ANN ARBOR, Mich. — After being handled at Yost Ice Arena 8-0 on Friday, Alaska-Fairbanks played a pristine third period Saturday and rebounded to beat No. 5 Michigan, 5-2.
The teams went into the final period tied, but the Nanooks (2-6-2, 2-4-2 CCHA) used a shorthanded goal, a power-play goal and finally an empty netter to secure the victory. Freshman Preston McKay thwarted Michigan (8-3-2, 6-3-0), stopping 33 of 35 shots, including all 15 in the third period.
“Their goalie played well,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “On our grade-A goal-scoring chances, he made the difference.”
Daniel Carriere scored the game-winning goal for Alaska-Fairbanks on the penalty-killing unit, finishing a pass from Troy Herman. Herman and Carriere bolted loose on a 2-on-1 counterattack, and the latter pushed a backhand out of the reach of Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn.
Bobby Andres provided the cushion for the Nanooks three-and-a-half minutes later. With a man advantage, Jim Lawrence sent a centering pass through three Michigan defenders, and Andres completed the short-range one-timer.
Berenson said he was concerned with Michigan’s special teams play.
“Special teams is an issue,” Berenson said. “Those were the huge turning points in the game.”
Alaska-Fairbanks was given an initial jump-start by a freak goal just 26 seconds into the first period. Michigan was headed for a power play, but the Wolverines still had possession of the puck, so Blackburn was pulled on the delayed penalty call.
But a Michigan misfire deflected off of an Alaska-Fairbanks defender and sailed completely to the other end of the ice and into the Michigan goal.
“You get a real lucky one like we did at the start and it’s a real boost,” Alaska-Fairbanks coach Guy Gadowsky said.
Michigan received power-play goals in period one from Andy Hilbert and in period two from Jed Ortmeyer, but more often than not, Michigan’s opportunities fell by the wayside.
Berenson said he was worried how both teams would react to Friday’s 8-0 blowout.
“They were mad; they were upset,” Berenson said. “There was maybe a little lack of respect on our part. It’s disappointing.”
The victory was just the second ever for Alaska-Fairbanks over the Wolverines, and the first ever at Yost.
Dan Williams is a sports writer for The Michigan Daily.