FAIRBANKS—It was two minutes until midnight Friday in Big Rapids, Mich., and Alaska Nanooks head coach Dallas Ferguson was watching video of a 6-3 loss to Ferris State University in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association opener for both teams.
The late video session was prompted by the Nanooks giving up four unanswered goals after leading 3-2 in the first period against the 18th-ranked Bulldogs, last season’s NCAA Division I national runner-up, Midwest Regional champion and CCHA regular-season titlist.
“Both teams created scoring chances, but at the same time when they got theirs, they capitalized on them,” Ferguson said from Big Rapids. The Nanooks finished with a 43-32 advantage in shots.
“On their fifth goal, they had a breakaway that they put in the top corner of the net,” Ferguson said. “We had a breakaway early in the third period that we put in his (Bulldogs goaltender C.J. Motte) chest.”
A trio of veterans recorded their first goals of the season for Alaska — senior defenseman Kaare Odegard, junior left wing Colton Beck and senior right wing Andy Taranto.
Steve Thompson registered 26 saves Friday night in the Ewigleben Ice Arena. The Nanooks senior received the CCHA Goaltender of the Week on Monday for his performances in the team’s title run last weekend against Merrimack and then No. 2-ranked North Dakota in the Brice Alaska Goal Rush at the Carlson Center.
Alaska (0-1-0-0 CCHA, 2-2-1 overall) got assists Friday from sophomore defenseman Trevor Campbell, junior defenseman Michael Quinn, sophomore defenseman Justin Tateson and junior center Cody Kunyk, who garnered his 65th career point in 79 games.
Motte, a sophomore, stopped 40 shots and Ferris State (1-0-0-0, 2-1-2) was led four players with two points each. Senior left wing Kyle Bonis scored twice; freshman defenseman Connor Schmidt got a goal and an assist; and sophomore defensemen Travis White and Jason Binkley distributed two assists apiece.
Odegard came off the bench during a shift change and took Campbell’s feed to score the series’ first goal at 1:17 into the contest. Beck, with Kunyk’s and Quinn’s help during a power play, scored on a backdoor scenario at 14:03 for a 2-0 lead.
Schmidt made it 2-1 for Ferris State with an unassisted goal at 17:58 and Bonis knotted the score at 2 with a power-play deposit 55 seconds later.
Taranto, with 26 seconds left the first period, gave the Nanooks the 3-2 lead and moved nine points closer to becoming the 18th player in Nanooks history with 100 or more career points. Tateson uncorked a shot from the blue line that hit the end boards, but Taranto collected the carom and fired it in from the slot.
Sophomore defenseman Simon Denis triggered Ferris State’s comeback and three-goal surge in the second period with the game-tying tally at 9:35 of the second period. Bonis delivered the go-ahead goal at 11:06 with his own power-play rebound shot and senior right wing Eric Alexander capped the rally on a 3-on-2 breakaway at 13:34 of the second.
Junior center Cory Kane’s unassisted goal in the third period sealed the win.
The Nanooks, who meet the Bulldogs again tonight, hold a 30-28-4 advantage in the all-time series, but Ferris State is 5-0-1 in the last six games.
Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.