FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Sophomore forward Steven Jandric's one-timer goal with 1:18 remaining in regulation lifted the Alaska Nanooks hockey team to a 2-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory over the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers at the Carlson Center on Saturday night. Alaska improves to 2-8-2 overall on the season and 2-3-1-1 in WCHA play, while the Chargers drop to 1-11-0 overall and 1-5-0-0 in conference contests.
Saturday's victory marks a weekend split for the Chargers and the Nanooks, as both teams walk away from the weekend garnering three WCHA points. At the time of article, Alaska sits in seventh place in the league standings with eight points.
"We had a great effort tonight as a group," head coach Erik Largen said on Saturday. "We were able to overcome some adversity and find a way to get three important points. We need to have a great week of practice to prepare for a really good Michigan Tech team."
Junior defenseman Tristan Thompson opened up the scoring on Saturday night, netting his first goal of the season at the 11:05 mark of the first period. Thompson received a pass in the Nanook defensive zone on a regroup before taking it himself through the neutral zone and into the Chargers zone. Thompson walked into the high slot and let loose a wristshot that beat UAH goaltender Jake Theut high-glove to give the Nanooks a 1-0 lead. Thompson's eighth goal of his career was assisted by Jandric.
The Nanooks found themselves in a bit of penalty trouble late in the first, as the Chargers tied the game at 1-1 with a power play goal from Connor James at the 16:27 mark. James netted his second goal of the season on the 5-on-3 power play with assists awarded to Madison Dunn and John Teets.
After a scoreless second period and most of the third, it looked as though the Nooks and the Chargers were headed to overtime. With just over a minute left in regulation, Jandric received a pass from senior forward Chad Stale at the top of the circle, before rifling off a one-timer that beat Theut to earn the game-winning goal.
UAH's Theut registered 43 saves on the night, while Alaska's freshman goaltender Gustavs Grigals collected 30 saves.
The Alaska Nanooks hockey team hits the road next week, taking on the Michigan Tech Huskies in a two-game WCHA series in Houghton, Michigan on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24. Puck-drop both days will be at 3:07pm AKST.