|1st||6:31||MNS||1-0||EV||Sean Flanagan (1)||Zeb Knutson/4, Michael Huntebrinker/5|
|2nd||0:28||AKF||1-1||PP||Chad Staley (2)||Ross Heidt/1, Danny Kiraly/2|
|2nd||2:01||AKF||2-1||EV||Ross Heidt (1)||Marcus Basara/2, Danny Kiraly/3|
|2nd||9:06||AKF||3-1||PP GW||Colton Leiter (1)||Danny Kiraly/4, Brandon Morley/4|
|2nd||14:32||MNS||2-3||EV||Ian Scheid (2)||Jordan Nelson/4, Nicholas Rivera/3|
|3rd||19:18||AKF||4-2||EV EN||Josh Erickson (1)||Brandon Morley/5|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Minnesota State (5-1-0)||0/6||6/23||0|
|Minnesota State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Jason Pawloski (L, 0-1-0)||29:06||3||5||5||0||10|
|Jesse Jenks (W, 1-2-0)||59:56||2||9||5||11||25|
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - After a 7-1 loss on Friday night, the Alaska Nanooks hockey team came into Saturday's Western Collegiate Hockey Association game with a vengeance, handing the No. 9th-ranked Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks their first loss of the season with a 4-2 win at the Patty Ice Arena. The Nooks earn three WCHA points for the win, improving their record to 2-3-0 overall, 1-1-0 WCHA, while the Mavericks drop to 5-1-0 overall, 3-1-0 WCHA.
"I think after last night's effort we weren't happy and a little embarrassed, but I think the guys did a good job of staying with it. We were without Munson and Vieth tonight, who are big parts of our forward lineup but everyone chipped in and showed a little desperation and character killing off those penalties late in the game and blocking shots," head coach Dallas Ferguson said after Saturday's win. "Jesse kept us in the game with some big saves at the end but it was a great team effort, we're definitely happy with the outcome."
Alaska's rookies stepped up in Saturday's win, as five of the Nanooks' freshmen contributed at least one point. Freshman forward Ross Heidt produced two points on the night, recording his first collegiate goal and one assist, while fellow-freshman forward Colton Leiter also notched his first collegiate goal. Freshmen forwards Troy Van Tetering and Tyler Cline, as well as freshman defenseman Danny Kiraly each chipped in an assist on Saturday.
Minnesota was quick to get on the board when Sean Flanagan scored at the 6:31 mark of the first period to give the Mavericks the early lead.
Sophomore forward Chad Staley evened the game up 1-1 only 28 seconds into the second period with a power play tally, marking Staley's second goal of the season. Cline cycled the puck down low to Heidt, who walked along the goal line to put the puck on net, when Staley picked up Heidt's rebound. Less than two minutes later, Heidt picked up a loose puck in the crease to give Alaska their first lead of the weekend at the 2:01 mark. Van Tetering and senior forward Marcus Basara were awarded the assists.
Five minutes into the second period, Mankato took a five-minute major and a game misconduct, putting the Nanooks on a five-minute power play. The Nooks capitalized on the man-advantage when Leiter tipped-in Kiraly's shot from the point on the power play. Leiter's game-winning goal was assisted by Kiraly and senior forward Brandon Morley.
Mankato pulled to within one goal at the 14:32 mark, when MSU's Ian Schied scored on a two-on-one odd-man rush. Minnesota State's Jordan Nelson was given the assist.
Alaska killed off three Mankato power plays in the third period to keep their lead, before senior forward Josh Erickson scored an empty-netter to seal the Nooks' 4-2 victory. Erickson's goal marked Morley's second assist of the night.
"I thought the Heidt-Leiter-Cline line was flying tonight. Unfortunately, Ross left the game in the second period but I thought it was one of his best games since he's been here," Ferguson said of his rookies. "They all have got good legs and tenaciousness when they have the puck, maybe last night they got a lesson on how to play when they don't have the puck, but they are still learning their way and had a good response from last night."
Alaska was outshot 27-22 throughout the game, but outshot the Mavericks 12-6 in the second period. Mankato's Jason Pawloski made 0 saves through the second period, before Cole Huggins relieved him and recorded eight saves. Sophomore goaltender Jesse Jenks backstopped the Nanooks' victory, making 25 saves on the night, including 11 in the third period.
"Every conference win on a weekend is crucial, especially in the hunt for playoffs and home ice advantages later on in the season," Ferguson concluded. "That's a very good hockey team over there so I'm proud of the team effort tonight."
The Alaska Hockey team heads to Lake Superior State University next weekend for their first conference road trip of the season. The Nooks play Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29 at 3:07pm AKT for the two-game series.