FAIRBANKS-Thursday night playoff hockey at the Carlson Center and fans were waving their white rally towels with all their might after Colton Beck's overtime goal gave Alaska a 3-2 win in game one of the WCHA first round playoffs over the rival Seawolves.
This was the fifth meeting this year between the two intrastate rivals. There was lots of defensive playmaking and saves from both Alaska teams.
Rob Gunderson made eight saves for the Seawolves. Sean Cahill had seven of his own late in the period as the Nanooks killed off two penalites late in the period. The first period would go scoreless.
But Tanner Dusyk of UAA broke the seal on this first round playoff game at the 17:16 mark of the second period. Dusyk collected a turnover after big hit on Josh Erickson bounced the puck right to Dusyk who beat Cahill gloveside for the goal.
Alaska would answer with defenseman Justin Woods. Woods displayed the stick-to-it-tiveness with a wraparound goal on Gunderson that went in on the second attempt.
It was the freshman defenseman's first career goal and it couldn't come at a better time than the postseason. Shawn Hochhausen and and Nolan Youngmun asssited on the equalizer.
This game would be tied 1-1 going into the decisive final period. Blake Tacthell gave UAA the 2-1 lead with 13 minutes remaining in regulation. The game was tight throughout and it felt like a two goal lead at that point.
Then with six minutes left the all-WCHA rookie team selection Marcus Basara crashes towards the net and Josh Atkinson who was behind it finds Basara in the slot who does the rest. Basara's power play knotted things up once again. It's now a 2-2 game.
Gunderson, who had 27 saves and Cahill who had 20 saves shut the door for the last six minutes of regualtion. Atkinson contrbuted with a diving block/save on the weakside to deny a potential goal or high percentage shot for the Seawolves.
So the game would go into overtime. When a team needs a play they ususally look to their leader first. Tonight the senior captian delivered.
Beck parked himself in the left circle and Basara came around the back of the net and dished the puck to Beck. The captain squared himself on the at an angle and fired the fired the puck just over the shoulder of Gunderson for the game winning goal.
Beck is now one point away from 100 career points. Woods and Basara led UAF with a goal and an assist a-piece.
The Nanooks can book their trip to Big Rapids, Mich for the WCHA Final Five with a first round series clinching win tonight at the Carlson Center to end this best of three series.