|1st||4:31||AKF||1-0||EV GW||John Mullally (4)||Zach Frye/12, Tayler Munson/4|
|1st||12:35||AKF||2-0||EV||Chad Staley (7)||Tyler Cline/8, Tayler Munson/5|
|3rd||0:29||AKF||3-0||EV||Nikolas Koberstein (2)||Chad Staley/10, Tyler Cline/9|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Alabama Huntsville (7-19-3)||0/4||5/10||0|
|Alabama Huntsville Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Jordan Uhelski (L, 5-7-3)||59:49||3||12||13||6||31|
|Davis Jones (W, 4-6-2)||60:00||0||7||6||18||31|
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Senior goaltender Davis Jones collected the Alaska Nanooks hockey team's first shutout of the season to backstop the Nooks to a 3-0 victory over the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association contest at the Carlson Center on Friday night. Jones collected 31 saves, including 18 in the third period alone, to give Alaska a victory at home after playing on the road for the entire month of January. The shutout is Jones' fifth of his career.
The win improves the Nanooks to 9-15-3 overall and 8-10-3-3 in conference play, while the Chargers fall to 7-19-3 overall and 7-13-3-0 in WCHA games. Friday's victory also gives Alaska three big conference points on the season, moving them into sole possession of fifth place in the league standings with 30 points.
"I think the guys played really well tonight, right from the opening puck-drop," assistant coach Erik Largen said in the post-game press conference. "One of our key items tonight was to make sure we had a fast start against Alabama-Huntsville and the guys came out and played really well. I think it was probably one of our most consistent efforts of the season and I think it really showed in our total style of game play tonight."
Jones wasn't the only highlight for Alaska, as a trio of Nooks posted multi-point nights, including sophomore forward Chad Staley (one goal, one assist), junior forward Tayler Munson (two assists) and freshman forward Tyler Cline (two assists).
The Nooks struck first on Friday, as sophomore forward John Mullally scored an even-strength goal at the 4:31 mark of the first period to give Alaska a 1-0 lead. In the offensive zone, Munson dished a pass to junior defenseman Zach Frye at the blue line, who then ripped a shot on UAH netminder Jordan Uhelski. Uhelski initially made the save on Frye's shot but Mullally was there to clean up the rebound backdoor.
Staley scored his seventh goal of the season eight minutes later (12:35) to put the Nooks up 2-0 before the first 20 minutes of play had expired. Munson had the puck deep in the offensive zone corner before kicking it up to Cline on the half-wall. Cline escaped two Charger defenders before making a tape-to-tape pass to Staley, who was floating in the slot. Staley caught the UAH defenseman out of position and attacked the net alone before making a nifty move past Uhelski to extend the Alaska lead.
After a scoreless second period, Alaska continued to carry the momentum into the final period of play as sophomore defenseman Nikolas Koberstein scored 29 seconds into the third to make it 3-0. Cline received a breakout pass and skated the puck out of the Alaska zone before kicking the it up to Staley, who entered the UAH zone wide. Munson proceeded to crash the net, forcing the UAH defender to skate with him, leaving Koberstein alone in the slot. The Barrhead, Alberta native received a pass from Staley through the Charger zone before sniping top-shelf on a wrist shot for his second goal of the season.
In total, Alaska outshot their counterpart 34-31 with Uhelski registering a game-high 31 saves. Alaska managed to kill off two five-minute majors throughout the game, keeping Alabama-Huntsville to 0-4 on power play opportunities. Conversely, UAH's power play also proved to be efficient on Friday, as the Nooks also went 0-4 on the man-advantage.
"I think UAH is going to come out hard tomorrow and we need to make sure we're playing on our toes and we're ready to combat what they come out with," Largen concluded. "For us, it's just one game at a time. We're not going to be able to get home-ice advantage without winning tomorrow night and we have to make sure we're taking care of business and have another focused effort."
The Alaska Nanooks hockey team will face the UAH Chargers again tomorrow, Feb. 4 in another WCHA matchup at the Carlson Center. Puck-drop is slated for 7:07pm AKST and there will be a Skate with the Nanooks event directly following the game.