BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Alaska-Fairbanks had a problem solving the Bulldog goaltender Mike Brown last night. Tonight, Ferris State started John DeCaro, and the Nanooks couldn’t solve him either.
DeCaro turned away 31 of 32 shots, and Chris Kunitz had a three-point night to lead the Bulldogs to a 4-1 victory over Alaska-Fairbanks.
Ferris State drew first blood on the power play late in the first period. Kunitz was on the doorstep to roof a rebound past Nanook goaltender Preston McKay at 16:56 to make it 1-0.
Alaska-Fairbanks worked hard to tie the score in the second period, but hit everything except the back of the net. With a slew of penalties called on both teams, a rare three-on-three situation developed. It was Ferris State who capitalized on a pretty passing play between Kunitz and Kristian Schroder. Rob Collins found himself in front of the net as a result, and pushed the puck past McKay at 9:54 to make it 2-0.
A questionable goal was the highlight of the third period, and seemed to take the steam out of Alaska-Fairbanks. Derrick McIver ripped a shot from the point while on the power play. Phil Lewandowski was on the doorstep with a deflection, and McKay seemed to have it for a couple seconds. The puck somehow squeezed through and trickled into the back of the net. Much to McKay’s displeasure and to the displeasure of the rest of the Nanooks, the officials counted the goal at 4:14 to make it 3-0.
The Nanooks finally got the puck past DeCaro at 9:16 of the third period. Cam Keith won a faceoff in the offensive zone back to Scott Farrell. Ryan Lang deflected Farrell’s shot past the Bulldog netminder to make it 3-1. McKay left the net for the extra attacker near the end of the period, but it was Kunitz who came up with his third point of the night on an empty-net goal at 18:57 to make it 4-1.
UAF (6-6-0, 2-6-0 CCHA) returns to action Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, hosting Michigan State. FSU (6-4-1, 4-4-1 CCHA) travels to Omaha for two against the UNO Mavericks Nov. 23-24.