FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Despite outshooting their opponent 45-20, the Alaska Nanooks hockey team suffered a 3-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association loss on Friday night to the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers at the Carlson Center. The loss drops Alaska's overall record to 1-8-2 and 1-3-1-1 in league play, while the Chargers earn their first win of the season on Friday, improving their overall record to 1-10-0 and 1-4-0-0 in conference contests.
"I liked how we were playing in the first period despite going down 1-0, but we responded well," head coach Erik Largen said on Friday. "We got into some penalty trouble in the second period and getting down early in the third wasn't ideal either. Give some credit to their goalie, he had a really strong game and stopped everything we threw at him. We're going to have to find a way to dig deeper tomorrow with three big conference points on the line."
Alabama-Huntsville's Jack Jeffers scored on the Chargers' first shot on net on Friday night, taking a 1-0 lead over the Nanooks at the 4:35 mark of the first period. UAH's Christian Rajic pulled the puck out of a battle below the Alaska goal line, giving a tape-to-tape pass to Jeffers, who was passing through the slot.
The Nanooks tied the game at 1-1 thanks to a goal by junior forward Kylar Hope, scoring his third goal of the season at the 14:42 point of the first period. A long shot at the blue line from junior defenseman Tristan Thompson redirected off Hope, who was screening in the slot. Senior defenseman Nikolas Koberstein was awarded the secondary assist on Hope's even-strength tally.
Unfortunately for the Nooks, Hope's goal would be the only for Alaska on the night, as UAH's Bauer Neudecker scored the game-winning goal at the 11:23 mark to make it a 2-1 game.
Following the second intermission, the Chargers struck once more with an insurance goal to make it 3-1 only 1:25 into the third stanza. UAH's third goal was scored by Madison Dunn, assisted by Austin Beaulieu.
Alaska junior goaltender Anton Martinsson collected 17 saves on the night, including 11 in the second period. On the other end of the ice, UAH's sophomore goaltender Mark Sinclair stopped 44 shots against the Nanooks to help his team to their first win of the 2018-19 season.
Alaska was 0-for-5 on the power play, while Alabama-Huntsville went 0-for-3 on the man-advantage.
The Alaska Nanooks will face-off against the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in another WCHA match-up at the Carlson Center tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 17). Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:07pm AKST.
The Alaska Nanooks Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be hosting their annual Canned Food Drive again tomorrow at Saturday's hockey game versus Alabama-Huntsville. The Alaska Nanooks SAAC is asking patrons of Saturday's hockey game to bring canned or non-perishable food items to be donated to the Fairbanks Food Bank prior to Thanksgiving. Boxes for drop-off will be placed at every entrance to the Carlson Center.