|1st||6:44||MTU||1-0||EV||Alex Petan (5)||Mike Neville/3, Malcolm Gould/4|
|2nd||12:39||MTU||2-0||PP GW||Tyler Heinonen (8)||Alex Petan/5, Jake Lucchini/4|
|3rd||8:53||MTU||3-0||EV||Malcolm Gould (6)||Alex Petan/6, Matt Roy/3|
|3rd||10:07||AKF||1-3||PP||Chad Staley (1)||Peter Krieger/9, Nick Hinz/3|
|3rd||17:49||MTU||4-1||EV EN||Joel L'Esperance (6)||Matt Roy/4|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Michigan Tech (8-4-1)||1/4||5/21||0|
|Michigan Tech Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Jamie Phillips (W, 8-4-1)||60:00||1||3||5||6||14|
|Jesse Jenks (L, 2-1-2)||59:35||3||10||15||4||29|
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Freshman forward Chad Staley's first collegiate goal wasn't enough to triumph over No. 19 Michigan Tech University, as the Alaska Nanooks hockey team fell to the Huskies 4-1 on Friday night, in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association match-up at the Carlson Center. The Nanooks record drops to 4-7-2 overall (2-5-2 WCHA), while the Huskies improve to 8-4-1 overall (7-4-0 WCHA).
"After a two-week road trip, sometimes you wonder what the energy will be like when you finally get back home, and our energy level tonight was something we definitely fought throughout the game," Head Coach Dallas Ferguson described of the game. "Michigan Tech played fast, moved the puck and never really gave us an opportunity to really get into the game until close to the end of the third period. A couple of times a year, you'll have games where you feel like you can't do anything right, and I think the response for tomorrow's game is to change it."
Freshman goaltender Jesse Jenks made 29 saves on the night, turning away 16 in the second period alone. On the other end of the ice, Michigan Tech's senior goaltender Jamie Phillips saved a total of 14 Nanook shots. Although Alaska was outshot 34-15 by the Huskies, the Nanooks dominated in the face-off circle 32-25, with senior forward Tyler Morley winning 16 of his 28 draws.
"Jesse Jenks was our best player tonight, because he needed to be, he responds the right way. Just like how he did on the road, he battled and battled, we're proud of him. Jesse competed hard and the game could've been a lot worse without him tonight," Ferguson said of the freshman goaltender.
The Huskies were first to put themselves on the board, as senior forward Alex Petan drove hard into the slot from the top of the circles and made it 1-0 with his backhand. Petan's first of two points on the night, was assisted by freshman forward Jake Lucchini at the 6:44 mark of the first period.
Michigan Tech extended the lead, as junior forward Tyler Heinonen made it 2-0 Huskies at the 12:39 point in the second period. Jenks made three rebound saves in a row before Heinonen was able to clean up the fourth attempt. Heinonen's eighth goal of the season was assisted by Lucchini and Petan. Nine minutes into the third period, MTU made it 3-0 when senior forward Malcolm Gould went on a breakaway and beat Jenks on the upstairs shot.
Alaska's Staley made it 3-1 at the 10:07 mark of the third period, when the Kennewick, Washington native tipped in a pass from sophomore forward Peter Krieger on the power play. Staley, who returned to the line-up after missing six games to a lower body injury, was working the weak side of the man advantage when Krieger fired the puck to Staley, who was alone backdoor for the redirect. The lone Alaska point marks Staley's first collegiate goal, Krieger's ninth assists of the season and sophomore defenseman Nick Hinz's third assist of his career.
The Nanooks pulled Jenks with three minutes remaining in the third period to potentially execute with the extra attacker, and pull the score to within one goal. The Huskies' sophomore forward Joel L'Esperance capitalized on the empty net, sealing the 4-1 victory at the 17:49 mark of the third period.
"Our tenaciousness and our intensity wasn't where it needed to be tonight," Ferguson concluded. "I expect our team to respond accordingly, coming back tomorrow with a better effort and more competitiveness. It starts with guys stepping up and winning our battles, from there we can more successful."
The Alaska Nanooks will take on the Michigan Tech Huskies again tomorrow (Nov. 28) for another WCHA contest, with puck-drop set for 7:07 pm AST. For more information on the Alaska Nanooks hockey team, follow @NanooksHockey on Twitter or like Alaska Nanooks Hockey on Facebook.