Despite their best efforts the Alaska Nanooks could not overcome the Northern Michigan Wildcats as they settled for a 2-2 tie and shootout loss, leaving Marquette with one point on the weekend.
The point helped them hold on to fifth place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings with a 6-5-3 overall record and a 4-4-2-0 conference mark. The Wildcats, who entered the weekend in the league’s basement, improved to 5-6-3 and 2-5-3-1 good for a two-way tie for ninth with Michigan State.
Northern got the game rolling early in the first period, capitalizing on their first man-advantage of the game at 6:09. With Alaska rookie Tyler Morley (General Studies) serving a two-minute minor for interference, NMU’s Stephan Vigier notched his third goal of the season by beating Nanook netminder John Keeney (Business Administration) over his shoulder with assistance from Reed Seckel and Scott Macaulay.
Alaska answered back just 48 seconds later, when senior forwards Chad Gehon (Business Finance) and Nik Yaremchuk (Business Management) set up freshman defenseman Nolan Kaiser (Business Administration) for his first tally of the year at 6:57 to tie the contest 1-1.
After serving his second of three penalties in the opening frame, Morley worked to make up for his time in the sin-bin by putting the Nanooks ahead at 12:35. He tallied his fifth goal of the season just nine seconds into Alaska’s first power-play chance to make it 2-1 for the visitors. Sophomore Trevor Campbell (Mechanical Engineering) and freshman Josh Atkinson (Petroleum Engineering) helped set up the play that gave Alaska the lead, which would last through the entirety of the second period and over halfway through the third.
Seckel tied the game at 11:27 with help from Mitch Jones and Erik Higby and the game remained knotted through the end of regulation and five minutes of overtime.
It appeared as though senior winger Andy Taranto (Communication) scored his team-leading 100th career point just moments into the extra session but the goal was waived off on the ice and the video replay upheld the call that denied Taranto and the Nanooks of victory.
In the shootout for the extra point, NMU goalie Jared Coreau denied Alaska’s junior Colton Beck (Business Administration) and Morley, while Jones and Ryan Aynsley beat Keeney for the 2-0 shootout win and the extra point in the league standings. Keeney finished the contest with 29 saves as he moved to 2-2-2.
The Nanooks outshot the ‘Cats 36-31 in the game and were 1-for-2 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.
Alaska returns home to open a four-game CCHA homestand to closeout the first half of the season. They host the league-leading Miami RedHawks at the Carlson Center Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 7:05 p.m. AKT.