No. 1 Wolverine Icers Split In Alaska

The No. 1-ranked University of Michigan hockey team made its initial road trip of the season visiting the University of Alaska-Fairbanks this weekend for a two game series. In the opener, the Nanooks of UAF knocked off the No. 1 Wolverines 4-2. On Saturday, the Wolverines would get their revenge, however, shutting out the home team on the way to a 4-0 victory.

In the opener, the Wolverines were a victim of missed opportunities. After entering the contest ranked second in the NCAA in power play percentage, the Wolverines were only able to muster one power-play goal in eight chances on Friday night.

UAF opened the weekend's scoring midway through the first period as the Nanooks Lucas Burnett beat Michigan goalie Billy Sauer low to the stick side from the right circle.

Travis Turnball tied the game for the Wolverines minutes later at 12:14, jamming the puck through the legs of the Nanooks sophomore goalie Wylie Rogers after finding the loose puck thrown in front of the net by Tim Miller.

UAF would answer with two more first period goals however, sending the puck past Sauer after a shot from the point was redirected just in front of the crease by Nanooks forward Braden Walls.

Ryan McLeod added a third goal by beating Sauer to the glove side with under a minute to go in the first period.

Andrew Cogliano pulled the Wolverines back within one with the Wolverines lone power-play goal of the night at 7:26 of the second period. Cogliano corralled a rebound at the right circle and flipped the puck high past Rogers into the net.

Michigan was unable to net a third goal though, and UAF would add one final goal in the third period.

In the second contest of the weekend, however, the Wolverines would dominate the home team with Noah Ruden pitching his first shutout of the season between the pipes for the Maize and Blue.

As was the case on Friday, the Wolverines opened Saturday's contest with an early power play following a five-minute major for checking from behind less then two minutes into the contest. This time, the Wolverines capitalized.

At 6:05, Kevin Porter scored the power-play goal, beating UAF's Rogers from just off the right post following a cross-crease pass from T.J. Hensick. Hensick found Porter with the backhand pass after slicing his way towards the Nanooks left goal post.

While Michigan would continue to dominate the period, the Nanooks did have one opportunity to tie the contest with just under two-minutes remaining in the period. After being caught in a line change, the Wolverines' Jack Johnson was forced to haul down Nanooks forward Lucas Burnett on the breakaway to prevent the tying goal, thus giving the Nanooks a penalty shot. Noah Ruden would hold onto the shutout, however, sending the puck over the net off his blocker to preserve the one goal lead.

In the second period, Jack Johnson extended the Wolverines lead with the teams' second power-play goal of the night. At the 10:28 mark, Johnson found the back of the net from the point on a shot that deflected off the Nanooks' goalie but still found its way into the net.

UAF would threaten with two power play opportunities of their own to close the period, but Ruden held strong to bring the Wolverines into the second intermission leading 2-0.

T.J. Hensick added his third goal of the season midway through the final stanza. On the left post, Hensick snapped the puck over Wylie Rogers after the puck bounced off the back boards in front of the net following a Jack Johnson shot from the point.

Matt Hunwick would score the games final goal, again from the point on the power play.

Michigan now prepares for Notre Dame this weekend as the Wolverines play their first home-and-home series of the year.

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