ALASKA SNEAKS PAST FERRIS STATE IN LEAGUE SERIES OPENER
A pair of back-to-back third-period Alaska goals proved the difference as the Nanooks handed the Ferris State hockey team a 3-2 loss Friday (Nov. 21) evening in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contest at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
|Chad Billins (#4) and Casey Haines (#6) apply defensive pressure to an Alaska skater in a 3-2 home loss to the Nanooks on Friday night.|
Alaska would overcome a 2-1 deficit midway through the third period as Ryan Hohl scored his second of two goals on the night to tie the game at 2-2 with 10:46 remaining in the contest. The eventual game-winner would come just over four minutes later when Adam Naglich fired a shot from the far side of the left circle toward the crease area which caromed off a FSU player's skate and went through the legs of Bulldog freshman goaltender Taylor Nelson for the winning tally. Naglich, who scored unassisted, registered his fourth goal of the season at the 13:26 mark. The Nanooks scored twice in the final 20 minutes despite a 15-6 shots disadvantage in the period.
Ferris State, which was 0-7-2 versus Alaska in the last nine meetings coming into the series opener, quickly took a 1-0 first-period lead as junior center Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) netted his team-leading seventh goal of the year just 57 seconds into the game. Senior left wing Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta) backhanded a pass from near the right circle across the mouth of the Nanook goal where Lewicki was able to fire a shot between the pads of Alaska goaltender Chad Johnson.
Alaska would even the score at 1-1 on a Hohl goal at 5:31 into the second period for the stanza's lone score. Ferris State registered a 17-7 shots advantage in the frame.
A power-play goal by sophomore defenseman Scott Wietecha (Wolverine Lake) at 6:56 into the third period gave the Bulldogs a one-goal (2-1) lead, but Alaska's Ryan Hohl converted on a Nanooks' power-play late in the first half of the third period to even the count.
Ferris State wound up with 41 shots on goal to Alaska's 21-game total. But, defense proved to be an ally for the visitors as the Nanooks totaled 16 blocked shots while Chad Johnson (4-4-1) finished with 39 saves in going the distance. Taylor Nelson (2-1-2) saved 18 of 21 Alaska shots faced in absorbing his first defeat in a Bulldog uniform.
|Blair Riley and the Bulldogs managed a 41-to-21 shots on goal advantage over Alaska.|
FSU is currently 5-5-3 overall and 4-3-2-0 in the CCHA this season, which presently moves the Bulldogs in a four-way tie for second place in the league standings.