Fairbanks, Alaska – Junior forward Colton Beck scored the game-winning goal with only 11 seconds left in regulation to lift Alaska to a 2-1 CCHA victory against Lake Superior State on Friday night at the Carlson Center.
In the closing moments and with the Nanooks (4-2-1, 2-1-0 CCHA) on the power play, senior forward Andy Taranto battled for the puck down low and dished it to junior defender Michael Quinn at the top of the zone. Quinn fired a shot and Beck’s stick redirected it out in front to give the Blue and Gold the win and three points in the conference home opener.
Beck also added an assist as he was the primary helper on an even-strength goal by freshman defenseman Colton Parayko that tied the game at 1-1 with 10:28 to go in the third. Junior forward Cody Kunyk passed the puck off to Beck in the neutral zone and after he crossed the blue line, Beck gave it to Parayko and despite pressure from a Laker defender, the rookie flicked it past LSSU netminder Kevin Murdock and the puck deflected in the net off the skate of Kevin Czuczman.
The goals by Beck and Parayko were the third and second of the season, respectively. Sophomore goalkeeper Sean Cahill picked up the win in between the pipes to improve to 2-0-1 as he made 18 saves on 19 attempts. The Nanooks dominated offensively, holding a 39-19 advantage on shots on goal.
Lake Superior got its lone goal 16:42 into the first when Chris Ciotti scored following an Alaska turnover. Domenic Monardo forced Kunyk into a turnover and led the breakaway to the other end. He passed the puck to Zach Loesch and after a wraparound behind Cahill’s net he passed across to Ciotti and he pushed it past the Nanook goalie to give the visitors the 1-0 lead.
The win marked the first time since Nov. 27, 2010, that the Nanooks won a game after trailing after two periods when they netted four tallies in the third to defeat Ohio State 5-2 in Columbus, Ohio. The ‘Nooks also improved to 4-1-0 in games they trailed after the first 20 minutes.
Alaska and LSSU return to the ice Saturday night at 7:05 AKDT to complete the series.