Alaska coach alternates his goalies each score vs. Huskies

Michael Rand

Had he gone into commercials instead of hockey, Alaska-Anchorage hockey coach Dean Talafous might have been typecast in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials.
The mid-1980s advertising campaign for the candy centered around characters who both loved chocolate and peanut butter. Hence, these people became overjoyed when they decided to combine the two.
In an unusual experiment this weekend, Talafous applied this principle to his goaltenders, Doug Teskey and Chris Davis. Obviously, he didn’t play both of them in the net at the same time — that’s against league rules.
But Talafous did the next best thing when he alternated his goalies after each score they allowed.
The plan almost worked. Alaska-Anchorage dropped a pair of road games to Minnesota-Duluth, but both games were one-goal affairs. The goalies combined to save 61 of 68 shots (90 percent) in the 4-3, 3-2 losses.
Look out above
Denver may still be in seventh place in the WCHA after splitting with the Gophers this weekend, but a favorable schedule over the next three weeks could change that.
The Pioneers face Michigan Tech, Alaska-Anchorage and Northern Michigan — the only three league teams that don’t have winning records — in consecutive weekends. Two of those series are in Denver.
The Pioneers trail WCHA co-leaders North Dakota and Colorado College by six points, but it isn’t unreasonable to think that they will go at least 4-2 during their run against the bottom feeders to get right back into the race.
Pioneers goalie Jim Mullin said the team is trying not to look ahead at its schedule, but he added that players and coaches are aware of the opportunity to gain ground in the league.
“We have to take advantage of the games coming up,” Mullin said.
Look out above, II
Before Denver or the rest of the league gets too comfortable playing Northern Michigan, it would be advised to consider the Wildcats’ status as giant-killers this season.
After posting impressive early season home wins against Minnesota, Denver and Colorado College, Northern Michigan won at Wisconsin this weekend, 4-1.
The win against the Badgers was the Wildcats’ fifth in the league this season, matching their total from last year.
Players of the week
The WCHA recognized a pair of North Dakota players this week, as forward Jay Panzer took offensive honors and Curtis Murphy won for defense. Panzer had five points and Murphy had four in a split at St. Cloud State.
Northern Michigan center Bud Smith won rookie of the week honors after scoring two goals in the Wildcats’ 4-1 win over Wisconsin.
Backchecks
ù Michigan Tech has scored three or fewer goals in 20 of its 23 games this season.
ù The Gophers are 8-0 in games when freshman Nate Miller (five goals, five assists) records a point.
ù If a current trend continues, North Dakota will defeat Wisconsin in its Saturday game this weekend. The Sioux are 9-1-1 on Saturday’s, while the Badgers are just 2-6-1 in the second game of a series.