UAF hockey splits with Michigan; Greenham ties shut-out record
By Rebecca Coleman
Sun Star Reporter
UAF hockey fought hard against the Michigan Wolverines on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6. The Nanooks and the Wolverines split the series last year when they faced each other, and this weekend was no different. Friday’s game resulted with a 3-0 victory for the Nanooks, and Saturday’s game ended with a 5-2 loss.
Even though three Nanooks scored goals – freshman Cody Kunyk, junior Carlo Finucci and junior Joe Sova – the game could not have been won without the impeccable goaltending of junior Scott Greenham.
Late in the second period, sophomore Jarret Granberg got a two-minute penalty for tripping. Seconds later, junior Scott Enders picked up a two-minute penalty for cross checking, giving Michigan a 5-on-3 advantage for a minute and 49 seconds. Greenham blocked or deflected every shot that came his way with help from his teammates, who blocked the puck with their bodies and sacrificial dives.
“Everybody on the team had one or two blocks [throughout the game],” Greenham said. “It makes my job a lot easier.” Seeing his teammates play as strong of defense as they did during their 5-on-3 penalty kill “gets me going,” he said. “They don’t have as much padding as I do, so it hurts them a lot more than me. It encourages me to play the best I can and get whatever they miss.”
Friday’s shut-out was the second Greenham has had against the Wolverines. This win allowed him to tie the career shut-out record of seven shut-outs that is currently shared by former Nanooks Chad Johnson and Wylie Rogers.
“It’s an honor to be in the same breath as those two guys,” Greenham said. “They were great goalies when they were here…It’s just great to be in the same category.”
“Michigan’s always been strong,” said Dallas Ferguson, head coach. “You can’t beat quality teams with only half of your guys playing their best.”
Michigan started strong, scoring the first goal of the game less than two minutes into the first period.
“We were sitting back too much,” said senior Derek Klassen, assistant captain. “We let them have too much fun.”
Sova tied up the game with a slap shot, but shortly after, the Wolverines scored again, regaining the lead. Granberg was given a two-minute penalty for interference, but sophomores Nik Yaremchuk and Andy Taranto didn’t let that get in their way of taking on the Michigan defense. After a quick pass from Yaremchuk, Taranto had a clear shot on the net and scored short-handed to tie up the game 2-2 heading into the third period.
The Wolverines scored early in the third period, and acquired two more before the end of the game, one of which was on an empty Nanook net. Fans railed against many of the referee calls. The crowd shouted “It’s not your fault! We got screwed!” at the Nanook players, with others directing their fury at the referees, “How does it feel to be Michigan’s bitch?”
“It’s just one of the things you have to deal with,” Ferguson said of the referee’s calls. “Things happen. I’ve never seen them change a call, so you just have to deal with it and move forward. We don’t dwell on things too much and just need to focus on getting better.”
“It’s not easy,” said senior Kevin Petovello, captain. “You just give and take a bit.”
Next weekend, the Nanooks will play Miami on the road. “It’s a good challenge for us,” Ferguson said. “It’ll take a team effort.”