|2nd||18:46||LSS||1-0||SH GW||Gage Torrel (3)||Mitch Hults/5|
|3rd||19:56||LSS||2-0||PP EN||J.T. Henke (6)||Gage Torrel/6, James Roll/4|
|Lake Superior State||0||1||1||2|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Lake Superior State||11||8||8||27|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Lake Superior State (6-9-3)||1/6||9/18||1|
|Lake Superior State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Nick Kossoff (W, 2-3-0)||60:00||0||19||10||7||36|
|Jesse Jenks (L, 2-3-2)||59:48||1||11||7||7||25|
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alaska Nanooks hockey team dropped their second game of the weekend, falling to the Lake Superior State Lakers 2-0 on Saturday evening at the Carlson Center. The Nanooks drop to 2-8-2 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association games and 4-10-2 on the season. The Lakers of Lake Superior improve to 6-9-3 overall and 4-3-3 within the WCHA. With this weekend's losses the Alaska Nanooks tie for ninth in the standings with Alabama Huntsville, each team with six points.
"I think the theme of the weekend was that our special teams cost us points," Head Coach Dallas Ferguson explained. "Our power play and penalty kill need to be better, but our penalty kill definitely improved tonight. The other side of it is our penalty kill had some great looks, we just couldn't capitalize on any chances. We just have to keep pushing, we didn't like the results last weekend, we don't like the results from this weekend but it's about maturing and learning from your experiences. We have a relatively young team that is going to go through periods of not winning games, they just have to battle through it."
Freshman goaltender Jesse Jenks saved a total of 25 shots throughout the game, while Lake Superior's freshman goaltender Nick Kossoff saved 36 of Alaska's shots. The Nanooks outshot their opponent for the second consecutive night, peppering 36 total shots to the Lakers' 27. Although the Nanooks weren't able to capitalize on any man-advantages, Alaska dominated the majority of puck possession the last five minutes of the second period and most of the third period.
"Jesse competed well for us once again. With the penalty kill having some success tonight, the goalie needs to be your best player. I thought the guys ran some good routes in front of him but overall, he played with composure, especially after being tested a few times. For not having played last night, Jesse came in and did his job well," Ferguson said of the rookie goaltender.
Although Alaska and Lake Superior were scoreless throughout the first period and the majority of the second period, special teams hurt the Nanooks once again when LSSU freshman forward Gage Torrel scored a shorthanded goal, LSSU's second of the weekend, to make it 1-0 Lakers at the 18:46 mark of the second period. Torrel was assisted by freshman forward Mitch Hults.
Eight minutes of the third period was spend on the penalty kill for the Nanooks, until senior defenseman Josh Atkinson took a two-minute hooking penalty at the 18:36 mark of the third period. Alaska pulled Jenks with 12 seconds remaining in the game for an even-strength chance but Lake Superior's sophomore forward J.T. Henke was able to pull away from Nanook attackers and tallied the empty netter with assists given to Torrel and James Roll.
The Nanooks travel to Anchorage next weekend for a two-game WCHA series against the Seawolves on Friday, Dec. 11 and Saturday, Dec. 12. Next weekend's games also count toward the Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup, with puck drop set for 7:07 p.m. AST both nights.
"Our five-on-five game I think we are able to generate opportunities, we just need to learn how to finish. We need to build off our penalty kill momentum and be more adaptable on the power play to capitalize on opportunities that are given to us. The process is the same, I just think now we are honing in on a couple different areas of the game now that it's December. Obviously, the Governor's Cup brings a lot of energy and excitement when it comes up so we will reset and get ready to go on Monday," Ferguson concluded.