FAIRBANKS-Last night the Nanooks had their first ever WCHA conference games in the warm confines of their own barn-the Carlson Center. Over 2,500 fans were in the stands ringing cowbells that were apart of tonight's giveway. The Nanooks had their fans ringing those bells all through a big second period that led to the Nanooks 5-4 victory over Northern Michigan.
Both teams were looking for wins in their WCHA debuts and the Nanooks would make their case first with the Morley brothers providing the early spark.
Tyler Morley scored on a powerplay from the blue line beating goalie Michael Doan for the first score of the game at the 12:44 mark. Then just under a minute and thirty seconds later little brother Brandon scores his first career goal courtesy of another first. Fairbanks' own Alec Hajdukovich assisted on the play for his first point of the season. It's 2-0 UAF.
The teams would go two for two. Stephan Vigier pulled the Wildcats within one with his goal lighting the lamp with 2:07 remaining in the opening period. The momentum continued as Cohen Adair scored just five minutes into the second period, his equalizer knotting things up at 2-2.
Then at the 7:27 mark of the second period Luke Eibler was called for a five minute major boarding penalty that sent Alaska's Garrick Perry sliding into the boards. Perry would go the bench after laying for awhile on the ice but would return to the game.
39 seconds later CJ Ludwig committed a another penaly for Northern, this one tripping and the Nanooks found themselves with a five on three advantage. Less than a minute into the power play freshman Marcus Basara scored off the assist Tyler Morley to break the tie.
At the same time of the Basara goal the Wildcats were whistled for cross-checking so the Nanooks were still on the 5-on-3 power play after the score. It didn't take long to reap the benefits. Senior wing Colton Beck scored on the powerplay courtesy of the battles that Colton Parayko and Nolan Huysmans won on the boards. Michael Quinn got the assist and the Nanooks have a 4-2 lead.
A lot of first in this game for UAF. With three minutes remaining in the third period Nolan Huysmans finds freshman Shawn Hochhausen who puts it in the net for his first career goal giving the Nanooks a 5-2 led going into the final period.
The Wildcats put the Nanooks back on notice late in third period. Ludwig made it a two goal game converting on a Wildcat powerplay with six minutes left. Adair scored his second of the game with two minutes remaining to pressure on Alaska as Northern Michigan came within a goal, 5-4 with two minutes to go.
But the Alaska defense and face-off were the defense late as the Nanooks denied the puck in their zone and hold on for the victory.
After giving up three power play goals last week against Mercyhurst the Nanooks score three of their own in their first ever WCHA victory. Both teams will back in the Carlson tonight for game two.