A goal by rookie center Tyler Morley with five seconds left ruined a shutout bid for Canisius but the Alaska Nanooks fell to the Golden Griffins 3-1 in Game Three of the Kendall Hockey Classic on Saturday evening at Sullivan Arena in front of 1,825 fans.
A pair of first-period goals by the Gee-Gees proved the difference in the contest. Their co-captain Torrey Lindsay put the visitors up 1-0 three minutes and three seconds into the contest when he tipped a shot from the left boards beneath Alaska’s John Keeney on his stickside.
At 13:51, Gee-Gee’s other co-captain Preston Shupe capitalized on a Nanook turnover in the corner to double the visitors’ lead after getting the puck on the doorstep all alone, where he flicked the puck past Keeney to make it 2-0.
The second period saw the gap widen, as Canisius center Matt Grazen tripled the lead at 7:21. It looked as though the Nanooks would start to chip away at their deficit later in the period, when junior Colton Beck found himself in the slot uncontested, but his wrist shot rang off the crossbar with 1:30 left.
Five minutes and 40 seconds into the final frame, junior Cody Kunyk nearly broke the deadlock, when he got a step on Canisius’ defenders and was one-on-none against Asmundson in the right circle but his shot hit the left post.
With 1:11 left, Alaska pulled Keeney in favor of an extra attacker and it would pay off with five seconds remaining, when Morley popped the puck past Canisius’ goalie Keegan Asmundson to spoil his nearly perfect game. Sophomores Nolan Youngmun and Trevor Campbell assisted on the Nanooks’ only tally of the contest.
Both teams were scoreless on the power play as the Nanooks went 0-for-6 and the Griffins were 0-for-5.
Keeney made 22 saves on 25 shots in his first collegiate start and Asmundson turned aside 33-of-34 Nanook shots.
The Blue and Gold return to Fairbanks, where they will host the Brice Alaska Goal Rush next weekend at the Carlson Center. Alaska Anchorage, Merrimack and North Dakota will take the ice at the Carlson Center for two days of tournament play. UAA opens the tournament against North Dakota at 5:05 p.m on Friday, followed by the Nanooks game against Merrimack at 8:05.