Hockey hosts first round playoff series against Spartans
The Alaska Nanooks host the Michigan State Spartans this weekend (Mar. 8-10) at the Carlson Center, where they will play a best-of-three first round Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoff series. Game time each night is 7:05 p.m. AKST.
Here are the need to know: Notes about the Michigan State series and Alaska Hockey:
- Alaska hosts Michigan State this weekend for a first round playoff series for the second time in the last three years. They are also hosting the Spartans at the Carlson Center for the second time in the last three weeks. When the teams met Feb. 22-23, MSU took the first encounter 1-0 before Alaska responded with a 4-2 victory on Saturday night to salvage a regular season series split.
- When the teams met in the first round in Fairbanks in 2011, both games needed extra time to decide the winner. Alaska proved the victor in both encounters, winning the first game 3-2 at 19:40 of the first overtime on Mar. 4 and then 4-3 at 3:18 of double overtime on Mar. 5. Senior right wing Nik Yaremchuk notched the overtime game-winning goals on back-to-back nights to secure the series-sweep and advance the Nanooks to the second round.
- MSU leads the all-time series 42-16-3 and 17-10-2 in the Fairbanks meetings. Alaska trails 4-6 in postseason meetings
- Under head coach Dallas Ferguson, the Nanooks are 6-6-2-1 against MSU, which includes a 5-2-1 mark in Fairbanks. Five of the teams’ last 12 meetings have required an extra session and the teams are even at 4-4-2 in those encounters, each having won twice in overtime and winning one of the two necessitated CCHA shootouts.
- Last weekend, the Nanooks swept Alaska Anchorage 2-1 (OT) and 3-1 to claim their fourth straight Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup. They lead the all-time cup series 12-8 and the Nanooks’ seven-member senior class kept the Cup in Fairbanks for their entire careers, marking the third senior class to boast the honor.
- Junior forward Colton Beck was four seconds shy of tying Alaska’s program record for fastest goal to start a game. He notched his 11th goal of the year nine seconds into Saturday night’s contest at UAA. The program record of five seconds was set by Ryan McLeod in the CCHA playoffs on Mar. 11, 2005 at Bowling Green, when Alaska prevailed 6-3.
- Junior center Cody Kunyk scored in overtime to lift Alaska to a 2-1 victory over UAA on Friday night. It was Alaska’s first overtime win in almost two years, with the last being a 4-3 victory against Michigan State on Mar. 5, 2011, when Nik Yaremchuk lit the lamp at 3:18. It was also their first against the Seawolves since a 5-4 extra-session triumph on Oct. 16, 1998.
- Senior right wing Andy Taranto notched his team leading 13th and 14th goals of the season while adding an assist in Saturday’s victory over the Seawolves, bringing his career scoring line against UAA to 8-6—14 in eight career games.
Date: Fri., Mar. 8/Sat., Mar. 9/Sun., Mar. 10 (if needed) | Time: 7:05 p.m. AKT
Venue: Carlson Center | Location: Fairbanks, Alaska