often said that we live within a matrix. In mathematics, a matrix (plural, matrices) is a rectangular array of numbers, arranged in rows and columns. A major application of matrices is to represent linear transformations but perhaps that is too much information (TMI) at this time. Let's just say that cryptography or the encryption of secret codes involves passing the information transferred through a matrix for encryption (encoding), and the inverse matrix for decryption (decoding).


I have followed Nanook hockey for many years and the statistics are constantly pouring through my matrix for decryption. Many stats this season have stood out after decryption and I hope to discuss them and future anomalies in future posts.......


Math Rocks!




Go Nooks,
The Stat Guy

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Here Are Your Playoff Scenarios and Implications for Alaska

I'm going to just link you over to the UAHHockey.com synopsis posted this morning with the full breakdown of the entire WCHA seeding. But at 3,500 words, the TL;DR version for Alaska is this...

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!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Nanooks Whip Bulldogs in Epic 4-1 Rout

What a game, the 'Nooks looked their best they have played and Ferris State took exception. The Nanooks outhustled, outworked, and outplayed the Bulldogs all over the ice. Some have said the shots on goal tell a different story, but I disagree. Despite being outshot 2-1, the Bulldogs had very few quality scoring chances. The Nanooks physical play took Ferris State out of their element, and forced the Bulldogs into bad choices.

Nanooks came out of the gates hot and firing tonight. Right out of the gates, Colton Beck hit the wing and sniped one over the left shoulder of CJ Motte just 36 seconds into the game. Then Sean Cahill went into beast mode as Ferris State started upping the pressure. 13 shots for the Bulldogs in the 1st, but Cahill stopped every one of 'em.

Into the 2nd, the Nanooks had a big 5 on 3 penalty kill to push through, but after killing it off they generated some serious offensive pressure and got things going. Nolan Huysmans buried the 2nd and Tyler Morley the 3rd in almost identical plays. Snipes over the left shoulder. 3 goals past Motte in the same fashion.

Ferris would eventually break the goose egg on a goal from Andy Huff on the power play with Hochhausen in the box for high sticking. But into the 3rd, the Nanooks would seal it with a beautiful 2 on 1 chance with Tyler Morley dishing the sauce to Perry on the right wing for the 4th and final goal of the night. Although the fireworks were far from over...

Several players got into heated confrontations in the closing minutes of the 3rd, with a few getting early showers. Shane Frederick from the Mankato Free Press said it best "Ferris State hasn't lost much this season. But when they have, they haven't handled it very well." Which is crazy, I saw more flops and more pissy fits from Ferris State last night than I've ever seen from LeBron James and the Miami Heat. That's saying something... They got nabbed for an embellishment call early on, but the officials saw right through all of the crap that Ferris kept trying. Then eventually the wheels came off the bus later on and hell started to break loose. I'm glad the Nanooks stood up for themselves with Ferris trying to throw as many cheap shots as they did. And Anselmini taking a run at Hochhausen with less than 20 seconds on the clock? Blatantly classless play.

Nonetheless, everyone is eligible to return to the game tonight as of this writing so the stage is set for an epic rematch. Don't forget, the Arctic Camo jerseys are still up for auction, which will end tonight at 9.