Saturday, January 26, 2013

Make It Six - Top Line Rolls as Nanooks Sweep NMU at Home

Colton Beck's back-to-back game winning goals and a 4-point weekend (3-1-4) helped the team roll the Wildcats and pick up the sweep. In the luncheon Friday, coach Ferguson explained his desire for the top line to bump up the production, and this weekend they produced points like crazy in this series.

The first period looked a lot like a continuation of the first game. Northern did a good job controlling play for the better part of the 1st period. As a result, Stephan Vigier was right on queue behind the net, disrupted a pass behind the net, and got a shot on Keeney that Daugherty was able to collect and bury.

Late in the first, the Nanooks repeated the same play as Taranto sniffed out the play and intercepted a pass near the half walls and put a shot on net as Beck collected the rebound and buried to even the game up through the first stanza.

Into the 2nd, much more intense checking. Hits and pleasantries were exchanged early and often. Mitch Jones took a tripping penalty just 32 seconds into the period to even the advantage 4 on 4 as about 1:35 was left on Perry's penalty for holding at 19:26 of the 1st.

But just about 5 minutes into the period, Yaremchuk made a great feed through traffic to find a breaking Tyler Morley, who with a few quick strides made a clean breakaway and with a few dekes had Jared Coreau out on Cushman Street. If ESPN wasn't already on cruise control with replays, that could have made the top 10 plays of the night. I'm really looking forward to that video highlight online and seeing where the CCHA guys put it this week in their top 10 plays.

Colton Beck buried the eventual game winner with his second of the game on a nice feed from Colton Parayko which clearly pissed off the NMU players. They started checking like mad men from that point forward. Eventually it got a little bit out of hand as Erik Higby was tossed for a vicious hit on Nolan Huysmans right in front of the Nanooks bench. Higby got the arm up and collided elbow first with the neck of Huysmans who wasn't ready for the hit. Just about a minute into the major, NMU defensemen Wade Epp takes a bad high sticking penalty down low out of clear frustration. Which puts the 'Nooks on a 5 on 3 advantage for a full two minutes.

Of which they only needed 14 seconds after a faceoff win, a quick shot down low that was blocked. Nanooks players all over chasing the puck trying to get there. Coreau was down and was having trouble covering ground, but eventually Parayko found his stick on the puck and buried it for his 4th goal of his already impressive freshman season. But the Wildcats still had some fight and a fighting chance, as the captain injected a little bit of life back into their lineup with a shorthanded tally from Thurber to round out the scoring for the evening.

A great home sweep for the Nanooks as these two wins come against a great Northern Michigan team help catapult the Nanooks up to 12th place in the pairwise standings, and a tie for 4th place in the CCHA with Ferris State in the very tight conference race. The 'Nooks fly south to take on Miami in Oxford in a pivotal match that will be a great challenge and a measuring stick going forward after the results of the home series against the RedHawks during the slump in December. 10 games remain, with 8 left in the conference, 5 at home, 5 on the road. Let's do it! Go 'Nooks!

Nanooks Continue to Roll, Tame Wildcats 2-1

Wow it feels good to get the monkey off the back. The way that the 'Nooks held on and kept the pressure off of John Keeney, who was very sharp tonight at controlling himself and staying square to the puck. The Nanooks' defense totally locked out the Wildcats tonight, with the only goal being allowed was a 5 on 3 power play chance after Kaare Odegard was wrongly accused of charging. If college hockey had an appeals process, that would have been a great candidate. It was a great check, and clean but they deemed it a charge.

But what a way to get the game started. Cody Kunyk ripping a shot past Jared Coreau's glove up high in the corner, it was a thing of beauty. Earlier today at the Face Off club luncheon, coach Ferguson said that he wanted to see Kunyk shoot more. And his first shot of the game is just a sweet laser. Simply put. The video highlights will be great.

Into the second, Kunyk did it again as he forced a turnover at the blue line with Northern on the power play. Beck hustled in and made it a 2 on 1, and just a beauty of a saucer pass from Kunyk put it right on the tape of Beck's stick on the back door to take a two goal lead.

