The University of Alaska Fairbanks hopped into third place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings after Saturday’s series-sweeping 6-3 win over the Ferris State Bulldogs in Big Rapids, Michigan.
The Nanooks, with 34 saves from senior goaltender Anton Martinsson and multiple points from three skaters, improved to 13-12-1 overall and 11-8-1-0 WCHA for 34 points in the standings.
The top eight teams at the end of the WCHA regular season advance to the conference playoffs, and the top four teams host a best-of-three quarterfinal series.
Martinsson also stopped 34 shots in Friday’s 2-0 win the Bulldogs’ Ewigleben Ice Arena.
On Saturday, the Nanooks got a goal and two assists from junior left wing Steven Jandric, two goals from senior right wing Kylar Hope and a goal and an assist from junior right wing Justin Young.
UAF seized a 2-0 lead in the first period Saturday and stacked up four goals in the second to sweep the weekend in Big Rapids and win the season series with a 3-1-0-0 mark.
“It just one of those games where we were able to find the back of the net,” Nanooks head coach Erik Largen said by phone.
“They (Bulldogs) came back to tie the game at 3. Our guys responded there with three straight (goals) in the second period, and that about did it.
“There’s some things we need to clean up, but it’s nice to see a good offensive production from our group.”
Steven Jandric, with his assists from his sophomore defenseman brother, Chris, and from freshman defenseman Garrett Pyke, recorded the game’s first goal at 8:39 of the opening period.
Steven Jandric set up Hope’s first goal of the night at 16:23.
Hope, with help again from Steven Jandric, put the Nanooks ahead 3-1 at 5:24 of the second period.
After Ferris State knotted the score at 3, Young scored the game-winner at 9:27 of the middle period with assists from senior left wing Tyler Cline and sophomore defenseman Antti Virtanen.
Senior defenseman James LaDouce stretched the lead to 5-3 at 12:27 off assists from freshman center Eriks Zohovs and senior right wing Kyle Marino.
Senior center Colton Leiter capped the win 31 seconds later, courtesy of assists from Young and senor defenseman Tristan Thompson.
The second-period goals for the ninth-place Bulldogs (4-14-3, 4-12-2-0 WCHA for 14 points) came sophomore right wing Justin Michaelian, sophomore center Jake Transit and senior defenseman Zach Yoder.
Michaelian scored at 2:14 with assists from freshman defensemen Jake Willets and Blake Evennou, who helped on all three goals.
Transit contributed for Ferris State at 8:54 with help from junior left wing Liam MacDougall and Evennou.
Yoder followed with his goal at 9:27, assisted by senior left wing Jason Tackett and Evennou.
Ferris State got a combined 14 saves from goaltenders Austin Shaw (senior), Carter McPhail (freshman) and Ron Salmenkangas (sophomore).
The Nanooks split with the Bulldogs on Nov. 22 and 23 at the Carlson Center. Ferris State won 3-2 on the first night and UAF gained a 3-1 win the second night.
The Nanooks return to the Carlson Center to face the fourth-place Northern Michigan Wildcats at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 5:07 p.m. Saturday. The Wildcats, of Marquette, Michigan, are 13-8-3 overall and 11-5-0-0 WCHA for 33 points in the standings.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.