FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alaska Nanooks hockey team defeated the Ferris State in one of the most physical hockey games of the season. The 'Nooks claimed a 3-1 victory, a night after falling to the Bulldogs 2-3. This win puts the Nanooks back in the win column at home and on the season, improving to 8-8-0, 6-3-0-0 WCHA.
The Nanooks were able to strike first Saturday, Nov. 23, giving themselves an early lead. Max Newton, only 3:21 into the game, found the back of the net for the opening goal after Tyler Cline took the puck from Chris Jandric and threw it in front of the net. From there, Newton got enough on it to sneak it through the legs on Ferris State net-minder, Carter McPhail. This was the start the 'Nooks needed. After taking a 1-0 lead into the first intermission and into the start of the second period, the Nanooks felt they needed more.
Newton was that man. 7:07 into the second period, Newton took a pass from Garrett Pyke and lit the lamp for the second time on the night.
FSU worked their way back into the game. Almost 10 minutes after Newton's second goal, the Bulldogs found an answer on Alaska's goaltender, Gustavs Grigals. While shorthanded on an Alaska power play, Blake Evennou and Jake Willets found a streaking Nate Kallen on a breakaway. Kallen was able to put a shot past a screener in front of the net, right past Grigals' right shoulder. This drew the Bulldogs within one. That same score, 2-1, would remain through the second intermission.
Alaska felt they needed more to comfortably put this game away. While it took the whole third period, that one shot finally came. Tyler Cline, just moments after pinging the post, took a pass from Max Newton and Justin Young while on the power play, and found the back of the empty net. This gave the 'Nooks a 3-1 lead with just under 50 seconds to play, putting the game out of reach and giving Alaska a needed-victory.
Head coach Erik Largen felt his teams intensity picked up as the game went along, helping claim the victory, "It was a great team win tonight against a very good Ferris State team. We got better as the game went along and need to continue to build on this for our next opponent at home, Michigan Tech."
The Nanooks will be at home over the holidays, spending Black Friday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 30 on home-ice, taking on the Michigan Tech Huskies. These two teams met earlier in the season in Houghton, Mich. where the Nanooks swept MTU, claiming their first victory against the Huskies in the previous 16 attempts.