FAIRBANKS, Alaska – It looked as if Ray Kaunisto’s two goals would be all that the Northern Michigan University hockey team could muster against the Alaska Nanooks Friday night. Greger Hanson came to the rescue with a power-play goal at 11:13 of the third period to tie the game at three-all. After a scoreless overtime period, Alaska won the shootout 2-1.
NMU is now 5-5-3 overall on the season and 4-3-2-0 in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) play. Alaska improves to 8-3-2 and 5-3-1-1 respectively. The Wildcats have dropped both shootouts it has been in this season so far. Notre Dame won the shootout Nov. 15.
Kaunisto scored the first of his pair of goals, for his sixth of the season, on the night at 7:21 of the first period to get the Wildcats on the board. Erik Spady and Hanson assisted. The Nanooks tied the score at one-all on a goal by Dustin Sather at 10:49.
Kaunisto gave the ‘Cats a 2-1 lead with his seventh goal of the season at 4:56 of the second period. Hanson and Chad Pietila assisted. Andy Taranto gave the home team the 3-2 lead by scoring two goals. His first goal was recorded at 9:50 of the middle frame and then less than 10 minutes later he found the back of the net (19:07). With NMU down 3-2 entering the third period, Hanson gave the ‘Cats life with his fourth goal of the season. Justin Florek and Jared Brown assisted. Hanson ended the night with a goal and two assists.
After a scoreless five minute overtime period the first two players in the shootout connected. Mark Olver shot first for the ‘Cats while Ryan Hohl shot for the Nanooks. Hanson missed for the ‘Cats next while Taranto gave Alaska the lead in the shootout. Erik Gustafsson was NMU’s last chance and he missed his shot.
Alaska scored all of its goals on the night with the extra skater. The Nanooks were 3-6 on the power play while the ‘Cats were 1-3. Alaska had the advantage on the shots with a 41-28 edge.
Brian Stewart backstopped the ‘Cats with 38 saves. Scott Greenham recorded 25 saves for the Nanooks.
The two teams will play the back end of the weekend series Saturday night in Fairbanks.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director