FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alaska Nanooks hockey team dropped their final matchup with the Northern Michigan Wildcats on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2-4. The Nanooks are now 13-13-2, 11-9-2-0 WCHA on the season.
Northern Michigan found the back of the net first when Darien Craighead took a pass from AJ Vanderbeck from behind the Nanooks goal and went top shelf on Gustavs Grigals, making it 0-1 Wildcats. Despite the early deficit, the Nanooks struck back while on the power play when Steven Jandric tied the game up at 1-1 after taking a pass in front of the Wildcats net from Tyler Cline and Tristan Thompson.
The 1-1 tie stuck through the first intermission and halfway through the second period until in just over one minute of game play, the game took a turn. 11:03 into the second period, the Wildcats found the back of the net again behind Craighead and Vanderbeck. The duo connected on another goal and assist, putting NMU back up midway through the second. After finding themselves down again, the Nanooks managed to answer quickly, this time behind Tyler Cline. Cline took a centering pass from Justin Young, who grabbed the puck from Colton Leiter and put it past John Hawthorne, the goalie for the Wildcats, to tie the game up at 2-2 just 48 seconds after NMU took the lead.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats answered for the game-winning goal only 16 seconds later when Vanderbeck scored on the one-man advantage. With the score 2-3 Northern Michigan, the Nanooks went to the empty-net with under three minutes to play. Griffin Loughran, the leading scorer for the Wildcats took a pass from Joseph Nardi in the slot and put the game away, getting the puck past a diving Nanook defender and making it a 2-4 game.
The Nanooks head into a bye week following this weekends games before hitting the road one last time to face Alabama-Huntsville.