Walker’s two-point night lifts St. Cloud as No. 1 and No. 2 clash
After a season in which he helped propel St. Cloud State to the national championship game, Anchorage’s Nolan Walker is off to strong start to his senior season with the Huskies.
Walker delivered a goal and assist Saturday, when No. 2-ranked St. Cloud State won 3-1 at top-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato.
The center’s two-point night gives him 2-1—3 totals in four games this season. Last season, he tied for the team lead in scoring with 10-14—24 totals in 31 games and furnished a four-goal, five-point outburst against Miami.
Walker’s first-period goal Saturday came courtesy of following a long-held hockey tenet – get the puck to the net – and adding a dollop of puck luck – his centering pass ricocheted off a defenseman and into the net. Walker already has generated 12 shots on goal this season, nearly half the number he racked all of last season when he scored those 10 goals on just 30 shots for a ridiculous .333 shooting percentage.
After Mankato goaltender Dryden McKay stopped 20 shots Friday for a 1-0 victory over St. Cloud State that marked his NCAA record-tying 26th career shutout – nope, not a typo – Walker told therinklive.com the Huskies needed to bear down to beat the Huskies’ masked man.
“(McKay’s) a great goalie,” Walker said. “(Friday), he stood on his head. We talked before the weekend that we have to get in front of him and take away his eyes. If he sees it, he’s going to stop it.”
Freshman forward Zach Krajnik of Eagle River played for Mankato on Saturday and has appeared in two games this season. The Mavericks also feature freshman forward Tanner Edwards of Anchorage, who has yet to make his debut.
-By Doyle Woody, Alaska Sports Blog Contributor