Hockey opens final CCHA season at No. 18 Ferris State

Jamie Foland

Live Coverage Information and Links:
Live TV – KFXF Fox7 (Fairbanks) on Friday at 3 p.m. AKT and Saturday tape-delayed at 8 p.m. AKT; GCI Channel 1 on Friday (live) and Saturday (tape delayed)

The Alaska Nanooks open their final Central Collegiate Hockey Association season on the road against this week’s No. 18 Ferris State in Big Rapids, Mich. The teams meet Friday and Saturday for a conference tilt at 3:05 p.m. AKT.

Here are the need to know notes about the Ferris State series and Alaska Hockey:

• The Nanooks open their final season of CCHA play on the road in Big Rapids against this week’s No. 18 Ferris State for the program’s only series of the regular season. Last year the teams met four times, with the Bulldogs holding the 2-1-1-0 advantage in those contests. This weekend’s games are the 62nd and 63rd contests between the teams.

• Alaska holds a slim advantage in the all-time series 29-28-4, but trail 8-17-3 in the meetings at FSU. They dominated the series from 2003-2010 with a 15-1-2 record but are 2-5-1 since the start of the 2010-11 season. In their last 10 games in Big Rapids, they have a 5-2-3 advantage.

• Last weekend in Fairbanks, the Nanooks captured their third Brice Alaska Goal Rush title in the last four years after sweeping tournament competition to continue the winning streak by the Alaska schools. In addition to the 2012 crown, the Nanooks took home the championship title in 2009 and 2010, while Alaska Anchorage was the victor in the 2008 and 2011 events.

• Senior forward Chad Gehon netted the game-winning goal against North Dakota on Oct. 20, ending his 14-game scoring drought that dated back to the Nanooks’ 6-3 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 27.  It marked his fourth career game-winning tally, accounting for over half of his seven career strikes.

• Senior netminder Steve Thompson is the CCHA Goaltender of the Week after backstopping the Nanooks to a pair of wins en route to the 2012 Goal Rush tournament title. He turned aside 27 Merrimack shots for his second career win on Friday (his only other win was a 5-2 triumph over Mercyhurst in the 2011 Goal Rush). He continued his tournament streak in Saturday’s 2-1 win over then-ranked No. 2 North Dakota, making 25 saves on his way to the tournament’s MVP honor.

• Freshman defenseman Josh Atkinson notched his second and team-leading third assist against Merrimack on Friday night, including the primary helper on the game-winner by junior Cody Kunyk. He added a power-play goal, also his first collegiate marker, on Saturday and had seven of the team’s 42 blocks on the weekend. Atkinson was awarded for his efforts on both sides of the rink with a spot on the Goal Rush’s all-tournament team.

• Sophomore defenseman Trevor Campbell potted his first career goal in Alaska’s 3-2 win over Merrimack. He assisted on the game-tying goal in Saturday’s 2-1 win over UND, giving him 1-3—4 in four games this season and already doubling his 2011-12 season output of 0-3—3 in 33 games.

• Rookie center Tyler Morley was a 2012 Goal Rush all-tournament team selection with a goal and an assist last weekend.