Nanook hockey whitewashes Ohio State
By Rebecca Coleman
Sun Star Reporter
Jan. 28 and 29 gave the Nanooks hockey team a series sweep over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Friday’s game was a record-setting night for goalie Scott Greenham.
Friday was a tough night for both the Nanooks and the Buckeyes. Neither team was very sharp, and for 60 long minutes, no one could figure out the other team’s goalie. With the score tied at 0-0, the game went into overtime. After 11 seconds, the Buckeyes got a 2-minute penalty for hooking. The Nanooks took advantage of their 5-on-4 power play and within seconds, sophomore Jarret Granberg had a clear shot at the Buckeyes’ net. He fired the puck and it sailed past Ohio State goalie, Cal Heeter, skimming sophomore Andy Taranto’s jersey on its way through the posts.
This 1-0 win gave Greenham his eighth career shutout, breaking the previous school record of seven, which he shared with Chad Johnson and Wylie Rogers.
“To have a record like the shutout record, or any school record for that matter, is always a great accomplishment, but not one that I specifically strive to get,” Greenham said. “I am very proud of what I have accomplished, but feel as though it is something that future Nanook goalies can try to beat.”
On Saturday, the Nanooks came out on the ice fired up and ready for action. Alaska wasted no time besting Heeter, and Granberg scored the first goal of the night 82 seconds after the initial puck drop. Ohio State answered back with a goal of their own 12 minutes later, but freshman Cody Kunyk utilized a power play and gave the Nanooks a 2-1 lead before the end of the first period.
Alaska dominated the second period. Captain senior Kevin Petovello received a pass from junior Joe Sova and scored early in the period. After a chaotic series of penalties for both teams, Kunyk passed the puck to sophomore Nik Yaremchuk, who tipped it into the goal. Less than two minutes later, sophomore Cody Butcher fired a long shot past Heeter, giving him his first goal of the season. After Butcher’s goal, the Buckeye’s replaced Heeter with Jeff Michael, giving Michael his first minutes of action this season.
In the third period, Kunyk scored his second goal of the night with an assist from Yaremchuk. Ohio State came up with another goal, but the Buckeyes couldn’t rival the Nanooks, and Alaska skated away with a 6-2 victory.
Kunyk is Alaska’s leading scorer with nine goals and 11 assists. “It’s a good feeling, but I don’t really worry about it,” Kuynk said.
However, “when Kunyk gets hot, we’re a tough team to stop,” Greenham said.
This weekend’s sweep brought Alaska to the fifth-spot rank in the CCHA. “We’ve shown we’re a team to contend with,” said junior Aaron Gens.
The Nanooks will go up against Ferris State Feb. 4 and 5 at the Carlson Center.
Since both Alaska and Ferris State have some of the top goalies in the country, “it’s going to be a great goaltender battle,” said Assistant Coach Lance West.