A few minutes later, Northern gets their lone goal of the game in the aforementioned 5 on 3 power play chance as the Nanooks clamp down defensively. I think where the Nanooks benefitted the most tonight was in their neutral zone play. They did a phenomenal job disrupting the Wildcats transition game and forced them off of the puck on the entry time after time. And say what you want about the 3 stars of the game, one of the best players out there tonight and had a terrific performance tonight was Trevor Campbell. He is very quietly making waves and earning the accolades of an elite defenseman in the conference. Tonight, he played with a confidence that seemed to radiate to his teammates and collectively they all rallied together and won this as a team.

I know I've said this about Trevor before, and he's had great games. But this kid is only a sophomore. He's playing at a very high level right now, and it excites me to watch him play and continue to get better. Exciting for the future.

Just a few quick housekeeping items before I turn in for the night. Firstly, a huge congratulations is due to the hockey team for posting up a 3.51 GPA average among the team for the fall semester of 2012. A tremendous achievement with the travel schedule, and just the rigors of being a student athlete. These guys didn't choose slack majors either. A lot of them are either business administration majors, but a few have even chosen the engineering route, which is one of the most time consuming majors I've had the pleasure to take part in. It was just as much of a pleasure for me to switch out of it. I couldn't handle it when I was a bit younger, but great for these guys.

Also on another note, Mike Smith was injured for the Phoenix Coyotes early this week which has left a hole in the goaltenders position. Jason LaBarbera played in net and allowed 3 goals in the final 7 minutes of the game as a 2 goal lead vanished. But with Smith sidelined, the Coyotes recalled former Nanook Chad Johnson from their AHL affiliate in Portland and was on the bench Thursday against the Sharks. Given the situation with LaBarbera yesterday, Chad Johnson does have a pretty decent shot to see his first action of the season between the pipes. Their game starts at 4:00PM AKST. I'll have to check that one out before I head over tomorrow.

Come out to the Carlson Center tomorrow and get the barn packed! The 'Nooks look to complete their sweep and move up the chain. Of note, with the win tonight, the 'Nooks are now 11th in the pairwise rankings... And no, its not too early to look at that yet.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One More Time - Another Shot at the Kitty Cats

A sweep of Michigan at Yost, and a sweep of Notre Dame in South Bend, the Nanooks have started one hell of a run. But then the schedule throws you a curve ball and puts Northern Michigan right back in the path. A team that, again, has seemed to know the Nanooks' hole cards before the bets are placed. After the split with Western Michigan at home, the excursion to Marquette started the winless streak into the Christmas break.

The funny part of it is, after that series NMU went 1-4 themselves, getting swept at Western and LSSU. Now after New Year's, Northern is on an unbeaten streak of their own, including a sweep of St. Cloud and Ohio State as well as a win, tie, and shootout loss to Miami.

For both teams, its going to be about continuing their success this weekend. For the Nanooks, its their first game at home in seven weeks. And nobody is more excited for it than I am.  That said, the 'Nooks home record has left something to be desired currently at 4-5-1 (2-5-1 in CCHA play). The 'Cats are 3-8-1 on the road this season, which was just improved over their sweep at St. Cloud just after their holiday layoff.

Aside from an empty-netter against Ohio State, each of the 'Cats recent wins has been by one goal. NMU has also come from behind to win in a lot of those games as well, often surrendering the first goal. NMU is a determined team and they don't give up. The Nanooks held leads in both games against Northern up in Marquette before watching them vanish into the Black Hole.

If you recall my previous post on this subject, Coach Ferguson has yet to defeat Northern Michigan outright since he took over. Honestly though, I think this is the best chance for that win to come this weekend. With the offense picking up like it has, averaging 4 goals per game since the new year started and getting a huge confidence boost from those road sweeps, I can't envision the Nanooks letting this home series slip away. The pollsters can say what they want to, but the Nanooks are a better team right now than NMU. And this weekend will be their chance to prove it and help get this monkey off of Ferguson's back.

In other news, Chad Johnson was recalled to Phoenix in the NHL tonight after starter Mike Smith was hurt in their win against Columbus. LaBarbera got the start tonight as the Coyotes watched a 3-1 lead over the Sharks with 7:40 left in the game evaporate as they eventually lost 5-3 in San Jose. Chad Johnson has not played an NHL game since the lone loss in the the 2010-2011 season for the Rangers. At the end of last season, he was traded to the Phoenix organization after a pretty good run in the AHL with the Connecticut Whale for the past 2 seasons. I'm hoping the result of tonight's loss for Phoenix may give Johnson another chance at the show when they take on the LA Kings at home on Saturday. I'll definitely be tuned in for that.

