The Spartans (7-7-5; 4-5-4 CCHA play) had a golden opportunity to sweep the Nanooks (6-7-3; 4-6-2 in CCHA play) when they jumped out to a 3-0 lead but Alaska Fairbanks mounted a furious rally and ended up with a hard fought tie. Freshman Jeff Lerg was shaky in the nets after being staked to a big lead, but the Spartans were able to escape with at least a point.
Bryan Lerg and Justin Abdelkader staked the Spartans to an early 2-0 lead. David Booth added another to jump MSU up to what appeared to be an insurmountable 3-0 edge. But MSU got sloppy in the second period and the Nanooks got back into the game.
MSU committed back-to-back penalties to give UAF a 5-on-3 advantage and despite killing off one infraction Adam Naglich tipped one past freshman goaltender Lerg to cut the lead to 3-1.
Kyle Jones got another past Lerg and suddenly it was a 3-2 contest. Jones lit the lamp again before the period ended and it ended at 3 all. Senior Colton Fretter put MSU up by one, but Lerg couldn't hold off the Nanooks who ended the scoring with Jones getting the hat trick to give UAF a point.
On Saturday with veteran Dominic Vicari in the nets, the Spartans were able to hold off the Nanooks 32 shot barrage while capitalizing on their limited chances to get a 3-0 shutout.
Vicari said he remembered the last time he faced Fairbanks and the Nanooks completed the sweep with him between the pipes for both contests. "I did remember that," Vicari said. "It's something that always sticks in your mind. I've had trouble playing here in Alaska and we had trouble beating them at the Joe."
Sophomore winger Bryan Lerg was the star for the Spartans on Saturday. Lerg scored a power play goal and help thwart the Nanooks with his penalty-killing play.
"We're always pretty good at blocking shots," said Lerg. "Coach [Comley] really stressed get your body right in the shot lanes and get right on the defense. We were really in their faces tonight and last night, we sat back a lot and they got a lot of shots through."
Justin Abdelkader and Zak McClellan added tallies for the Spartans.