FAIRBANKS — Some fans might call it an instant classic. Others might say it was boring. Regardless, the 3,367 people at the Carlson Center witnessed a rare event Saturday night, when the Wolverines and Nanooks hung goose eggs on the scoreboard for 60 minutes.

“Give our team credit,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “One shot either way and the game’s over. We didn’t give up anything. (With) the puck not going in … we needed one goal to win the game.”

When the horn sounded to indicate the end of regulation, the Wolverines found themselves in their first scoreless tie heading into overtime since Dec. 29, 2007. In that game, Michigan needed double overtime to beat Michigan Tech and win the Great Lakes Invitational.

And freshman forward Alex Guptill made sure the end result would be the same when he lit the lamp just under one minute into the extra period.

“It came at the end of shift there,” Guptill said. “It kind of turned out lucky. We were getting really down … but now we know what it feels like to win.”

Though teammates and coaches alike were quick to credit fifth-year senior netminder Shawn Hunwick for keeping the Wolverines in the game, he was even quicker to reciprocate the gratitude.

“(The defense) did a huge job,” Hunwick said. “They were clearing guys out so I could see the shots from the point. We did a good job tonight of limiting screens and tips and all that stuff.”

Added Guptill: “Shawn’s our go-to guy. He’s been unbelievable in the last two years here.

“If we’re going to end up winning, we’re going to need to ride him.”

WIDER ICE WILL SUFFICE: The weekend series against Alaska Fairbanks marked the second time this season that Michigan had played on Olympic-sized ice. The Wolverines also had to adjust to the larger playing surface against Northern Michigan in October.

No learning curve has been evident. In fact, some Michigan players seem to think it favors the team’s playing style.

“The Olympic ice is a lot different,” Guptill said. “We have a really fast team and I think our speed showed (Saturday). We controlled the play.”

For some teams, the extra space to cover spreads players too thin. But that hardly seemed to be an issue this weekend in Alaska. Though the offense took a while to get going in the series finale, Michigan scored three times in Friday’s loss.

NOTES: With his seventh shutout, Hunwick climbed into a tie for fifth on Michigan’s career shutout list. … Saturday’s meeting was the 53rd all-time between the Wolverines and the Nanooks. Michigan holds the series lead with a 42-10-1 advantage. … The Wolverines’ 18 first-period shots are the second most the team has had in a single period this season. Against Bentley on Oct. 7, Michigan managed to fire off 23 shots in the third period.

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