By John Lachmann
WHO: Alaska Nanooks (12-8-4) at No. 3 Miami RedHawks (15-6-5).
WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Friday, 7:35 p.m. and Saturday, 7:05 p.m.
TV: Friday—Sports Time Ohio (DirecTV Ch. 662, Dish Network Ch. 5431) and Time Warner SportsChannel; Saturday—Time Warner SportsChannel.
MIAMI RADIO: Friday—None; Saturday—WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.
ALASKA RADIO: Both nights—KCBF-AM (820), Fairbanks, Alaska.
NOTES: Miami swept Alaska in Fairbanks earlier this season, but the Nanooks come to Oxford having won six straight games and riding a seven-game unbeaten streak.
After tying Bowling Green at home on Dec. 8, Alaska swept Michigan and Notre Dame on the road and took a pair from Northern Michigan at home last weekend.
The Nanooks are 8-3 in one-goal games, which is a scary stat for Miami, since the RedHawks have played many low-scoring games this season. Alaska is 6-2-2 on the road – an amazing mark considering the team’s ridiculous travel schedule.
The Nanooks’ current streak has not been the result of either a hot offense or goalie. They have won 5-4 twice, 2-1 twice, 4-2 and 4-1.
A pair of senior forwards lead Alaska in scoring. Jarret Granberg has five goals and a team-high 12 assists, and right wing Andy Taranto has scored seven goals and dished for nine assists.
Freshman Tyler Morley leads Alaska in goals with nine, and he has six helpers, and junior Cody Kunyk has scored seven times and picked up eight assists.
Junior left wing Colton Beck has chipped in with seven goals and five assists.
On defense, sophomore defenseman Trevor Campbell leads the Nanooks with 14 assists in addition to his lone goal for 15 points.
Alaska generates a significant portion of its offense from its blue liners, as junior Michael Quinn (2-10-12), freshman Josh Atkinson (2-9-11), St. Louis Blue draftee Colton Parayko (4-5-9) and senior Kaare Odegard (3-2-5) have all posted impressive points totals.
In net, freshman John Keeney has logged every minute of the Nanooks’ current unbeaten streak. After sophomore John Cahill lost vs. Bowling Green, Keeney tied the Falcons the following night and won Alaska’s next six games.
Keeney has stopped 168-of-184 shots during his 6-0-1 streak (.913), and unless he struggles on Friday he should start both nights vs. Miami.
RedHawks sophomore forward Austin Czarnik scored and earned four assists earlier this season when Miami swept Alaska in Fairbanks, sophomore forward Connor Murphy and senior forward Marc Hagel scored twice each and sophomore forward Jimmy Mullin tallied a goal and an assist in that series.
This Miami team’s blueline corps has not produced much offense, but freshman defenseman Matthew Caito has been the hottest RedHawks with six points in his last five games (2-4-6).
Freshman goalie Ryan McKay – who will almost certainly start on Saturday after freshman Jay Williams gets the nod between the pipes Friday – shut out the Nanooks on 26 shots earlier this season.