FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alaska Nanooks hockey team dropped their first game of 2019 to the Northern Michigan University Wildcats 4-0 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association contest at the Carlson Center on Friday night. The loss drops Alaska's overall record to 4-13-2 and 4-8-1-1 in WCHA play, while the Wildcats improve to 10-10-0 overall and 9-4-0-0 in league matchups.
The Wildcats walk away from Friday's game with three WCHA points to put them in fourth place in the conference standings with 27 points. The Nanooks remain seated in seventh place in the league standings with 14 conference points.
Northern Michigan scored 51 seconds into Friday's game with an even-strength tally from Joseph Nardi to take an early 1-0 lead. The Wildcats struck once more before the first stanza concluded with another even-strength goal from Grant Loven at the 18:46 mark to give the visitors a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
After a scoreless second period, NMU capitalized on a Alaska turnover to make it 3-0, courtesy of Ty Readman. To seal the victory, Northern Michigan's Troy Loggins netted a shorthanded, empty-net goal to close the game at 4-0.
Alaska's freshman netminder Gustavs Grigals was the highlight of the night, making a combined 31 saves against the Wildcats. The Riga, Latvia native tallied 10 in the first period and 12 in the second before making nine saves in the third period.
On the other end of the ice, NMU's Atte Tolvanen earned a shutout by stopping all of the Nanooks' 20 shots on Friday.
In the special teams race, neither Alaska nor Northern Michigan were able to capitalize on the man advantage, as Alaska went 0-for-5, while NMU went 0-for-6.
The Nanooks will host the Northern Michigan Wildcats again at the Carlson Center tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 5), with puck-drop set for 7:07pm AKST.