By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer
For some strange reason, traveling to Fairbanks, Alaska been a bit of a challenge for Ferris State. With two losses over the weekend, the mystery of Alaska continues, as the Bulldogs are now 2-12-0 in their last 14 encounters out west.
Friday’s game looked to be different for Ferris State, as forward Blair Riley tipped in the puck from just outside the crease to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead with 14:31 gone by in the opening period.
The Nanooks answered back with a second remaining in the frame, when Joe Sova’s one-timer bounced off the pads of Ferris State goaltender Taylor Nelson and onto the stick of Nik Yaremchuk for the finish.
Alaska’s dominance on the power-play carried over into the second period, where they were able to notch their second goal of the evening with the extra attacker. The goal came at the 15:08 mark, as Carlo Finucci and Dion Knelsen helped set-up Aaron Gens in the slot, where he fired a shot through traffic to notch the game-winner.
In the final minute of the game, Bulldogs’ head coach Bob Daniels looked to generate some offense by pulling Nelson, but his plan backfired. With nine seconds left, Adam Cardwell put the game out of reach by tallying an empty-netter.
Nelson racked-up 27 saves, while counterpart Scott Greenham finished with 25.
It was more of the same for Ferris State the following night, as they lost a 3-2 decision in overtime.
Andy Toronto put the Nanooks on the board first when he lit the lamp for a power-play goal with just under three minutes left in the opening stanza.
The lead would be short-lived, thanks to an equalizer by the Bulldogs’ Aaron Lewicki (pictured left) just two minutes later. Tallying assists on the power-play marker were freshman Travis Ouellette and junior Zach Redmond.
Alaska regained control midway through the first period, thanks to another goal while on the man-advantage. After Taranto fired a shot from the right faceoff dot, the puck trickled off Ferris State defenseman Matt Case, where an opportunistic Sova finished the job.
Junior Mike Embach tied the game at two goals apiece with 18:14 gone by in the period, thanks to a nifty set-up by sophomores Brett Wysopal and Derek Graham.
Following a scoreless third period, it came down to sudden death, where the Nanooks’ Ron Meyer scored with 15.6 seconds remaining in the extra frame.
Netminder Pat Nagle made 31 stops in for the Bulldogs, compared to Greenham’s 22.
The pair of losses drop Ferris State to 5-3-0 overall and 0-2-0-0 in the CCHA.
The Bulldogs return home this weekend, where they will host Bowling Green for a two-game set, beginning Friday at 7:05 pm.
Photo courtesy of Paul McCarthy