As for the Nanooks game, I know the guys are pumped to get this one going. I haven't seen them play in person in seven weeks. And I'm excited to get this party started...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Nanooks Roll, Sweep #4/5 Notre Dame in South Bend

WOW!!! What a road trip. I'm still wired and on cloud nine after that sweep. With four back to back wins on this two week roadie, I think the Nanooks are finding their identity. This series was a lot more physical than I was expecting, but that's the game that Notre Dame plays but the Nanooks didn't wait at all for Notre Dame to establish the checking. I really liked that the 'Nooks didn't back down from them. Its no mystery when I say that Notre Dame likes to throw their weight around (Summerhays mugging Morley after Johns checked Morley into him). And if you want to know how good they think they are, just wait around and listen, because they'll tell you.

Anyway like I was saying, the Nanooks really seem to be finding themselves at this point in the season. The chemistry is there, and the Granberg-Morley-Yaremchuk line is just going crazy right now. They're scoring on par with any of the top lines in the country. Both power play goals tonight were from that line, and they're picking it up when the top line hasn't had as much puck luck as of late.

And how good has Trevor Campbell been lately? He hasn't cracked the scoresheet as much as he has in recent history, but very solid positionally and made a lot of smart decisions this weekend. Everytime I heard Tynan or Lee's name come up (which wasn't often tonight), Campbell was right there keeping them in check and keeping them irrelevant. And, oh yeah, he has a real girlfriend.

The 'Nooks return home next weekend to take on the Northern Michigan Wildcats who have put together a 6-game unbeaten streak of their own, including a sweep of St. Cloud and Ohio State. As well as a win and a tie against Miami at home. I hope they're prepared for some payback!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Crazy Finish as the 'Nooks Win 3rd Straight

Wow. I'm still trying to process this. Honestly I'm still riding on cloud after I made a friend nearly crash his truck when I went crazy when Granberg scored the game-winner. Talk about a momentum builder. The important part here is that I think the 'Nooks are building a sense of confidence in themselves. They're playing hard, smart, and most importantly resilient. They don't get down and flat when they get down in the scoreboard, and that helped them especially in the first period tonight. They didn't get phased at all when Anders Lee buried that first goal. But work and effort as the 'Nooks got a couple of quick goals to take the lead and the momentum away and set the tone.

But anyway, on to the recap.

First period was kind of an interesting start to the game, as the Nanooks and Irish spent the better part of it feeling each other out, and just a little sloppy around the ice. Fast paced, but just a pretty sloppy game. After play tightened up a bit, Notre Dame got on the board first as Anders Lee caught the Nanooks chasing a rebound in front of John Keeney. Lee has some pretty keen stick skills, he chipped it quick up high and over Keeney and under the crossbar for the go ahead goal.

But the Nanooks answered not just once, but twice with two bang-bang goals. The first one was Garrick Perry for his first of the season on a semi 2-on-1 break as Nolan Huysmans had a step on his defender. Huysmans ripped the shot from near the top of the faceoff circle to the goaltenders left, and Summerhays left a juicy rebound floating to his right that Perry banged out of the air past Summerhays to even the game.

Then just 45 seconds later, the 'Nooks came back and Nik Yaremchuk banged in a rebound under Summerhays pad to go up 2-1 in a very similar play to the first one. Jarret Granberg got the first shot on net and rang it hard off of Summerhays pad. The puck trickled over to the goalies right side, but Summerhays kept a pad on it. But with some hard jabs at it, Yaremchuk puts the Nanooks up 2-1 going into the locker room for the first intermission.

The second period wasn't the most exciting of periods for the first half of it, but the Nanooks struck first in the second stanza as Andy Taranto buried one at 17:06, ripping a wrister from the slot that tipped off the glove of Summerhays and trickled across the goal line behind him before it could be covered. But Anchorage native Austin Wuthrich collected a rebound down around the net off a shot from Sam Calabrese.

But the third period. What. A. Trip. Leading 3-2, the 'Nooks get their 2nd power play of the game as Shayne Taker held Colton Beck from breaking a 2-on-1. But just a few seconds in, defenseman Sam Calabrese threaded the needle, getting a puck through the Nanooks defenders and caught a breaking TJ Tynan right on the tape. He made a quick move and buried it past Keeney's pad.

