Northern Michigan hockey team has unbeaten streak snapped at Alaska

MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University hockey team had its six-game unbeaten streak snapped in Fairbanks on Friday night via a 2-1 loss to the Alaska Nanooks in CCHA play at the Carlson Center.

The Nanooks (11-8-4 overall, 9-7-3 in CCHA) jumped out to a 2-0 lead to extend their winning streak to five games and unbeaten streak to six.

Friday’s defeat was the first for the Wildcats (11-11-4 overall, 5-10-4 in CCHA) since Jan. 1 and first loss to Alaska since November of 2007.

NMU senior center Matt Thurber scored his third goal of the season 14:00 into the second period on a 5-on-3 advantage to cut the Nanook lead in half, getting assists from senior defensemen Kyle Follmer and Scott Macaulay.

Alaska took a 1-0 lead 48 seconds into the game on a goal by Cody Kunyk with assists by Andy Taranto and Josh Atkinson.

Kunyk assisted on the decisive goal 2:38 into the second period, which was a shorthanded score by Colten Beck.

The Wildcats finished 1-3 on the power play and killed all five Nanook penalties.

NMU goaltender Jared Coreau made 36 saves compared to the 24 made by Nanook netminder John Keeney as Alaska outshot NMU 12-6 in the opening period.

“Coreau was good, or it could have been worse,” NMU head coach Walt Kyle said to Danny Martin of the Fairbanks Daily New-Miner. “We make a horrible play to give up the shorty, they score on two turnovers.

“I didn’t like our game tonight. I thought they did a great job of forcing us into problems, and I thought Kunyk’s line was dominant tonight.”

Northern and Alaska went to overtime twice over the Thanksgiving weekend in Marquette with the Wildcats winning in OT and in a shootout. The two sides meet again tonight at 11:05 p.m. EST.