FAIRBANKS - Alaska fired its most shots on net against any opponent this season, tying its season-high mark in goals, as it cruised to a 6-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory against Alabama Huntsville on Friday night at the Carlson Center.
The Nanooks (11-12-4, 8-11-2 WCHA) tied their largest margin of victory over an opponent under the Dallas Ferguson era while the Chargers (1-25-1, 1-15-1 WCHA) dropped their second straight game and extended the winless skid to 11 games.
Senior left wing Colton Beck (Langley, British Columbia/Business Administration) was named Era Alaska Nanook of the Game after leading all players with three points on one goal and two assists.
Freshman right wing Marcus Basara (Port Moody, British Columbia/Business Administration) moved into second place on the WCHA's rookie scoring list after registering a goal and an assist while senior center Cody Kunyk (Sherwood Park, Alberta/Business Administration) notched a pair of assists. Rookie defenseman Justin Woods (Fairbanks, Alaska/Justice) also had a game-high +3 plus/minus rating.
Four other Nanook skaters lit the lamp in the victory in junior left wing Jared Larson (Apple Valley, Minn./Business Administration), freshman left wing Jared Linnell (North Pole, Alaska/General Studies), junior left wing Garrick Perry (Apple Valley, Minn./Communication) and sophomore defenseman Colton Parayko (St. Albert, Alberta/Business Administration).
Picking up the win between the pipes for Alaska was junior netminder Sean Cahill (Calgary, Alberta/Business Administration), who made 12 saves on 13 shots faced to improve his record to 3-3-1 while UAH's Matt Larose dropped to 0-13-1 on the year despite making 38 saves. Huntsville saw its lone goal come from Frank Misuraca in the first period of play.
Alaska dominated in the shot department putting 44 shots on goal, compared to UAH's 13. Huntsville out blocked Alaska 20-17, including a game-high six by Ben Reinhardt, but the 'Nooks edged the Chargers in the face-off circle, 27-25.
The Nanooks struck first at 4:46 of the first period. Off the face-off win in the offensive zone, sophomore right wing Nolan Huysmans (Ponoka, Alberta/Business Administration) dished the puck to an open Larson in the slot and the former Ice Dog used a deking move out front and an easy backhand shot to give the Nanooks a 1-0 lead.
They doubled the lead to 2-0 at 7:10 in the first with a first-line score. Working behind the net, Kunyk found Basara out front and he fired home his WCHA rookie-leading 11th goal of the season top shelf on Larose's stick side.
UAH cut the deficit in half late in the stanza with its only goal of the night at 18:56 of the first. Joakim Broberg passed the puck off to a rushing Misuraca and he released a laser that beat Cahill over his stick side shoulder but Alaska's goaltender wouldn't allow another score the rest of the evening.
The Nanooks got the lead back to two at 3-1 with just over four minutes remaining in the second. Freshman left wing Josh Erickson (Roseau, Minn./General Studies) won the draw and took a shot out in front that was initially saved but Fairbanks native Linnell was there to clean it up and shoot it in on the rebound for his first career goal at the 15:58 mark of the period.
Alaska doubled its goal total in a 4:27 span in the third period to break the game wide open. Woods took a shot from the point that was stopped by Larose but Perry was alone on the left side to knock the puck in the back on the net on the rebound to make it 4-1 at 9:15.
Ninety seconds later and on the power play, sophomore center Tyler Morley (Burnaby, British Columbia/Business Administration passed the puck to Parayko in the right circle and the St. Louis Blues draft choice went upstairs to beat Larose over his glove hand, extending it to 5-1 at 10:45.
The Nanooks closed the scoring 13:42 into the final period with a score by the captain. Basara ripped a shot from the point and Beck was in between the face-off circles for the redirect goal to match the program's high-goal total on the season.
Alaska and Alabama Huntsville close the weekend set Saturday at 7:07 p.m. from the Carlson Center.
*Alaska's six goals tonight tied the season-best total, matching its 6-1 win over Air Force in the season opener on Oct. 11, 2013, down in Anchorage.
*This win marked the largest margin of victory under head coach Dallas Ferguson and was the fourth 6-1 win in his tenure.
*Jared Linnell scored his first career goal while fellow freshman Marcus Basara fired home his WCHA rookie-leading 11th goal on the year.
*Tonight's score matched the final tally the last time Alaska and Huntsville met back on Dec. 12, 1992. In that game head coach Dallas Ferguson was a rookie and scored his first career goal in that win at the Carlson Center.