But the 'Nooks would not be denied on a rare power play chance tonight. Seemed as though the officiating continued to be a bit one-sided again tonight. But anyway, the 'Nooks capitalised on a play set up for Nik Yaremchuk, but Summerhays stopped the first one. Granberg found the second one and retook the lead 4-3 just 39 seconds after Tynan's goal.

But hold on, we're not done yet. Mario Lucia hasn't scored yet. But then he did. The son of former Nanooks coach Don Lucia who's now behind the Minnesota bench. Mario was born in Fairbanks about 15 minutes before the truck left for Colorado Springs, and now he's suited up for a Nanooks rival. And he tied the game up with just over 4 minutes left in regulation. But the Nanooks had something to say before the final clock struck zero.

Specifically, 3 seconds before the clock struck zero. And honestly, I have not a clue what happened. A flurry of bodies and a pinballing puck made it past Summerhays. I intended to get home and try to watch what had happened, but apparently I neglected to push record on the DVR. So I'll have to wait to really watch it until it replays tomorrow. For those of you that watched it, let your voice be heard in the comments below!

Really this game ranks among the top Nanooks games I've been around for. But to get that type of finish on the road in a barn as loud as Notre Dame is. Especially after how loud they got and stayed when Lucia scored. But nothing quiets a crowd like scoring goals.

The 'Nooks have earned 9 points on this roadie thus far with 3 more on the table. Can the 'Nooks pull off the full roadie sweep? We'll find out tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Game Central - A Look at the Irish

Game Central

Live TV (Friday) - KFXF Fox 7 Fairbanks/GCI Ch. 1 statewide
Live Internet Stream (Friday, Free) -
Live TV (Saturday) - CBS Sports Network
Live Internet Stream (Saturday) - None :(
Live Radio - 820AM Fairbanks /

The Nanooks continue on the road to South Bend to take on the Hunchbacks of Notre Dame. Who knows, maybe Lennay Kekua will make an appearance in goal for the Irish. In a week long episode of MythBusters for anyone who has even turned on their TV, this whole Manti Te'o fake girlfriend thing is completely hilarious. And perfectly timed to give me plenty of ammo for this series. Honestly, I'm not sure what to think about this whole story, but I find it hard to believe that the most widely known defensive player in college football would have only gone into a relationship "online" to create publicity down the stretch, potentially strengthening his Heisman race. But anyway, this isn't really related to hockey. I'm just hoping that the goals ND scores this weekend are as imaginary as Manti's girlfriend.

The Nanooks enter this series after a sweep of Michigan that concluded last Saturday, scoring a season high 9 goals in the series that concluded Saturday. Notre Dame split a series with Michigan State in East Lansing this past weekend before stopping in Bowling Green, Ohio to take on the Falcons in a lone game on Tuesday. The Falcons got the better of the Irish there as well, winning 4-2.

Can the Nanooks take advantage of an apparently out-of-tune team? The Irish go home for the holidays at 14-4-0, and a six game win streak intact. Coming out of the gate in 2013, ND is 1-3-0. Somewhat the same story last season as well. Into a 20-day layoff, the Irish were 11-6-3. Then hit a bad spell down the stretch, going 9-12-0 before falling to Michigan in the CCHA quarterfinals last season. 

There is a good chance that the 'Nooks can take some points for the first time out of the new Compton arena. Which is still one of the most impressive facilities I've seen after my visit last year. But all of that glitz and glamour, the 'Nooks are positioned to win. Special teams was as solid as ever in Ann Arbor, allowing just one goal on 14 chances, including a shorthanded game winning goal from Tyler Morley, who now leads the Nanooks in goals with 7. As well as 30% on the power play.  

The Nanooks never trailed in that series against Michigan last weekend, starting out fast and keeping the foot on the gas. That plan is a great one if they can pull it off in South Bend. The Nanooks should try to start fast again and get the first goal like they have 11 times this season. But if the Michigan series is any indication of moving forward, reversing the trend and holding the lead will be critical. And with John Keeney elevating his game as of late, I'm pretty impressed with just how his confidence has radiated to the rest of the players.

It's going to be a great series, as both teams play a fast-paced game. And I'm looking forward to every second of it. Go 'Nooks!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nooks Sweep Michigan, Win 4-1

A big sweep on the weekend by the Nanooks, the first over Michigan in program history. Coming into the weekend, Alaska had just 3 wins in Yost Ice Arena...ever. Add two to that number, and the 'Nooks improve back over .500 on the season. And at 22 points, the 'Nooks 3 points out of the top 4 in the conference.

