|1st||6:42||BMJ||1-0||EV||Charlie O'Connor (5)||Gerry Fitzgerald/5|
|1st||10:54||AKF||1-1||EV||Marcus Basara (5)||Colton Sparrow/3|
|1st||19:06||AKF||2-1||EV||Alec Hajdukovich (4)||Josh Atkinson/6, Tyler Morley/7|
|1st||19:17||BMJ||2-2||EV||John Parker (3)||Markus Gerbrandt/9, Kyle Bauman/4|
|2nd||1:30||AKF||3-2||EV||Tyler Morley (9)||Peter Krieger/11, Nikolas Koberstein/1|
|2nd||13:31||BMJ||3-3||EV||Myles Fitzgerald (1)||-|
|3rd||4:20||AKF||4-3||PP||Nikolas Koberstein (1)||Josh Atkinson/7, Tyler Morley/8|
|3rd||6:07||BMJ||4-4||EV||Cory Ward (4)||Brendan Harms/10, Dan Billett/2|
|3rd||16:05||AKF||5-4||EV||Tyler Morley (10)||Peter Krieger/12, Nolan Huysmans/7|
|3rd||19:48.7||BMJ||5-5||PP EA||Brendan Harms (4)||Gerry Fitzgerald/6, Leo Fitzgerald/6|
|OT||4:52.9||BMJ||6-5||EV GW||Myles Fitzgerald (2)||Markus Gerbrandt/10, Dillon Eichstadt/4|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Bemidji State (6-9-3)||1/5||4/8||0|
|Bemidji State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||OT||Saves|
|Reid Mimmack (W, 4-0-1)||63:59||5||11||3||8||2||24|
|Jesse Jenks (L, 3-4-3)||64:52||6||11||8||7||1||27|
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Senior forward Tyler Morley's four-point (two goals, two assists) effort wasn't enough to help the Alaska Nanooks hockey team Saturday night, as the Nooks fell 6-5 in an overtime thriller to the Bemidji State Beavers in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association contest at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. The Nanooks drop to a 3-9-3 WCHA record and 5-11-3 overall, while the Beavers overall record improves to 6-9-3 and 5-8-2 in WCHA contests. T. Morley's contribution to the scoresheet tonight wasn't the only highlight, as freshman defenseman Nikolas Koberstein scored his first collegiate goal on the power play for the Nanooks.
"It was an interesting first game back from break," head coach Dallas Ferguson described of the game. "As a coaching staff, you kind of expect a little sloppiness to the first game back but I thought our team showed some spurts of greatness. I thought our penalty kill did a great job all night, but it was tough to give up that late goal in the third with the extra attacker on the power play. We had some opportunities to grab the momentum, but I don't think we completely managed the game the way we could have when we had a lead. It's a tough one to lose, I think the boys are a little stung on it, but at the end of the day, we need to look ourselves in the face and say we could definitely do some things better."
Freshman goaltender Jesse Jenks saved a total of 27 shots throughout the game, while Bemidji's junior goaltender Reid Mimmack saved 24 of Alaska's shots. The Nooks were outshot by their opponent, shooting 29 shots on target to the Beavers' 33. Both teams were able to capitalize on the man advantage, with Bemidji going 1-5 on power play opportunities and Alaska going 1-4.
Both the Alaska Nanooks and the Bemidji Beavers were hungry for those two WCHA points this evening, as puck possession was never dominated by one side or the other. With the Beavers and the Nanooks taking three weeks off for the holiday break before Saturday's contest, teams were expecting to make a big second-half push in the WCHA standings. With the exception of overtime, the Nanooks and the Beavers were tied at the conclusion of every period (2-2, 3-3, 5-5).
Bemidji was first to put themselves on the board, when Charlie O'Connor scored at 6:42 in the first period. O'Connor was alone backdoor and able to put it behind Jenks to make it 1-0 thanks to an apple from Gerry Fitzgerald.
The Nanooks replied at the 10:54 mark of the first period when junior forward Marcus Basara was able to clean up a rebound from sophomore forward Colton Sparrow. The goal marks Basara's fifth of the season (six points), while Sparrow collects his third assist (five points). Eight minutes later (19:06), senior forward Alec Hajdukovich caught a lucky break stepping onto the ice just in time to put the Nanooks up 2-1 late in the first. Senior defenseman Josh Atkinson (eight points) carried the puck around the net before getting stopped on a wrap-around by Mimmack, luckily, the puck popped out to Hajdukovich right as he was crashing the net backdoor, with T. Morley given the secondary assist (18 points).
The Beavers were relentless though, tying the game 2-2 ten seconds later (19:17), as Bemidji's John Parker scored his third goal of the season with assists given to Kyle Bauman and Graeme McCormack.
T. Morley got the second period scoring started at the 1:30 mark, collecting his own rebound to put the Nooks ahead 3-2, with assists given to sophomore forward Peter Krieger (13 points) and sophomore defenseman Justin Woods (three points). The Beavers once again responded when Myles Fitzgerald scored unassisted at the 13:31 mark, tying the game 3-3.
The Nanooks were able to capitalize on the power play at the 4:20 mark of the third period, as Koberstein shot a laser past Mimmack from right inside the top of the circle. Koberstein's first collegiate point was the only power play goal for the Nanooks and was assisted by Atkinson and T. Morley for their second assists of the night.
"The boys battled hard on the other side of the line to keep the puck in the zone, which gave me a good open shot to the net," Koberstein explained of his goal. "It feels fantastic to get my first goal as a Nanook. I'm happy I was able to help out the team tonight but we didn't get the result we wanted, but we'll come back stronger tomorrow."
BSU's Cory Ward was able to tie it up two minutes later (6:07), as the senior put one upstairs on Jenks to make it 4-4. Ward's goal was assisted by Brenden Harms and Dan Billet.
T. Morley was able to give the Nanooks a 5-4 lead at the 16:05 mark of the third period, after working the puck down low in the offensive zone and able to catch Mimmack for a wrap-around goal before the Beaver goalie could slide post-to-post.
Unfortunately, BSU's Harms was able to tie it up 5-5 late in the third period (19:49) on a BSU power play with an extra attacker, as Bemidji pulled Mimmack with a minute remaining. Harm's second point of the night was assisted by G. Fitzgerald and Markus Gerbrandt.
Through a hard-fought overtime, Bemidji's M. Fitzgerald was able to stuff in a loose puck that Jenks was trying to cover at the 4:53 mark to seal the victory for the Beavers. M. Fitzgerald's goal was his second of the night, with assists given to Gerbrandt (second assist of the night) and Dillon Eichstadt. Jenks made one save in overtime, while Mimmack was able to make two.
"I think we need to come back tomorrow and be better at identifying situations when we have the puck," Ferguson concluded. "We can generate from below the goal line using the net, but I think when we make some bad decisions in the neutral zone, it can hurt us, but those things start to come when you get a couple more games under your belt. When we have speed, let's carry the puck in. When we don't have speed, let's get it in behind their defense and forecheck. It's a hard way to play, but it's the right way to play for this hockey team. When we get pucks deep and generate a low-cycle, we can get some nice finishes. The process will stay the same; we can't feel sorry for ourselves and we need to regroup and reset and get those two points tomorrow."
Game two of the Alaska Nanooks/Bemidji Beavers matchup is slated for Sunday, Jan. 3 at the Carlson Center with puck-drop set for 5:07 p.m. AST. Directly following the game will be a team autograph session outside the Nanook locker room at the south end of the arena.