Nanooks prepare for long road slate

FAIRBANKS- The Nanook hockey team got a quick practice in on Monday before heading out to start what will be along road schedule. Eight of their next 10 games are on the road. The first two are at no. 14 Lake Superior State this weekend.

The Lakers are 5-0-1 against UAF at home in the last six games. Lake State is led by freshman Alex Globke's 8 points and Kevin Kapalka's 94 percent save percentage which is fourth in division one hockey.

The Lakers also have former Ice Dogs Pete Spratte, Garrett Clement and Jayson Angus who all have a point this season.

The Nanooks could use this opportunity to get take the momentum from Friday to Saturday. This season the Nooks are 4-0-0 on Fridays and 0-2-2 on Saturday nights.

One thing they'll have on their side is the play of their defense which was highlighted by the return of Justin Woods who played against Northern after missing the Mercyhurst series due to an injury.

He says this team can win on Friday and Saturday by keeping things basic.

"Just keep it simple," Woods said. "We're on the road, we can't do anything fancy, like, just work hard and block shots and do what we need to do to win."
 
"If you're blocking shots, it's just a mindset that we have.  Everybody has got to go out there and get in lanes," sophomore defenseman Josh Atkinson said. "Do whatever it takes in the D-zone first, and then from our D-zone comes our offense.  So everyone is starting to commit.  We've got five guys everywhere we need them and it's working out well."
 
Head coach Dallas Ferguson sees this new WCHA as being competitive early and early wins could pay dividends late in the year.

"To me, we've got to find a way to get points this weekend.  I mean, last couple of years we've had some opportunities to get some points out of there and never came away with any, so I think that's the way you can see this league right now.  It's tight early and you gotta find a way to get points every weekend to stay in the mix," Ferguson said.