UAF wins Brice Alaska Goal Rush Tournament
By Rebecca Coleman
Sun Star Reporter
The Brice Alaska Goal Rush Tournament Oct. 15-16 was a great weekend for Nanook hockey. It started with a 2-1 win over the Union Dutchmen on Friday, followed by a 2-1 win over the Colorado College Tigers on Saturday, and was polished off with the championship gold pan following Saturday’s win.
“After a hard fought two games, it was nice to see it pay off,” said defenseman Justin Daigle.
Goalie Scott Greenham was the tournament’s MVP, and forward Kevin Petovello and defenseman Joe Sova made the all-tournament team. Throughout the weekend, Greenham made a total of 44 saves. Petovello scored the game-winning goal on Friday’s game against the Dutchmen. Sova assisted both goals in Friday’s game.
Some of the highlights of Friday’s game were Andy Taranto’s goal that would bring the game to a tie, as well as Petovello’s tie-breaking goal at the end of the game. For UAF, there were a total of four penalties for eight minutes. The Nanooks outshot the Dutchmen 25-23.
About his goal, “I felt relieved,” Taranto said. “I didn’t play very well in Anchorage [last weekend] and I wanted to just come out here this weekend relaxed, and I think that really helped.” However, it wasn’t his goal that was the highlight of the game for him; it was Petovello’s. “It gave us a lot of confidence heading into Saturday’s game against Colorado,” he said.
Saturday’s game started out with a goal from Jarret Granberg after a failed glove save by the Tiger’s goalie early in the first period. Carlo Finucci scored the game-winning goal in the middle of the second period. The Tigers outshot the Nanooks 23-19, but the Nanooks had quality over quantity to take the win.
This was the second year in a row that the Nanook’s have won the Brice Alaska Goal Rush Tournament.
“It’s an honor and a thrill to win as the host team,” Daigle said. “It was a good test for our team as both teams we faced are also ranked nationally.”
“It’s always a great feeling coming out on top in your home tournament,” Taranto said. “I think it helps us carry a lot of momentum into this weekend’s first official CCHA conference games.”
This set of wins bumped up the Nanooks in the NCAA rankings to no. 9, from their previous rank at no. 14. However, this is not a fact the players dwell on. “It’s nice to get that kind of recognition, but at the same time, it’s not something we focus too heavily on,” Daigle said. “We just want to make sure that we continue to get better.”