Jan. 28, 2012
Fairbanks, Alaska - Sophomore forward Cody Kunyk scored two power-play goals and added an assist for three points and senior goaltender Scott Greenham made 26 saves to lead the Alaska Nanooks to a 6-3 win over Notre Dame on Friday night at the Carlson Center.
Kunyk's offensive outburst occurred in the second period when Alaska snapped a 2-2 tie with three unanswered goals to build a 5-2 lead. The Nanooks also received goals from Jarrett Granberg, Justin Filzen, Andy Taranto and Chad Gehon in the win. Scoring for the Irish were Austin Wuthrich, T.J. Tynan and Billy Maday.
The Irish will need to find a way to stop Kunyk in the second game of the series. After picking up a hat trick on Nov. 11th at the Compton Family Ice Arena, he now has five goals and two assists for seven points in three games versus Notre Dame.
The loss continued Notre Dame's rollercoaster ride this year as the Irish have now dropped two straight after winning three in a row. Fourth-ranked Notre Dame falls to 14-10-3 on the season and 9-8-3-0 in the CCHA, good for 30 points. The Irish are now in seventh place in the tight CCHA race, two points behind sixth-place Michigan (32) and just six points behind first-place Western Michigan (36). Eight points separate first and ninth place in the CCHA.
With the win, Alaska is now 9-12-4 overall and 5-11-4-2 in the conference. The Nanooks are in 10th place with 21 points.
The Irish got off to a slow start in this one, getting just five shots in the opening period and for the 16th time in the first 27 games, gave up the first goal of the night. Notre Dame is now 7-8-1 when the opposition scored the opening goal.
Granberg opened the scoring for Alaska as he notched his sixth of the year at 13:53. The junior forward fired a wrist shot from the slot that deflected off Notre Dame starter Steven Summerhays' glove and into the goal for an unassisted marker.
The Nanook lead lasted less than three minutes before the Irish were able to tie the game at 16:13 as three freshmen combined for the equalizer. Defenseman Robbie Russo moved the puck ahead to rookie center Garrett Peterson through the neutral zone. Peterson put Wuthrich in over the Alaska blue line and the native of Anchorage, Alaska, snapped a shot from the right face-off dot past Greenham for his seventh goal of the season.
A Notre Dame defensive breakdown with 1:16 left in the opening period gave Alaska the lead at the first intermission. Ron Meyers found Filtzen all alone in front of the Irish goal and the senior forward tucked a shot over Summerhays and under the cross bar for his third goal of the season.
After the break, the Irish came out fast in the second stanza to tie the game at 2-2 just 1:10 into the middle period as Tynan flipped a rebound past Greenham for his 10th goal of the year.
Defenseman Sam Calabrese held the puck in at the blue line and threw the puck towards the goal. Anders Lee got his stick on the shot and deflected it off the Alaska goaltender. The rebound fell into the crease and Tynan beat Greenham to the loose puck and tucked it in the net to even the score.
From there, the Nanooks took over the momentum as they ran off three unanswered goals with two of them coming on the power play.
Kunyk got his first of the night at 6:12 of the second, beating Summerhays with shot low to the sophomore's stick side. Aaron Gens and Michael Quinn picked up helpers on the goal, Kunyk's 10th of the season.
Alaska chased Summerhays at 8:23 of the second when Taranto redirected a shot by Kunyk past the Irish goaltender for his seventh goal of the year. Quinn had his second assist of the game. Summerhays was replaced by Mike Johnson in goal, finishing with 28:23 of playing time and seven saves on the night.
The Nanooks would make it a 5-2 game with their second power-play goal of the period as Kunyk deflected a shot by Taranto past Johnson on the second shot the junior goaltender would face in the period. Beck picked up the second assist on the goal.
The second period ended with Notre Dame on a five-on-three power play and the Irish took advantage early in the third to cut the lead to 5-3 and put some life back into the Irish bench. Maday banged home the rebound of a shot by Lee while set up at the top of the crease. Tynan also assisted on the play, giving he and Lee a pair of points in the game.
Alaska closed out the scoring at 9:21 of the period as Gehon got his first of the season from Adam Henderson and Quinn who had three assists on the night.
Notre Dame finished with a 29-22 shot advantage in the contest. Johnson played the final 31:37, making nine saves and giving up a pair of goals. Alaska was 2-for-4 on the power play while the Irish were 1-for-4.
Game two of the series is set for Saturday evening at the Carlson Center. Game time is 7:05 p.m. (AT) or 11:05 p.m. in Michiana.
** IRISH NOTES **
* The outdoor temperature at game time in Fairbanks was 39-below zero and it was 44-below zero at the end of the night. The high temperature on Saturday is expected to reach -36 with sunny skies.
* Two members of the Notre Dame roster returned home to play in their native Alaska for the first time in their Irish hockey careers - sophomore goaltender Steven Summerhays and freshman forward Austin Wuthrich each hail from Anchorage, Alaska.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F #4/#4 Notre Dame (14-10-3/9-7-3-0) 1 1 1 - 3 Alaska (9-12-4/6-11-4-2) 2 3 1 - 6Scoring
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UAF: 3 for 6 minutes.
Second Period: ND: T.J. Tynan 10 (Anders Lee, Sam Calabrese), 1:10; UAF: Cody Kunyk 11 (Aaron Gens, Michael Quinn), PPG, 6:12; UAF: Andy Taranto 7 (Kunyk, Quinn), 8:23; UAF: Kunyk 12 (Taranto, Beck), PPG, 14:52/
Penalties: ND: 5 for 10 minutes; UAF: 6 for 12 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Billy Maday 8 (Lee, Tynan), PPG, 1:05; UAF: Chad Gehon 1 (Adam Henderson, Quinn); 9:21.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UAF: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal: Notre Dame 5 - 12 - 12 - 29 Alaska 8 - 6 - 8 - 22
Power Plays: ND: 1 for 4 UAF: 2 for 4