In the first period, Alaska really dominated the play on both sides of the ice. The shots showed 10-5 after the first 20 minutes, but the 'Nooks nearly tripled Michigan in just shots attempted. Some wide, some blocked, but the important piece was that two of them ended up in the back of the net.

Cody Kunyk got the 'Nooks on the board first by patrolling the slot. And if you were watching that shift, you can see him cheating up that way throughout that power play opportunity. But in that particular moment, the Wolverines collapsed to the crease and left the lane open to Kunyk, who had no problem burying the puck low stick-side with Janecyk blinded by the bodies in front.

The Wolverines had a couple of power play opportunities in the first period, but the great special teams on the weekend held true, allowing just one shot on goal in four shorthanded minutes in the first period.  Their patience and poise down the rest of the period forced Jacob Trouba to take a tripping penalty late in the period, giving the Nanooks another power play chance to close out the first period, and squander it they did not. A power play goal coming from a point shot by Josh Atkinson, but again with Janecyk screened in front, Adam Henderson got his stick on it to tip it just enough to redirect it past the netminder. Not the cleanest deflection, but it certainly got the job done. Another factor of success of the first period was the success in the faceoff circle as well, winning 12 of 16. 

The second period was an absolute disaster. The Nanooks could not stay out of the penalty box. Some were good calls. Others left me scratching my head wonder what the hell Mark Wilkins was seeing out there. At 14:14, Adam Henderson was called for what Paula Weston referred to as "playing hockey". We agreed that the last few calls there in that period left something to be desired. But on that Adam Henderson penalty, Jacob Trouba the Team USA defensive star at the U20 World Juniors in Russia just 10 days ago, ripped a shot from the blue line and nailed the corner perfectly above Keeney's right shoulder.

Later on, Wilkins called Jarret Granberg for hooking a ghost. I rewound that play on TV a few times with the replay on Fox 7 looking for it, and Granny wasn't even near anybody. He might have intended to get Yaremchuk for hooking low behind the net, but Sergott was looking right at the play just a few feet away and didn't call it, but Wilkins called it from center ice? Really? They'll call that, but they won't call Guptill taking down Yaremchuk, or Merrill pulling Henderson and holding him down behind the net. 

But a cleaner 3rd period allowed the Nanooks to get back in the swing of things and play 5 on 5 hockey. And 9 minutes into the 3rd, Cody Kunyk wristed one of the prettiest slappers I've seen in a while. Michael Quinn created a turnover at the center red line. Coming in off the entry, both defenders cheated towards Quinn, so he slid it to Kunyk at the top of the left faceoff circle. With a little wind up, Kunyk let it fly and buried it high glove side, popped the water bottle and lit the lamp. 

Then just a couple of minutes later, Adam Henderson stabbed the dagger through the Wolverine's chest with a hard shot on the rush that Janecyk thought he smothered, but it just squeaks past him and inside the post to ice the game 4-1.

The guys will camp out in Grand Rapids for a few days and get some practices in before heading down to South Bend for the Notre Dame series next weekend. Both of those games will be broadcast live on Fox 7 here in Fairbanks. I presume the games will also be streamed online from Notre Dame, but the details aren't up just yet. Stay tuned this week for more on that series.

Go 'Nooks!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Starting 2013 Off Right - Nanooks Take Down Michigan 5-4

After posting the stats about the Nanooks with 2 goal leads from November, I'm glad the 'Nooks were able to power through tonight. Like most of you I'm sure, my heart started racing after Alex Guptill tied the game in the 2nd. But that 4th line tonight really got to it tonight and got some production. Great to see. Speaking of, congratulations are due to freshman forward Matt Friese who tallied his first career goal, and his first career assist as his first two career points go up against the Wolverines. That line accounted for 2 goals tonight at key points in the game and in my opinion was the difference maker tonight.

Special teams was also crucial in tonights win as the penalty kill was perfect, denying all 4 of Michigan's chances with the man advantage. And even tallying a shorthanded goal for good measure. I think we're really seeing the value of Tyler Morley come through if you haven't seen it already. What I see in Tyler is a hard worker that finishes every play. He skates hard until the whistle blows every time. Not just some of the time. And when Taranto got that shot on goal, Morley could have retreated. He could have made the change, gotten off the ice for some fresh legs to finish the PK. He could have played back and made the safe play to counter Michigan's next rush. But no, he pressured and got to the loose puck before anybody else could touch it and jammed it home. And that shorty turned into the game winner as Michigan was able to get one with the extra attacker.

