Hockey plays final CCHA road series at Lake Superior State


Jamie Foland

The No. 20 Alaska Nanooks play their final Central Collegiate Hockey Association road series this weekend in Sault Saint Marie, Mich., where they will skate against the Lake Superior State Lakers on Friday and Saturday.

Friday nigth the teams will meet at 3:35 p.m. AKST (7:35 p.m. EST), while Saturday they meet a half an hour earlier for their rematch at 3:05 p.m. AKST (7:05 p.m. EST).

Here are this week’s need to know notes about the LSSU series and Alaska Hockey:

· The Nanooks travel to the Soo this weekend to take on the Lakers, who ended their 2011-12 campaign via a sweep (3-4, 0-2) in the CCHA playoffs. The Blue and Gold will look to snap a four-game winless skid at Taffy Able Arena that dates back to their last win in the Soo, a 3-2 overtime win on Nov. 21, 2009.

· Alaska and LSSU met at the start of Nov. in Fairbanks, where the Nanooks took the first game 2-1 and the Lakers split the series with a 4-2 win in the rematch. Under head coach Dallas Ferguson, the Nanooks are 6-6-2 against LSSU, including a 4-5-1 mark in the last 10 meetings and a 2-3 line in the last five.

· JR F Colton Beck notched his first career hat trick in Friday’s 6-1 victory, the first by a Nanooks since Nov. 11, 2011, when Cody Kunyk scored three times in a 5-4 overtime loss at Notre Dame. Beck is the second player on the current roster to record a three-goal night against the Buckeyes as SR F Andy Taranto got one in a 4-1 win at OSU in Columbus on Feb. 12, 2010. Curtis Fraser (2003-07) was the last Nanook to get a hat trick at the Carlson Center in a 6-5 overtime win against Michigan State on Feb. 11, 2005.

· JR F Kunyk notched four assists in last night’s contest, the most by a player in a single outing since Dion Knelsen tallied four helpers in a 4-0 shutout of Lake Superior State on Feb. 19, 2010.

· Friday night Alaska scored six goals, marking the second time this season and the fifth time under head coach Dallas Ferguson. It matched their season best for scoring margin of five-goals, last achieved in an identical 6-1 home win over Western Michigan on Nov. 16.

· With seven goals scored on the weekend against the Buckeyes, the Nanooks now have had 11 players reach double-digit scoring and seven of which have 15 or more points on the year. JR F Cody Kunyk and SR F Andy Taranto lead all players with 20 points apiece, marking their third and fourth seasons, respectively, to reach the 20-point benchmark.