FAIRBANKS-The Alaska Nanooks made their case as the hottest team in the WCHA right now with a 4-1 over the no.4 Ferris State Bulldogs on Friday night in the Carlson Center.
The Carlson was packed on Military Appreciation night as over 3,000 fans witnessed junior netminder Sean Cahill saves a career high 36 shots against the Bulldogs (23-8-3, 18-5-2 WCHA).
The Nanooks (15-12-4, 12-11-2 WCHA) wore their arctic camo jerseys and were very tactical and efficient with their offensive attack. They scored four goals on the WCHA's second ranked goalie in C.J. Motte with just 19 shots.
Alaska striked first and quickly as senior captain Colton Beck scored just 34 seconds into the game for his 12th goal of the season and 94th career point. Motte regrouped and didn't allow another goal that period while Cahill had the shutout in the first period.
In the second period after 7:41 of time elapsed Nolan Huysmans picked up where he left in Houghton, Mich with a nice goal after making a mover to get inside the slot for the goal. Shawn Hochhausen and Josh Atkinson had the assists on the play that gave UAF a 2-0 lead.
UAF wasn't done. Tyler Morely would also show off his skills after a Garrick Perry pass as Morely beat Motte stick side for another goal. It looked like it would be a laugher with the Nooks up 3-0 midway through the second period. But the Bulldogs would stop the bleeding by way of a Andy Huff power play goal to end the second period which thwarts Cahill's shutout bid.
The Nanook defense, energy and penalty kills was something to see at the Carlson Center. Multiple players dove in front of shots and contested passing lanes. The Bulldogs were aggressive with 37 shots on goal but the puck bounced the Nanooks way. The Bulldogs went 1-6 on power plays. However, the Nanooks killed multiple 5-3 and 4-3 Bulldog advantage to stifle any momentum changing goals.
Alaska looked like the no.4 team on Friday and Perry's goal at the 12:48 mark of the third period put this game out of reach for Ferris State. The Bulldogs were clearly frustrated with the Nanooks play as the Bulldogs had three game misconduct penalties and unsportsman like offense in this one including a scrum late in the game that led to two player ejections.
Morely and Perry both finished with a goal and an assist in the win. Atkinson added two assists in the 4-1 victory.
The win is not only Alaska's fifth straight but the Nooks have won seven of their last eight games are now tied for fourth in the WCHA with Anchorage. Both teams have 26 points.