ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska-Anchorage lost a tight one-goal decision to rival Alaska-Fairbanks tonight at Sullivan Arena, falling 2-1 in game 1 of the annual Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup series.
The Nanooks (2-0-1, 0-0-0 CCHA) took a 2-0 lead on the strength of a pair of power-play goals in the first and second periods, before the Seawolves (1-2-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) would answer with their lone goal of the night in the third.
Alaska-Anchorage pulled starting goaltender John DeCaro in favor of an extra attacker for the final 1:37 of regulation, but was unable to get a shot past UAF goalie Wylie Rodgers.
The Seawolves had won the last five one-goal games in the series prior to the loss. UAF now holds a 21-19 advantage in one-goal decisions all-time in the series.
Alaska-Anchorage’s scoring highlight was provided by junior Justin Bourne, who wristed a shot past Rodgers stick side from the low slot at 3:49 of the third. Linemate Charlie Kronschnabel and defenseman Shane Lovdahl picked up their second assists of the year on the goal. The goal was the first of the season for Bourne, who tied for the team lead in goals a year ago with 12.
The Nanooks goals were scored by Aaron Lee at 7:37 of the first and Nathan Fornataro at 8:21 of the second.
Special teams proved be the difference in the game with Fairbanks connecting on 2-of-8 power-play chances, while Anchorage went scoreless at 0-for-5.
DeCaro stopped 16 shots in his first start in net for the Seawolves, while Rodgers recorded 23 saves in the victory for the Nanooks.
The Seawolves outshot the Nanooks 24-18 for the game, including holding an 8-4 advantage in the final stanza.
Anchorage looks to even up the Governor’s Cup series Sunday at Sullivan Arena.