The University of Alaska Fairbanks generated the first goal of this weekend’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association series against the Bemidji State Beavers in Bemidji, Minnesota.
However, Eriks Zohovs’ first collegiate goal marked the last time Friday night that the Nanooks sent a puck past Beavers netminder Zach Driscoll.
The Nanooks lost 3-1 in Bemidji State University’s Sanford Center after the conference-leading Beavers went on an uninterrupted scoring run during the first two periods.
Senior goaltender Anton Martinsson recorded 33 saves for the Nanooks, who entered Friday’s contest tied with the Minnesota State Mavericks for second place. UAF also was just a point behind Bemidji State in the standings.
Friday’s loss slipped the Nanooks to 9-10-0 overall and 7-6-0-0 WCHA for 21 points and a tie with the Michigan Tech Huskies for third place in the standings.
“I just think we weren’t skating quite as well as we normally do,” Nanooks head coach Erik Largen said by phone.
“I don’t think it was for a lack of effort, or anything like that. We just didn’t have the legs, we made some mental mistakes tonight.”
Driscoll, a junior, made 15 saves and contributed an assist, and junior right wing Aaron Miller had two assists for the Beavers, 8-4-3 overall and 8-2-1-0 WCHA for 25 points.
The series concludes with today’s game at 3:07 p.m. AKST.
Zohovs, a freshman center, scored at 8:24 of the first period with assists from linemates and seniors Tyler Cline (left wing) and Troy Van Tetering (right wing).
“It was a great net cycle by Troy Van Tetering and he moved it behind the net to Tyler,” Largen said of the initial process for the goal.
“He (Cline) found Eriks right on the (faceoff) dot and Eriks shot the puck. It was a good release and a good team goal by that line.”
Beavers left wing Ethan Somoza, who played for the North American Hockey League’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs from 2012-15, tied the score at 15:03, aided by Miller and sophomore center Tyler Kirkup.
Junior left wing Charlie Combs provided the game-winner with an assist from Driscoll at 2:56 of the second period.
Beavers junior defenseman Tyler Void wrapped up the win at 13:09 of the second, helped by Miller and junior defenseman Brad Johnson.
The Nanooks didn’t get a power play Friday but denied both of the Beavers’ opportunities with the man-advantage.
The Nanooks and Beavers split Nov. 1 and 2 on UAF’s home ice at the Carlson Center.
Bemidji State won the opener 4-0 and UAF bounced back with a 3-1 win the next night.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.