|1st||6:17||AKF||1-0||EV||Ross Heidt (5)||Max Newton/3, Zach Frye/11|
|1st||18:21||ALH||1-1||PP||Kurt Gosselin (4)||Brennan Saulnier/5, Brandon Salerno/5|
|2nd||5:35||AKF||2-1||EV||Kyle Marino (1)||Austin Vieth/1, Nikolas Koberstein/9|
|2nd||16:03||ALH||2-2||EV||Austin Beaulieu (1)||Brandon Salerno/6, Brandon Parker/5|
|3rd||19:05||AKF||3-2||EV GW||Zach Frye (4)||Tayler Munson/3, Nick Hinz/5|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Alabama Huntsville (6-15-2)||1/5||5/10||0|
|Alabama Huntsville Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Mark Sinclair (L, 0-5-0)||58:49||3||7||4||10||21|
|Anton Martinsson (W, 7-10-2)||60:00||2||10||3||11||24|
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Senior defenseman Zach Frye's slapshot found the back of the net with 55 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Alaska Nanooks hockey team a 3-2 victory over the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action at the Carlson Center on Friday night. The win improves Alaska's overall record to 8-11-2 and 6-8-1-1 in conference play, while the Chargers fall to 6-15-3 on the season and 5-9-1-1 in league games.
Alaska's first victory of 2018 gives the Nooks three points in the league standings to total 20 through 15 games this season. At the time of article, the Nooks jump to sixth place in the conference standings with Ferris State and Alabama-Huntsville trailing behind by one and two points, respectively.
"I thought things were a little scrambled at times but the guys competed hard for being off for so long," assistant coach Erik Largen said on Friday. "Anton made some big saves for us in the third period and Zach Frye was able to find a way to get that game-winning goal by making a big play. It wasn't always clean or pretty but the guys found a way to get it done and conference points are big right now in the standings."
Alaska broke open the scoring on Friday night, as sophomore forward Ross Heidt netted a rebound at the 6:17 mark of the first period to make it a 1-0 game. Frye's long shot from the point was initially saved by UAH's goaltender Mark Sinclair before rookie forward Max Newton was able to pass the puck along the crease to Heidt, who scored backdoor. The goal is Heidt's fifth of the season, while Newton earns his third assist of the year and Frye's 11th.
The Chargers responded with a power play tally at the 18:21 mark of the first period, as Kurt Gosselin tied the game 1-1 with a shot from the flank that was deflected in front of Alaska's sophomore goaltender Anton Martinsson. Gosselin's fourth goal of the season was assisted by Brennan Saulnier and Brandon Salerno.
Sophomore forward Kyle Marino gave the Nooks the lead once again, as the Niagara Falls, Ontario native netted his first collegiate goal at the 5:35 mark of the second period to give Alaska a 3-2 advantage. Junior defenseman Nikolas Koberstein made a stretch pass from the Alaska defensive zone to senior forward Austin Vieth, who then made a touch-pass to Marino, who was breaking through the neutral zone. Marino was able to split the UAH defensemen and enter the zone alone before sniping high-glove past Sinclair.
Alabama-Huntsville tied things up once again, as Austin Beaulieu caught a pass from behind the net to score short-sided to make it 2-2. Beaulieu's first goal of the season was assisted by Salerno and Brandon Parker.
Alaska laid on the pressure in the final minute of the game, with Frye ripping a one-timer past Sinclair with 55 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Nooks a 3-2 lead. Senior defenseman Nick Hinz made a pass along UAH's blue line to senior forward Tayler Munson on the weak side flank. Munson caught Frye creeping in the slot on his off-hand before Frye was able to net his fourth goal and first game-winning goal of the season.
The Nooks were outshot 26-24 by their opponent with Martinsson registering 24 saves against UAH, including 10 in the first and 11 in the third. On the other end of the ice, Sinclair tallied 21 saves against the Nanooks, including 10 in the third period alone.
The Chargers went 1-for-5 on the man-advantage, while the Nanooks were held scoreless on the power play, going 0-for-4. Alaska took care of business in the face-off circle, posting 34 wins to UAH's 20.
The Nanooks and the Chargers face each other once more this weekend, as Alaska hosts Alabama-Huntsville again tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 6) in another WCHA matchup at the Carlson Center. Puck-drop is slated for 7:07pm AKST. All military personnel and their dependents can buy one ticket, get one ticket free (reserved or general admission) by showing a valid military ID at the time of purchase.