Comeback Effort Falls One Goal Short in Loss to Alaska
Andrew Copp

Jan. 11, 2013

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Yost Ice Arena)
Score: Alaska 5, Michigan 4
Records: U-M (7-12-2, 4-9-2-2 CCHA), Alaska (8-8-4, 5-7-3-1 CCHA)
Attendance: 5,800 (sellout)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 12 -- vs. Alaska (Yost Ice Arena), 7:35 p.m. [ Tickets ]

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Despite a comeback attempt late in the third period, the University of Michigan ice hockey team was defeated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks by a 5-4 score on Friday night (Jan. 11) at Yost Ice Arena. The loss drops Michigan into sole possession of eighth place in the conference standings.

After leading Michigan for the first period and the beginning of the second, the Nanooks answered every Michigan goal, never allowing the Wolverines to take the lead. The two teams were tied for a brief period in the second stanza, but UAF ultimately prevailed with three markers in the second and one in the third.

The first period saw two fruitless UAF power plays, but the Nanooks were first on the board after a Michigan power play when Kaare Odegard skated out of the penalty box -- where he served time for interference -- and directly to the Michigan crease, beating Steve Racine (Williamsville, N.Y.) on a redirect.

Alaska stretched its lead to two early in the second period when Matthew Friese nabbed the puck from the top of the right faceoff circle and sent it sailing into the net.

The Wolverines responded less than 20 seconds later, at 3:36, when an attempt close to the crease by Kevin Lynch (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) sent the puck flying in the air. Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich.) nabbed it and flipped it into the net. Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich.) picked up the other assist, marking his first point of the 2012-13 campaign.

Around nine minutes later, Derek DeBlois (Narragansett, R.I.) was moving down the ice with the puck when he sent it laterally to Alex Guptill (New Market, Ontario), who wristed it into the net.

The two teams were neck-and-neck for a little more than a minute, before Alaska retook the lead. Nolan Youngman got his stick on the puck after a faceoff in the Michigan zone and was free to snap it past an undefended Racine to bring the score to 3-2. The Nanooks furthered their lead to 4-2 on a power play at 17:20 of the frame.

At 18:54 of the middle period, Trouba got his stick on a rebound off UAF goaltender John Keeney's pads and sent the puck up, where it eventually found twine and whittled down Alaska's lead to one.

Alaska answered just 3:46 into the final frame with a shorthanded goal to bring the score to 5-3.

With 1:43 remaining, Janecyk was pulled for the extra attacker. The team capitalized on the man-advantage by netting a goal at 18:40, when a shot sent towards the goal by Trouba rebounded off the goalie onto the stick of Zach Hyman (Toronto, Ontario), who one-timed it into the net, beating Keeney gloveside.

A late surge of activity with 1:20 left in the matchup proved insufficient to overcome the one-goal deficit, and so the Nanooks prevailed.

Racine stopped 13-of-18 in the loss, and Adam Janecyk (Ada, Mich.), who relieved Racine between the pipes for the final period, stopped 3-of-4. Alaska's John Keeney turned aside 19-of-23.

The Wolverines and the Nanooks return to Yost Ice Arena tomorrow night (Saturday, Jan. 12) to finish out the CCHA weekend series. The puck is set to drop at 7:35 p.m., and the game can be seen on Fox Sports Detroit Plus or heard on the IMG Michigan Sports Radio Network.

Contact: Rob Tillotson (734) 763-4423

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