December 4, 2011 - 6:08am
BY MATT SLOVIN AND ZACH HELFAND
FAIRBANKS — The Wolverines cut into a two-goal deficit Friday night against Alaska (Fairbanks) before succumbing, 4-3.
Tonight, No. 19 Michigan faces a much scarier proposition than a two-goal deficit — an eight-game winless streak.
To turn the tide, the Wolverines will need to shut down a Nanook offense not particularly known for its scoring prowess. Goals did come for Michigan on Friday, but after allowing two goals in a seven-second span, momentum greatly favored the home team for the duration.
Follow along LIVE as Daily hockey writers Matt and Zach blog all of the action from the Carlson Center, near the campus of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. The action starts at 11 p.m. Eastern time.
FIRST PERIOD SUMMARY
The first period was a quiet one for the Alaska (Fairbanks) offense. The Nanooks controlled the puck for much of the game’s early stages, but the final 10 minutes of play were dominated by Michigan. The Wolverines outshot Alaska by an 18-8 margin. It seemed Michigan was poise to take the lead when two Nanooks were sent to the penalty box for identical penalties. But when the period expired, the Wolverines failed to score on the two-man advantage and just 25 seconds remained on the power play. After 20 minutes of play, the score remained tied at zero.
SECOND PERIOD SUMMARY
Alaska killed off the remaining 25 seconds on Michigan’s 5-on-3 power play, but it soon drew another two penalties in a two-minute span. Michigan couldn’t connect on those, either. Late in the second power play, sophomore defender Mac Bennett had his shot blocked by a diving Nanook. The defender got a breakaway, but a hustling Bennett sprinted back to break up the attempt. Michigan killed off a penalty of its own about ten minutes later. The Wolverines continued to dominate the shot count, as they outshot the Nanooks 14-6 in the period. Michigan now leads Alaska in total shots 32 to 14 on the game. Both teams picked up penalties at the end of the period, and they’ll each play four skaters for one minute of the third.
THIRD PERIOD SUMMARY
Both offenses remained silent in the third period, which proved indecisive. With just two minutes remaining in the period, freshman defenseman Brennan Serville took an untimely penalty. Fortunately for the Wolverines, it was killed with just six seconds remaining in regulation. On that note, with the game still scoreless, the teams prepared for an overtime period.
Alex Guptill needed just one minute in overtime to score a goal that eluded both teams for the entirety of regulation. His shot was knocked in by a Nanook defender trying to clear the puck. The win snapped the Wolverines' longest winless streak since 1999.