Overall a good game for the Nanooks tonight. Perhaps a bit of a concern defensively, but a roller coaster of a game, you couldn't expect that Michigan wouldn't at least keep it close no matter how many goals were scored. But the Nanooks made the most of their opportunities tonight and held on for the win, which was the most important thing. Tomorrow will be the chance for the sweep, and to possibly move up to tie for 6th with Ferris State, who lost to OSU.

Also as if tonight couldn't get any better, Tyler Currier gave away a 3-2 lead over number one Minnesota in Mariucci Arena earlier tonight. With Minnesota player engaged along the boards, Currier came up and clocked a Minnesota player from behind and was tossed out of the game with about 4 minutes left. Giving Minnesota a 5 minute major power play. Minnesota didn't just tie it, they pulled ahead and won 4-3. I watched it. And I laughed for about 5 minutes afterwards.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back At It - Big Roadie, and a Good Cause

Before I jump into anything, I wanted to bring up a story that former Nanook and current Bakersfield Condors (ECHL) goaltender Scott Greenham has teamed up with League of Dreams as they pay a tribute to Olympic gold medalist wrestler Jake Varner. A Bakersfield native and 2-time NCAA wrestling champion, Jake went on to win Olympic gold last year in London. As a tribute, the Bakersfield Condors designed a new jersey modeled after Jake's Team USA singlet (muscle definition and all), and are auctioning them off to support League of Dreams, a charity dedicated to helping kids suffering with disabilities to be able to play competitive sports. The jersey is signed by both Greenham and Varner, and is up for bid on eBay, which is currently at $400 at the time of this writing. A pretty cool cause if you ask me. A little over 2 and a half days remain on the auction, so certainly not much time left.

OK on to Michigan, a team that seems to be riding the same roller coaster the Nanooks are. One of us is bound to get off the ride at some point and start winning some games.

But with the 5-1 beating that the Wolverines took at home against Bowling Green, it might not be their turn just yet. And Bowling Green was in complete control of that game. A few opportunities arose for the boys in the fugly helmets, but the Falcons had them dominated for 60 minutes this past Tuesday

Back on the 4th of January, Michigan dropped a 5-3 loss to the US U-18 team with Jared Rutledge in goal. Seems that they have mostly stuck with freshman Steve Racine in goal so far in 10 games this season, who has a 4-5-2 record with a 2.94 GAA and a .897 save percentage. Not quite John Keeney's numbers, but Racine has a better winning percentage. 

A lot of that has to do with issues on the other side of the ice, as the 'Nooks have been somewhat stuck offensively. But when you look at the last 7 games (0-5-2 in this period), of the 5 losses, 3 of them have been by one goal. In two of those 3 games, the 'Nooks jumped out to 2-0 leads in the first period and let it slip away; seemingly stepping off of the gas pedal. And that can't happen going forward. That 6-1 win against Western wasn't a joke, the Nanooks are capable of destroying teams when they bring their game. Unfortunately, that was the last night its been on the ice. If they can get that fire burning again, these next two weeks will get some hype going before that first home series of 2013 against Northern Michigan.

These next two weeks are not going to be easy either. Michigan might be running through the same slump the 'Nooks are, but there are really two opponents at hand; the Wolverine hockey team and that God-forsaken crowd. Yost is not an easy place to play. I've been in that arena, and its not friendly.

Some other good news, the 'Nooks are back with a complete roster. Freshman defenseman JD Peterson who has been out with injury since the Blue/Gold exhibition is healthy and back in the lineup. Also Richard Coyne, the freshman defenseman is also eligible to rejoin the team, and both travelled.

This series with Michigan will be interesting to say the least. Both teams have ridden the roller coaster of wins this year, and are currently tied with each other at 7th in the CCHA league standings with 16 points each, 5 points behind LSSU who sits in 6th. At this point, it doesn't look as if the game will be watchable at all. I'm seeing no video coverage on Michigan's site,, or any TV sources carrying the game which is rather disappointing. But Bruce Cech will be calling the games live this weekend on 820AM and online at, so be sure to tune in! I won't be able to make a game day post tomorrow, but catch my Twitter feed for updates!