I'm pretty certain there was a hockey game going on, but 91 minutes in penalties is absolutely ridiculous. What was being called by the men in stripes stuns me. There are calls you agree and disagree with every game, but if you're going to call the game THAT tight, it has to go both ways. And to swallow the whistles in the 3rd period until it gets down to the wire and the Nanooks start to get a push. That's just wrong.
It all starts in the 1st period. Nanooks control the pace of the game, get five shots on net, with two realistic scoring chances. Austin Sevalrud gets a hooking call with Nolan Youngmun breaking to the net. Good call. He gets out of the box, then Erickson gets tossed for five and a game with contact to the head, which doesn't make sense as he hit Brad Duwe, who is six inches taller than he is.
Doesn't take long, UAA pops one in, goes up a goal. Major penalty clock still ticking down. Azurdia for UAA pops another one in. But it goes under review and they see Anthony Conti backing into the goaltender and overturn the goal. Could have gone either way, honestly. Cameron bags the game winner on a separate power play with Parayko in the box for a questionable elbow. Again though, could have gone either way.
2nd period was pretty well controlled by the Nanooks. I thought they had good momentum at the end of the period, and obviously that power play goal from Kaiser was a huge one. They had Azurdia in the box for trying to cut the legs off of Hajdukovich with his stick. The officials chatted about it for a few seconds, but stuck with the minor.
I thought the game had swung for the better in the 3rd period. Officials were seemingly letting them play. Even going so far as to overlook Dylan Hubbs literally throwing jabs at Basara's head. Not a single penalty was called either way until after the Nanooks call timeout and pull their goaltender down by 1 with 87 seconds to play. Then Colton Parayko outworks his man at the half-wall near the bench area, goes low to extend his reach to make sure the forward doesn't have an angle on the empty net, and he gets called for a trip. Seconds later, the same official calls Atkinson for an extremely weak cross-check.
Now the wheels start to come off the bus. You've got UAA on a 5 on 3 power play now. The official Chris Perrault lets this game get completely out of hand from this point forward. He doesn't acknowledge the Nanooks' bench for an explanation. And now essentially with the game won, UAA starts the chirping. Shoves, grabbing, yelling, etc. all going on. And everything appears to be the Nanooks' fault. Only the Nanooks were assessed penalties in the 3rd.
After one such whistle, Perrault tosses Tyler Morley and Trevor Campbell with 10 minute misconducts and minors for slashing. Nolan Kaiser takes exception, and literally delivers one of the hardest hits I've seen. Completely uncharacteristic of him, but he gets pulled away and given a major and game DQ, which carries an automatic one game suspension with it. Quite honestly I will not be surprised if he gets more than just one. Zach Frye also got the gate for roughing on the same play.
The Nanooks came unglued at the end. No question about it. But the officials called the final 90 seconds of the game unfairly. There is no other way to put it. Chris Perrault has been in this situation before. In fact, he alienated Cornell from ever playing a WCHA school again after 76 minutes in penalties were assessed in game 2 of a series against Denver, in which the Big Red were swept and calls stacked up against them. Mike Shafer, Cornell's head coach had interesting comments similar to my thoughts on this same individual that officiated tonight. It's sad when officiating like that takes the chances away from these young men to win a rivalry game in the waning at home in front of a packed house.
I honestly feel sorry for those that paid their hard earned money to watch tonight's game. It's unfortunate to see this happen.