|1st||19:13||WIS||1-0||EV||Corbin McGuire (2)||Adam Rockwood/10, Kevin Schulze/8|
|2nd||6:51||AKF||1-1||SH||Tyler Morley (13)||-|
|2nd||7:09||WIS||2-1||PP||Ryan Wagner (7)||Jake Linhart/6, Seamus Malone/12|
|2nd||12:13||WIS||3-1||EV||Jarod Zirbel (1)||Jason Ford/5, Kevin Schulze/9|
|2nd||12:48||AKF||2-3||EV||Nolan Huysmans (6)||Alec Hajdukovich/5|
|2nd||16:02||WIS||4-2||EV GW||Ryan Wagner (8)||Seamus Malone/13, Cameron Hughes/10|
|3rd||3:40||AKF||3-4||EV||Tyler Morley (14)||Nolan Huysmans/12, Jack Weiss/5|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Jesse Jenks (L, 4-6-3)||59:35||4||8||8||8||24|
|Matt Jurusik (W, 5-10-5)||59:32||3||10||6||4||20|
MADISON, Wis. - Despite a two-goal effort from senior forward Tyler Morley, the Alaska Nanooks hockey team faced a 4-3 non-conference loss to the University of Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center on Friday evening. T. Morley wasn't the only highlight for the Nanooks, as fellow-senior forward Nolan Huysmans also recorded two points on the night, including one goal and one assist. Following Friday's defeat, the Nanooks move to an overall record of 7-14-4 (5-11-4 WCHA), while the Badgers improve to 5-12-6 overall (1-7-2-0 Big Ten).
"I think we put together a pretty solid hockey game tonight," head coach Dallas Ferguson said following Friday's game. "We created some scoring chances but weren't able to cash in on them, while Wisconsin capitalized on theirs. The only part of the game where I thought we might have been a little behind was at the end of the second period when we were a little lax in our d-zone. They were obviously able to score because we weren't tight enough on our coverage, which is something we'll take a look at tonight and hope to improve on tomorrow. But overall, I liked the way we played tonight, more often than not, we'll win hockey games if we keep playing on our toes and being competitive like that."
The Alaska Nanook all-senior forward line consisting of Huysmans, T. Morley and Hajdukovich contributed to each of Alaska's three goals in Friday's loss. Following his two-goal effort against the Badgers, T. Morley continues to lead all Nanooks in points with 24, while Hajdukovich's assist on Huysmans' goal puts the Fairbanks native on a two-game point streak. Huysmans might have the most impressive statistic of the three, as his two-point (1G, 1A) night puts the Ponoka, Alberta native on a three-game, multi-point streak, as the senior has posted one goal, one assist in each of Alaska's three previous games.
"They're working hard and have great chemistry together. They aren't doing anything fancy with their game, their just executing and playing in the right spots offensively," Ferguson said of his top-line. "We talked about it going into the third period, we wanted to get the penalty kill done and we did, then we wanted that next goal and we did, thanks to Tyler and Nolan. It was a really nice play off the cycle for Nolan to look backdoor to Tyler and got us to within one, but like I said, we had our chances, we just weren't able to capitalize on them."
The Nanooks were backed by freshman goaltender Jesse Jenks, who made 24 saves on the night, while Badger rookie goaltender Matt Jurusik made 20. Although outshooting their opponent in the first period, the Nanooks weren't able to outshoot the Badgers throughout the whole game, falling 28-23 in shots on goal. Following a first period with no penalties, Wisconsin was able to capitalize on one man advantage going 1-for-3 on power play opportunities. Conversely, the Nanooks power play was held to 0-for-3, despite a five minute power play with less than two minutes left in the third period. The Nanooks special teams still prevailed on one aspect, as one of T. Morley's goals was on the penalty kill, marking his first shorthanded goal of the season.
The Nanooks and the Badgers were caught up in a tight first period battle, with both teams feeling out the other's style of play and matching each other's pace on a familiar Olympic-sized arena. The game was scoreless for the first 19 minutes of the period, until the Badgers struck first in their own barn, putting themselves up 1-0 at the 19:13 mark at the end of the first. Sophomore forward Corbin McGuire fired an upstairs slapshot past Jenks from the top of the zone at the blue line, collecting his second goal of the year. McGuire's goal was assisted by Adam Rockwood and Kevin Schulze.
After almost a scoreless first 20 minutes, the Nanooks and the Badgers combined for five goals in the second period. T. Morley tied things up for the Nanooks, scoring shorthanded at the 6:51 mark of the second, as T. Morley was killing his brother Brandon Morley's penalty off. The Hobey Baker candidate was pressuring the Badger defense before causing a turnover in the neutral zone, sending himself down the ice alone before winding up and going crossbar-down on a far-sided slapshot. T. Morley's first goal of the night was unassisted.
The Badgers answered back, scoring 18 seconds later on the B. Morley penalty, when Ryan Wagner tipped in a Jake Linhart shot from the top of the umbrella at the 7:09 mark of the second. The Badgers second goal of the night (2-1) was also assisted by Seamus Malone. Wisconsin pulled ahead once more, making it 3-1 at the 12:13 mark when Jarod Zirbel, who was alone in front of Jenks, scored on a bouncing puck. Zirbel's first goal of the season was assisted by Jason Ford and Schulze.
The fourth goal of the second period came from Huysmans, who pulled the Nanooks to within one at the 12:48 mark of the second. Senior forward Alec Hajdukovich was coming down on the Badger defense before seeing Huysmans crashing the net hard and throwing him a backhanded saucer pass. After collecting the pass, Huysmans showed impressive patience in front of the net, waiting for Jurusick to make the first move before sliding the puck past the Badger goalie to make it 3-2. Huysmans sixth goal of the season marks his third goal in the three games.
Wisconsin's Wagner scored his second goal of the night, lighting the lamp at the 16:02 mark of the second, putting the Badgers up 4-2. Malone was alone behind the Alaska net, with all five Nanook skaters looking at the Badger behind Jenks, allowing Wagner to creep in and receive a pass from Malone before hitting a one-timer past Jenks.
T. Morley collected his second goal of the night, scoring 3:40 into the third period to pull the Nanooks to within one goal of the Badgers. Huysmans held the puck behind the Wisconsin net, pulling the Badger defenders toward him, allowing T. Morley to sneak backdoor. Huysmans looked as to pass to Hajdukovich, who was covered in front, before throwing the backward to T. Morley behind the net. T. Morley was able to snap a quick shot off, catching Jurusik on the other side of the net to make it 4-3, with the secondary assist given to freshman defenseman Jack Weiss.
"We put a lot of emphasis on starting out with a good first period in tonight's game and I thought we did that for the most part. There was definitely some lost coverage in the d-zone, but we got the start that we wanted with two scoring chances in the first shift. So going into tomorrow, I think getting the first goal is important because it'll help us forget about tonight's loss and get us going in the right direction," Ferguson concluded.
The Alaska Nanooks hockey team will look to bounce back after Friday's loss, returning to the Kohl Center for game two of the non-conference series against the Badgers on Saturday, Jan. 30, with puck-drop set for 4:00 pm AST (7:00 pm CT). For more information on the Alaska Nanooks hockey team, follow @NanooksHockey on Twitter or like the Alaska Nanooks Hockey page on Facebook.
*Correction from Thursday, Jan. 28 hockey weekend preview: WCHA TV will not be streaming Alaska vs. Wisconsin non-conference games. Video is available through BTN2Go or the Wisconsin Channel. Fans can still listen to commentator Bruce Cech call the game on the radio or over the internet on ESPN 820 AM Fairbanks from the Kohl Center.