Jan. 2, 1998
Alaska-Fairbanks Upsets Spartans, 6-4Berens and Horcoff each nab a pair of goals
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Spartan hockey battled to a 2-1 lead after two periods and a 4-2 lead in the second period of tonight's CCHA game against the Nanooks, only to see Alaska-Fairbanks score the game's final four goals and claim a 6-4 upset victory.
The Nanooks earned the win by converting on three-of-five power-play opportunities and scoring four unanswered goals late in the game. Entering tonight's match up, MSU's penalty kill percentage sat at .907 and had allowed more than two goals in only three games so far this season.
"Penalties and power play goals made the difference," said MSU coach Ron Mason after the loss. "I think UAF played a very inspired game and they executed better than we did."
MSU senior Sean Berens opened the scoring at 9:46 of the first, easily beating UAF goaltender Ian Perkins. The Nanooks answered with a power play goal three minutes later from Jim Lawrence to tie it up 1-1.
MSU responded quickly and regained the lead just 23 seconds later when Shawn Horcoff grabbed a loose puck in the UAF zone and slipped it under Perkins' pads. Although UAF outshot MSU 10-6 in the first period, it was the Spartans who held the advantage, 2-1, heading into the first break.
Early in the second, UAF's Jamie Coady tied the game 2-2 by coming off the bench to replace Perkins on a delayed penalty just in time to send a cross-ice pass into the net. The Spartans quickly reestablished the lead on a pair of power play goals midway through the second period from Berens and Horcoff, who finished the game with a pair of goals apiece.
Midway through the second period, UAF's Sjon Wynia notched a power play goal (14:16) and four minutes later, Chad Hamilton tied the game for the Nannooks with another goal on the advantage.
Entering the third period tied 4-4, it looked to be anybody's game. But, the Nanooks continued the scoring blitz when Sjon Wynia put a rebound past Alban at 14:40 of the third period and Eon MacFarlane followed exactly a minute later to seal the UAF win 6-4.
UAF outshot the Spartans 27-22 and held MSU to just five shots in the third period. MSU was forced to finish the game without the help of Horcoff, who injured his ankle in the third period and may miss Saturday's contest.
Spartan hockey's record now sits at 16-3-2 overall and 8-3-1 in Central Collegiate Hockey Association play. The Nanooks' record now sits at 6-12-2 overall and 5-11-1 in the CCHA. These two teams meet again tommorrow night.