FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Sophomore forward Steven Jandric scored 21 seconds into overtime to propel the Alaska Nanooks hockey team past the Ferris State Bulldogs 4-3 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association contest at the Carlson Center. The victory marks Alaska's first Friday night win of the 2018-19 season, improving their overall record to 3-10-2 and 3-5-1-1 in WCHA play, while the Bulldogs drop to 4-9-0 on the season and 2-5-0-0 in league matchups.
Friday's win over Ferris State gives the Nanooks three WCHA points, tying them for sixth place in the conference rankings with Bowling Green, each with 11 points. Ferris State sits in eighth place with six points through seven conference games.
"I really liked our resiliency tonight," head coach Erik Largen said on Friday. "Each time Ferris State responded with a goal, our group did a good job of coming together and responding with the next big play. This was a good win for us but we know we need to be even better tomorrow night with how good of a team Ferris State is."
After a scoreless first period, the Nanooks struck first in Friday's game, as sophomore forward Max Newton gave the home team a 1-0 lead at the 2:10 mark of the second period. Junior forward Kyle Marino received a pass from junior defenseman James LaDouce along the half-wall in the Ferris State zone before Marino fired a shot on goal from the top of the circle. FSU's netminder Roni Salmenkangas was able to make the initial save on Marino's shot but Newton was there to bat in the rebound for his second goal of the season.
Ferris State tied the game at the 4:53 mark of the second, as Coale Norris got a second swing on an Alaska rebound before bouncing in past the Nanooks' rookie goaltender Gustavs Grigals.
Not even a minute later, Alaska junior defenseman Tristan Thompson scored an even-strength tally at the 5:50 mark to give the Nooks a 2-1 lead. Thompson scored on a one-timer from the high slot after receiving a pass along the half-wall from senior defenseman Nikolas Koberstein. Thompson's second goal of the season puts him on a two-game goal streak, while Koberstein earns his fourth assist of the season. Junior forward Colton Leiter was awarded the secondary assist for his fifth of the year.
Ferris State took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play at the 16:28 mark of the second period, as FSU's Nate Kallen fired a one-timer along the flank of the power play to pull the Bulldogs back in the game. Kallen's goal was assisted by Zach Cooper and Norris.
Following second intermission, Newton netted his second goal of the game to make it 3-2 at the 4:11 mark of the third period. After receiving a pass along the blueline from Koberstein, Thompson's shot on net was deflected by Newton, who was screening in front. The goal marks Newton's third of the season and also marks the first multi-goal game of his career for the Vancouver, British Columbia native. Furthermore, Newton's two-point game is his first since Nov. 18, 2017 versus Northern Michigan. Newton's second goal also gave Thompson (one goal, one assist) and Koberstein (two assists) multi-point nights.
The Bulldogs responded late, as FSU's Cooper Zech catches Grigals off his angle to tie the game at 3-3 at the 15:1 mark of the third period. Zech's goal was assisted by Oskar Andren.
At the end of regulation, both teams found themselves at a 3-3 stalemate, forcing overtime for the third time this season for the Nanooks.
After breaking up a 2-on-1 rush by the Bulldogs, Koberstein deflected the puck up-ice to junior forward Kylar Hope in the neutral zone. Hope made a diving play to pass the puck to S. Jandric, who was full-steam ahead entering the FSU zone. S. Jandric beat his defender in a one-on-one footrace before driving to the net and scoring one-handed to give the Nanooks the 4-3 victory.
Of S. Jandric's four goals this season, two are game-winners with both coming at the Carlson Center. The Prince George, British Columbia native is currently riding a two-game point streak and has collected eight points in Alaska's last seven contests.
Additionally, Alaska is now 2-0-1 in overtime and 1-0-1-1 in WCHA games that have gone past 60 minutes.
In net, Grigals collected 23 saves against the Bulldogs, including 10 in the first period. On the other end of the ice, Salmenkangas registered 22 saves against the Nanooks. Shots were tied at 26 apiece.
The Alaska Nanooks hockey team returns to the Carlson Center tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 1), to face the Ferris State Bulldogs in another WCHA matchup beginning at 7:07pm AKST.