BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Despite excellent goaltending by Alaska Fairbanks’ Preston McKay, the special-teams play of Ferris State proved to be the difference as a power-play goal by Scott Lewis gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 victory over UAF Friday night.
UAF came out strong the first period, but Ferris struck first. With UAF on the power play, Chad McIver chipped the puck out of the zone and right to Rob Collins. Two Alaska Fairbanks defenders were caught out of position with Collins streaking down the left side. Collins moved in front of McKay and shot the puck over his glove, rippling the twine for a 1-0 lead at 10:22.
After two more failed power-play opportunities for Fairbanks, Ferris State capitalized on a power play of its own. McKay turned Kevin Swider’s shot away, but Lewis pinched in from the point and buried the puck top-shelf to the stick side of the sprawling goaltender for a 2-0 lead at 13:51.
Alaska Fairbanks rebounded quickly, but every power-play chance was thwarted by the stingy Bulldog defense or gobbled up by the hungry glove of Phil Osaer.
Still, UAF’s best opportunity came on the power play near the end of the second period. Off a two-on-one chance down low, Osaer who read the pass and slid across to rob the goal.
UAF got on the board quickly in the third period. Osear turned Larranaga’s shot away, but Andrews was there for the rebound. He backhanded it towards the net and got the bounce he needed to get it up over Osaer’s right pad and into the goal at 2:58.
That was all for UAF, however, as the Nanooks were finally forced to pull McKay with a minute left in regulation; Osaer and the defense were again there to close the door and earn the victory for Ferris State.
Alaska Fairbanks and Ferris State will meet one last time this season, Saturday night in Big Rapids to close out the series.