Late goal allows Alaska to force split with UAH

The Alaska Nanooks scored with 1:18 remaining on Saturday for a 2-1 win over the Chargers in Fairbanks, forcing a split in the two-game WCHA series.

UAH goaltender Jake Theut made 43 saves in his best outing for UAH, which fell to 1-11-0 overall and 1-5-0 in WCHA play.


Alaska improved to 2-8-2 overall and 2-3-1 in the WCHA, moving up to seventh in the standings with eight points. The Chargers are in ninth with three points from yesterday’s 3-1 win.

The first period was very similar to Friday’s first period, with the Nanooks coming out aggressive with the puck and racking up some shots on goal to test Theut, who was making his first start since Oct. 20.

UAF outshot UAH 17-9 in the frame, and took a 1-0 lead with 8:55 left in the period, as Tristan Thompson drove into the UAH zone and beat Theut high from the left circle.

UAH tied the game with 3:33 remaining in the first. On a 5-on-3 power play, Connor James blasted his second goal of the season from the deep slot, assisted by Madison Dunn and John Teets.

The Chargers had a better second period, also just like Friday, outshooting the Nanooks 11-9. But UAH had to withstand a dicey situation around the halfway point after Cam Knight was assessed a double minor penalty for hooking.

UAH continued its strong penalty kill, and withstood the onslaught. Theut made three saves, got help from the post, and then made a big stop sliding right to left on a shot by Chris Jandric after the Alaska power play ended.

The Chargers, who came into the series ranked 11th in penalty kill, held the Nanooks to 0-for-6 on the power play for the game and 0-for-11 for the series.

The end result was a scoreless second period.

With under seven minutes to go in the third period, UAH may have dodged a bullet. Sam Ruffin poked in a rebound that trickled under Theut’s right pad, but the officials lost sight of the puck and waved it off. They reviewed it and the call stood.

However, the Nanooks would get the last laugh after all, when Steve Jandric’s blast from the right circle beat Theut with 1:18 left in regulation.

The Chargers will be off again next weekend before hosting Bowling Green at the VBC on Dec. 1-2.