FSU

HOCKEY SUFFERS HEARTBREAKING OVERTIME SETBACK AT ALASKA

Cody Chupp
Cody Chupp and Alaska's Derek Klassen collide during Saturday's action in the weekend league series finale. (Photo courtesy of Johnny Wagner, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
Alaska's Adam Naglich scored at 1:16 of the overtime period to give the Nanooks a 3-2 victory over the Ferris State men's ice hockey team Saturday (Feb. 21) evening in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series finale at UA's Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The loss was a disheartening one for Ferris State, which now needs a victory in one of its final two regular-season outings or a Western Michigan loss to insure home ice for the opening round of the 2009 CCHA Playoffs. The Bulldogs fall to 12-15-7 overall and 9-12-5-2 in the CCHA as a result of the setback.

Naglich's winner came on an all-out hustle play as the Nanook skater beat FSU sophomore defenseman Scott Wietecha (Wolverine Lake) for the puck in the Bulldogs' zone and put the puck past Ferris freshman goaltender Taylor Nelson's (Regina, Saskatchewan) right leg into the far corner of the net.

The game was reminiscent of last night's series opener when the Bulldogs took the early lead only to see it evaporate. Senior left wing Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta) put Ferris State on the board first at 26 seconds into the second period with his eighth goal of the season. Connolly converted on a rebound off Alaska goaltender Chad Johnson following a one-timer by sophomore left wing Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) from high above the left circle.

The Bulldogs would extend their lead to 2-0 at 4:51 into the second frame when senior right wing Justin Lewandowski fed a pass from beyond the right post to the opposite side of the crease. Sophomore left wing Mike Embach (Orland Park, Ill.), who was positioned on the left side, promptly put the puck beyond Johnson's reach into the Nanook goal to notch his ninth lamplighter of the year.

Alaska would come from behind for the second straight night as Dion Knelsen skated into the offensive zone and scored on a wrist shot with 10:26 remaining in the second 20 minutes of action to draw the hosts within a goal at 2-1. The Nanooks, who would outshot FSU 30-25 for the game, produced the equalizer on Kevin Petovello's tally late in the third period. Petovello took a back-handed pass and wristed the puck from inside the right circle through the legs of Nelson for the game-tying marker with 6:32 on the clock.

Taylor Nelson made 27 saves for Ferris State as his season record dips to 5-6-4. For Alaska, Hobey Baker Award candidate Chad Johnson earned the win with a 23-save effort as the Nanooks extended their current their current series winning streak to four straight over the Bulldogs. FSU also has now suffered defeat in its last eight appearances at Alaska to date.

Zach Redmond
Alaska goaltender Chad Johnson makes the save on a shot by sophomore defenseman Zach Redmond. (Photo courtesy of Johnny Wagner, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
The CCHA contest was televised live by Comcast Television and a replay of the game can be seen Sunday (Feb. 22) on the NHL Network beginning at noon (EST).



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