Nanooks pull away against Huskies

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

HOUGHTON, Mich. —  Alaska snapped Michigan Tech’s four-game winning streak with a 7-3 decision in WCHA hockey tonight at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The game was tied 1-1 after one period, and the host Huskies pulled within 3-2 in the second period before the Nanooks tallied the next four goals to pull away.

“I was really impressed by Alaska tonight,” said coach Mel Pearson. “They played with quickness, speed and determination. They were the better team right from the get-go. They played like the desperate team, and that’s how you have to play every game in this league.”

Pheonix Copley made several incredible saves to open the game and keep it scoreless until Alaska (13-12-4, 10-11-2 WCHA) notched a power-play goal at 15:33.

Tech (12-15-6, 10-9-4 WCHA) answered a minute later with a power-play goal of its own when David Johnstone snuck a shot from the slot through goaltender Sean Cahill.

The Nanooks opened a four-goal second period with a tally 1:23 into the frame. They added another at the 8:06 mark before Blake Hietala closed the gap to 3-2. Tanner Kero found Hietala with a centering pass in the slot for the goal.

Johnstone was called for contact to the head high sticking at 16:01 of the period. A power-play goal 18 seconds later by Cody Kunyk and an even strength tally by Kunyk 20 seconds after that broke the game open.

“Even though they outplayed us early on, I though we had a chance when we made it 3-2,” said Pearson. “Those two goals came bang-bang and turned the momentum back to them.”

The visitors added two more goals in the third period before Jacob Johnstone wrapped up scoring with a centering pass from the half wall that deflected off a Nanook skate in front of Cahill.

Alaska converted both power-play opportunities and held a 40-27 advantage in shots on goal in the contest.

Copley saved 28 of the 33 shots he faced in two periods of work. Jamie Phillips played the third, facing seven shots and stopping five. Cahill earned the win with 24 saves.

Michigan Tech and Alaska will wrap up their two-game weekend series and four-game season series tomorrow night at 7:07 p.m.