I can't say enough about the effort and the heart every Nanook player exhibited this weekend. And to our seven seniors, congratulations on getting the series win. 2-1-1 against the #1 ranked team in the country. No other team has more than one win against the Mavericks all season, though Bemidji could change that.
Friday's game started with a series of unfortunate events allowing 2 power plays to the Mavericks early. Irregardless of what I thought of the calls, the Nanooks played tight with the disadvantage. But within seconds of getting back to full strength, the Mavericks Max Gaede popped a backhander over the glove of Cahill from in tight to get the only goal of the first. The Nanooks hand their chances, but couldn't capitalize until a power play chance of their own midway through the second on a great pass and tip to Tyler Morley from Parayko. The Nanooks continued to get chances, but Williams and the defense kept them at bay.
The second game was one for the ages. The Mavericks didn't register a shot on goal for the first 6:33 of the game, including a power play. The Mavericks turned it on though and got some chances, though not many went through.
But in the second they did capitalize on a power play as Palmquist's shot from the point made it through rush hour traffic and hit the back of the net. Cahill didn't have a chance at it. But Garrick Perry and his no-quit work ethic changed the tide of the game bursting out of the defensive zone on the penalty kill. He had position on his defender but didn't have a good shot. As he rushed in he smartly played it behind the net and around. The defense followed him for the wraparound and ignored Tyler Morley who creeped down through the slot and Perry left it on a platter.
Perry wasn't done either. Kind of a broken play as the puck was wheeled around on a failed clearing attempt that Campbell corralled and have it to his defense partner Zach Frye. The freshman defenseman made a great skill play shooting intentionally wide right to the tape of a waiting Garrick Perry to tip it home with just over 2 minutes to play.
MSU would take a timeout to plan it out, and pull Stephon Williams. The plan didn't work as Tyler Morley read the play in the neutral zone perfectly, picked it off and buried it into the empty net to seal it.
I can't knock Stephon Williams, he's a hell of a goaltender and played a great series. But he has never defeated his hometown team.
This may have been the final home series, but the season is not over. 4 games remain after a much needed week off. The Nanooks head to Huntsville, Alabama for a weekend date with the Chargers before finishing up the season and the Governnor's cup series in Anchorage.