FAIRBANKS, Alaska — It was a fight to the finish as the Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks rallied for a key victory late in the third period. With less then four minutes left in the third period Bobby Andrews put in a wrist shot that snaked past Dan Ellis and clinched the game for UAF and the first ever home CCHA playoff series for the Nanooks.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us and Bobby Andrews has done a good job for us and it was fitting that he was the one who got the game winning goal.” said Nanook coach Guy Gadowsky.
Kyle O’Keefe scored for UNO at 3:43 in the first, and then tied UAF 2-2 after scoring within the first 34 seconds in the second period.
The Nanooks had taken a 2-1 lead after O’Keefe scored his first goal with a power play goal by Cam Keith and then an even-strength tally from Scott Vockeroth.
“Scott has a great puck luck he is in the right place at the right time,” said Andrews about Vockeroth.
Lance Mayes had to fend two power plays in the third period and stood strong to keep the Mavericks off the board in the third period.
“UNO is a good team they may not have scored often but they definitley got vital goals,” said Mayes. “Our penalty killing unit has done a good job. they had only one good chance all night and my guys were there when I needed them.”
The Nanooks secured third place in the regular season CCHA standings and UAF will now host a CCHA playoff series for the first time in this school’s history.
“We have a lot of work ahead for the rest of this year, but I think that by next year those great teams will be asking themselves if they will be able to beat a team like UAF,” said Gadowsky
The two teams will meet on Saturday night to finish up the weekend series.