Friday, December 5, 2014

Gut Check Weekend For the Nanooks in Mankato

It's no doubt that the Nanooks, at 7-7-0, have had their struggles. They looked unbeatable Friday against a strong Northern Michigan team, then left a lot on the table Saturday. Almost identical to the Lake Superior State series on the road the week before. Drop the hammer Friday, then falter on Saturday.

This Nanooks team is much better than they are performing. There is effort in reserve somewhere. And if there is anytime to see a 100% weekend series effort, its this one. Well, its every weekend, but under the circumstances...

The Nanooks hit the road to Mankato, Minnesota to take on who a lot of folks consider the #1 team in the country, in their barn. For emphasis, their only loss at home came to UMD back in mid-October. And they only have 3 losses on the season in total. They've won six in a row and nine of the last ten. The defending WCHA champions have 7 players with 11+ points, and a goaltender from Fairbanks, who is tops in the country in winning percentage among goaltenders (11-1-0, .917).

They're no joke.

For the Nanooks offensively, they've shown that they can score goals. Especially lately. But they need to come together and play some defense. Goaltending has shown some promise, but they have been left out to dry in some cases. But every goaltender plays a bit differently, and the defensemen need to play off of whoever that guy is and make sure that he can read the play. But there hasn't been any consistency in net at all this season, every guy has taken reps thus far. Hard to say for me who's one, two, or three but the team defensively is going to struggle until they can gel with the playing style of whoever is between the pipes.

On another note, Nolan Youngmun has made the trip with the team and is expected to play. This will be his first action since being injured in practice prior to the Bemidji State series. Nolan is a force to be reckoned with on the ice and having his presence should be a big boost for the team.

Both games this weekend will be on Fox 7 in Fairbanks tape delayed. 8:30PM Friday, 7:30PM Saturday.

Go 'Nooks!

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