FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alaska Nanooks hockey team battled to a 4-4 tie with the Northern Michigan Wildcats on Friday, Jan. 24. Per WCHA rules, the game continued into a 3v3 overtime where NMU grabbed the final goal, making the score 4-5, and taking a second point while the 'Nooks get one. This tie makes Alaska 13-12-2, 11-8-2-0 WCHA as we near the end of the season.
Friday night at the Carlson Center was packed with a ton of early excitement as the Nanooks struck first. Only 3:09 into the opening period, Kylar Hope, the captain of the 'Nooks took a cross-ice pass from Steven Jandric and found the back of the net on the backside of starting goalie, Nolan Kent. 10 quick minutes later, however, the Wildcats answered. Griffin Loughran, the 'Cats leading scorer took a saucer pass up ice into the Nanooks zone and found the back of the net past Anton Martinsson, tying the game up at 1-1.
Quickly after Loughran's equalizer, Luke Voltin answered again for Northern Michigan, only one and a half minutes after, making it 1-2 NMU in under two minutes. The Nanooks did not go away though, as Justin Young only two minutes later took a pass from Tyler Cline and beat Kent again, tying things up at 2-2 with 2:58 remaining in the first period. 1:22 later, the Nanooks struck again on the power play. Chris Jandric this time found the back of the net as Max Newton and Hope found him for the sophomore's fourth goal of the season, quickly grabbing the lead back for Alaska. The lead would not last long unfortunately as 48 seconds would pass before the final goal of the first would be scored by Sorenson. He took passes from Darien Craighead and AJ Vanderbeck and made it a 3-3 ballgame at the end of the first period.
The second period belonged to the Wildcats as Philip Beaulieu connected on the lone goal in the middle period, taking a pass from Vincent de Mey and beating Martinsson for the fourth goal of the game. After the Nanooks fell behind, they found the answer in Troy Van Tetering who picked up his first goal of the season 1:03 into the final period.
After Van Tetering found the answer for the 'Nooks, the game entered 5-on-5 overtime. Each team put up two shots on goal, however neither found the back of the net. With the game ending in a tie, the Nanooks and Wildcats entered a second overtime, facing-off 3-on-3, fighting for a second point in WCHA play. With 37 seconds remaining in the second-OT period, Joseph Nardi took a pass from Loughran and grabbed the extra point for the 'Cats, putting the puck past Martinsson.
The Nanooks and Wildcats meet one last time on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 5:07 p.m. at the Carlson Center. The 'Nooks will look for a series win after this tie places both NMU and Alaska in the third spot for the WCHA with 35 points.