Hockey completes road sweep of Wolverines with 4-1 win

Photo by Paul McCarthy
Photo by Paul McCarthy

Jamie Foland

Alaska Nanook centers Adam Henderson and Cody Kunyk each potted a pair of goals in the first and third periods to lead the Alaska Nanooks to a 4-1 victory over the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena.

The back-to-back wins marked the first series sweep of the season for the Nanooks and the first ever in the all-time series with Michigan. The six-point weekend effort helped the Nanooks hold on to sole possession of seventh place, improving their season mark to 8-8-4 overall and 6-7-3-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Michigan’s Derek DeBlois took the first penalty of the game, setting the Nanooks up nicely for their opening score. Kunyk converted passes from senior right wing Andy Taranto and junior defenseman Michael Quinn while on the power play to make it 1-0 at 4:07.

The Nanooks gave the Wolverines three man-advantage chances of their own throughout the middle of the first frame but freshman goalie John Keeney denied their attempts, turning aside all five shots he faced.

Alaska cashed in on a second power-play opportunity (third of the period) later in the frame, when Henderson beat U-M goalie Adam Janecyk at 19:31 to make it 2-0 at the first intermission. His third goal of the season would prove the game-winner.

The second period was ruled by penalties and odd-man opportunities as the Nanooks assessed five two-minute minors, while their hosts drew just one. After successfully killing off the first three, the Nanooks saw the Wolverines’ Jacob Trouba cut their lead in half on their fourth power-play of the second stanza, beating Keeney at 15:50.

The Nanooks were eager to widen the gap and hungry for the series sweep coming back for the final 20 minutes of play. Three Michigan penalties gave them ample time to strike, but it was a pair of even-strength tallies by Kunyk and Henderson that doubled the score and secured the victory.

Kunyk notched his sixth goal of the season at 9:00 with assistance from Quinn to make it 3-1, while sophomore defenseman Garrick Perry set Henderson up for his fourth of the year for a 4-1 lead at 11:44.

Keeney turned aside 30-of-31 Wolverine shots in the win, his fourth of the season, and was voted the game’s Perani Cup First Star. Janecyk turned aside 24-of-28 Nanook shots, marking the third time this season and second time in as many nights that the Nanooks were outshot by their opponent.

Alaska continues its road trip in the Lower 48, where they will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Ind. next weekend (Jan. 18-19). Friday’s game is set for 7:35 p.m. EST, while Saturday’s will be at 7:05 p.m. EST. Both games will be aired tape delayed on KFXF Fox 7 in Fairbanks with Saturday’s game being aired live on CBS Sports.