FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alaska Nanooks hockey team defeated the Michigan Tech Huskies for the third time this season, extending its win-streak to three games. The 'Nooks grabbed three third-period goals to knock off the Huskies 4-3, improving to 9-8-0, 7-4-0-0 WCHA.
After a scoreless first period that ended with Tech leading in shots on goal, 5-7, the Huskies netted the first goals of the night only 1:05 when Trenton Bliss intercepted a pass and put the puck past Alaska net-minder, Gustavs Grigals.
This first goal gave Michigan Tech the early lead. They were not done there. Chris Lipe of MTU, only 28 seconds later added a second goal for Tech. After taking a pass from Greyson Reitmeie and Parker Saretsky, Lipe extended the Huskies lead to 0-2.
7:44 into the second period, the Alaska squad went onto the power-play following an MTU holding penalty, and capitalized behind Didrik Henbrant's first collegiate goal. Henbrant took the pass from Tristan Thompson and James LaDouce and slotted the rebound past Tech goaltender, Matt Jurusik. The 'Nooks managed to pull within one heading into the second intermission. Heading into the locker room, the 'Nooks had picked up some needed momentum.
The third period saw the Nanooks come out firing everything on net. 2:03 into the final period, Max Newton, the Nanooks goal-scoring leader, grabbed his sixth goal of the 2019-20 season on a pass from Steven Jandric to tie things at 2-2. This was the second power-play goal for the 'Nooks on the night. Only four minutes passed, however, when the Huskies reclaimed the lead with a Keegan Ford power-play goal from Colin Swoyer.
Alaska kept on the attack though, finding an opportunity just 1:25 later when Eriks Zohovs centered the puck to Kyle Marino, who then found a streaking Caleb Hite; Marino shot a pass right in front of the crease and Hite sent the puck through the body of Jurusik for the goal, tying the game up at 3-3. Just under 10 minutes passed when suddenly the senior defenseman, Tristan Thompson struck. After putting 10 shots on goal in the third period alone, Thompson took a puck from the blue line, drove to the middle in front of the Huskies net and sent home the game-winner right over Jurusik's left glove-side shoulder.
This goal gave the 'Nooks the lead and the eventual win, their seventh WCHA win and their third-consecutive victory against the Huskies after falling to them in 16-straight games.
Head coach Erik Largen really enjoyed the Nanooks response to the early deficit, "I liked our game tonight. It was good to see the response, we had a couple mistakes to make it 2-0 and we were able to rebound with a power play goal and I liked our push in the third period. We got down again but we had belief and there was no quit in the group tonight... I'm proud of the effort."
The Nanooks managed to outshoot the Huskies not only in the game, but in the third period, putting 15 of their 28 shots on goal in the third period alone, finding the back of the net three times. While his goal was not one of the third-period goals, Didrik Henbrant had this to say about his first NCAA goal, "I just took the rebound, it was nothing special, but it was a relief to finally score."
The Nanooks are back in action, Saturday, Nov. 30 at 7:07 p.m. AKT as they get ready to take on the Michigan Tech Huskies one more time. Not only will this conclude the season-series between these two teams, but the 'Nooks will go for a season-sweep of MTU, having grabbed the first three games.