MARQUETTE, Mich. — Alaska outshot Northern Michigan, 32-17, on Friday night at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.
The Nanooks converted on three of their six power plays, compared to the Wildcats’ one goal on two advantages.
One of Northern’s top offensive threats in junior Reed Seckel was even tossed from the game late in the first period.
Yet, still the Nanooks found themselves on the losing end of a 5-4 decision, unable to ever catch up to the Wildcats or end a winless streak in Marquette that dates back to February 2005.
“It’s a little discouraging,” Alaska coach Dallas Ferguson said. “We’ve been down this road here where we come in, play some hard minutes and don’t get rewarded for our efforts. Give Northern credit. They came out and they executed on their opportunities and that was the difference.”
The Wildcats and Nanooks each scored three goals in the third period, with Alaska responding every time NMU jumped ahead by two.
Erik Higby gave NMU a 3-1 lead 42 seconds into the third period, but a slashing call on Shane Sooth opened the door for Alaska’s Brandon Morley to score on a power play at 3:19 of the third to make it 3-2.
NMU forwards John Siemer and Gerard Hanson both scored their first collegiate goals in their first games at the BEC in the third, with Siemer converting on the power play at 5:43 and Hanson scoring at 10:19.
Both were negated by the Nanooks within minutes via goals by Tyler Morley at 8:58 and Colton Parayko at 11:31.
“In the third period, we’d get one and then they’d get one,” Ferguson said. “We just ended up short. I liked a lot of the things we were doing. We basically got beat on a couple details and they executed.”
Alaska had four power plays in the first period alone, and took a 1-0 lead on the second chance via a goal by Garrick Perry at the 9:21 mark.
Seckel was ejected for a third time this season after receiving a checking from behind major and game misconduct at the 17:16 mark, but instead of the Nanooks piling on and taking the lead, NMU evened the game at one with a short-handed breakaway goal by Ryan Daugherty 1:08 into the second.
NMU forward Ryan Kesti then scored his first goal of the season at 3:13 of the second to put Alaska behind after two periods, despite the Nanooks outshooting NMU 22-9 heading into the third.
“I’m really happy to get the win, but I don’t think we played well,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “I did think we were opportunistic on our chances. We made some good plays and took advantage of some scoring chances. We have to win some games you don’t necessarily deserve.”
NMU’s Mathias Dahlstrom finished with 28 saves, while Alaska netminder John Keeney made 12 saves.
The Wildcats and Nanooks, who split a November series in Fairbanks, play again at 7:07 p.m. Saturday at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.