1) The Alaska Nanooks come into Yost this weekend 10-8-4 (7-7-4-2 in the CCHA) on the season. They're 4-4-2 on the road, and are coming off a split at CCHA-leader Notre Dame last weekend. They lost 2-1 on Friday night before winning the second game by a 4-1 score.
2) As you can probably expect with Alaska, they don't score a ton of goals and they don't give up a ton of goals. They've given up more than 3 goals on the season just four times this season. They've scored more than three just six times. Three of those have come in the last seven contests, however.
3) For the season, they ranked 50th in offense (2.32 goals per game) and they're 5th in the country in defense (2.14 goals per game allowed). Scott Greenham ranks 8th in the country in goals against (1.97) and 10th in save percentage (.926). Greenham has played every second this season for the Nanooks.
4) The Nanooks have four players tied for the team lead in goals with 6 (Cody Kunyk, Kevin Petovello, Nik Yaremchuk, and Carlo Finucci). Kunyk leads the team in points with 16. They've also gotten 16 points from Joe Sova back on the blueline (3-13--16). All three of Sova's goals have come on the power play.
5) Their power play is 38th in the country at 15.8%, but it generates almost a third of their offense. Michigan's power play is closer to a quarter of our offense. The PK is 84%, which is 18th.
6) Last weekend, Michigan faced one of the top goaltenders in the country and yet, despite Pat Nagle's fantastic numbers, we've always had great success against him. Things have been a little more hit or miss against Greenham. He's played against the Wolverines on 5 occasions. He's blanked Michigan twice, and in the other three games he's given up 3 (on 11 shots before being yanked), 3, and 4 goals. Those are, however, the only two times in history that Michigan has been shut out by Alaska.
7) Despite the fact that Alaska traditionally is pretty good defensively, the games between these two schools aren't usually close. I don't mean that in a negative way toward Alaska, because Michigan is just 4-3-1 in the last eight. But going all the way back to our 4-0 win on 11/3/01, just two contests have been decided by 1 or fewer goals. There have been just 5 one-goal games in the 49 game history of the series. In fact, Alaska's shootout win last season was the first time in history these teams had even gone to overtime.
8) Michigan leads the all-time series 39-9-1. We're 20-3-1 at Yost against Alaska.
9) Louie Caporusso has 4-5--9 in 10 games against the Nanooks. Carl Hagelin hasn't scored, but has 6 assists. Chris Brown has 6 points in just five games. Shawn Hunwick has never faced Alaska.
10) Alaska currently sits in a tie for 18th place in the PWR rankings. They're in a tight battle in the CCHA. They currently sit two points out of a bye in the first round, and yet they've only got home ice in the first round by 8 points over an LSSU team that has two games in hand. In terms of winning percentage, they're in a four-way tie for 5th. These are as big of points for them as they are for us.
Friday night's game will air on FSN Plus. Saturday's game will be online at bigtennetwork.com.
In addition to picking up a commitment from Travis Lynch today, there were a few other things of note for Michigan fans:
-The Regents approved $20 million for new HD scoreboards for Michigan Stadium, Crisler Arena, and Yost. The goal is to have them in place by next season. So enjoy the days of "GO! FIGHT! WIN!" while you can, because soon we'll actually have, you know, replays.
-Chris Summers played in his first NHL game tonight, and Chad Kolarik picked up his first career NHL point.