FSU

NANOOKS KNOCK OFF FERRIS WITH TWO STRAIGHT THIRD-PERIOD TALLIES

Todd Pococke
Todd Pococke vies for control of the puck with two Alaska players in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Nanooks. (Photo courtesy of Johnny Wagner, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
A pair of third-period goals by Alaska helped the Nanooks overcome a one-goal deficit to register a 2-1 victory over the Ferris State men's ice hockey team Friday (Feb. 20) night in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) matchup at UA's Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Ferris State would take a 1-0 lead on sophomore left wing Justin Menke's (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) fourth goal of the season with 4:29 remaining in the opening period. The Bulldogs capitalized on a four-on-three rush as Menke took a cross ice pass from sophomore defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) and wristed one from the near side of the left circle to the top of the Nanook goal past UA netminder Chad Johnson's stick side. Senior left wing Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta) set up the scoring play by taking the puck into the Nanook zone and dropping off to Redmond on the right side just inside the blue line.

The Bulldogs had a chance to increase their lead in the second period near the six minute mark, but junior center Casey Haines' (Indiana, Pa.) point-blank shot on Johnson's glove side in the middle of the slot area was denied.

Ferris State would maintain its slim margin until the 9:09 mark of the third period when Alaska evened up the contest at 1-1 on a short-handed tally after the Bulldogs just went on the power play. A shot from above the left circle by Dustin Molle was redirected by Kevin Petovello's stick into the far corner of the Bulldog net, catching FSU sophomore goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) by surprise. Alaska, which has secured a CCHA Playoff home series berth, would snap the deadlock less than three minutes later on a goal by Ron Meyers. The game-winning lamplighter occurred when Meyers poked the puck into the Bulldog goal after an apparent glove save by Nagle, but the play wasn't whistled dead. The Nanook goal was unique as a shot by Alaska deflected off Zach Redmond in the slot and FSU was unable to clear the puck giving the hosts an opportunity they would seize. Ryan Hohl waved his stick at the loose puck while falling down and directed the object toward Nagle's glove.

The Bulldogs, who were outshot by a 32-29 margin, pulled Nagle with 1:19 left in the game for an extra attacker but were unsuccessful in their attempts to notch the game-tying goal.

Despite the setback, Nagle turned in a solid effort for Ferris with a 30-save performance. The Bulldogs goalie, who made key stops throughtout the contest, is now 7-9-3 on the season with the loss. Chad Johnson totaled 28 saves in a winning effort for the Nanooks, who have now bested FSU in the last seven outings at the Carlson Center to date.

The loss drops Ferris State to 12-14-7 overall and 9-11-5-2 in CCHA play this season. The Bulldogs need four more league points in their final three regular-season CCHA encounters to earn home ice for the opening round of the 2009 league playoffs.



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