With Six You Get Semifinals
UAF scores a half-dozen goals...again; MSU
The CCHA playoffs
have indeed been a super six for Alaska-Fairbanks.
The eighth-seeded Nanooks
dusted no. 5 seed Bowling Green in a first round series last weekend
by hanging a half-dozen goals on Hobey Baker Award finalist Jordan
Sigalet on back-to-back nights.
Northern Michigan 3
Grinevitch, W. Rogers
Gardner, J. Milam
Oystrick, D. Olver
Sylvestre, J. Grinevitch
Fraser, W. Rogers
McLeod, K. Greentree
Santorelli, A. Contois
Newton, D. Campbell
Muspratt, D. Campbell
Wylie Rogers, 59:57, 25 saves, 3 GA
Tuomas Tarkki, 58:55, 24 saves, 5 GA (1 ENG)
AF 6/12; NM 7/14
Plays: AF 3-7; NM 2-6
At Joe Louis
Arena in Detroit Thursday, UAF rolled a boxcar against another
Hobey hopeful – Northern Michigan goaltender Tuomas Tarkki
– as the surging Nanooks bounced the third-seeded Wildcats,
6-3. Alaska-Fairbanks (16-15-4 overall) advances to tomorrow’s
first semifinal match to face top-seed Michigan.
“Over the last
three or four weeks, this team has started to take more ownership,”
UAF first-year coach Tavis MacMillan said of his team, which is
5-1-1 in its last seven games. “Guys are buying in. It's
great to see. Right now they're driving the train, the players
are. They're holding themselves accountable.”
Freshman forward Ryan
McLeod, who scored twice in the first 13 seconds of the first
period in Friday’s series opener against Bowling Green,
netted a pair of goals in the first 20 minutes tonight. The first,
a power play tally, gave UAF a 1-0 lead 7:26 into the game. The
second, which came 1:43 prior to intermission with the man advantage,
evened the score after NMU got goals from Rob Lehtinen and Tim
Hartung midway through the period.
“We've been kind
of getting the bounces going our way,” McLeod said. “We
tried to go upstairs as much as we could tonight and that worked
out really well for us.”
UAF would regain the
lead on an Aaron Lee goal two minutes into the second period and
extend their advantage on Jason Grinevitch’s power play
marker roughly 10 minutes later. The Wildcats got a boost, however,
when Nathan Oystrick scored with 56 seconds left in the period
to cut the Nanooks’ edge to 4-3.
Special teams, which
were Northern Michigan’s bane the entire night, proved fatal
in the third period when UAF’s Nathan Fornataro scored a
shorthanded goal with 11:24 left in regulation.
killed us tonight,” Oystrick said. “I've got to give
them credit. They played a heck of a game.”
The win was the first
for Alaska-Fairbanks at Joe Louis Arena, and while the Nanooks
are proud of making their deepest advance in the CCHA playoffs
in the program’s history, they’re not satisfied with
just one win.
kids understand that there is still more,” MacMillan said.
“We came with one goal in mind and that was to compete and
vie for the CCHA championship.”
STATE 5, NEBRASKA-OMAHA 0
won its sixth straight game, downing Nebraksa-Omaha by a 5-0 score
at Joe Louis Arena in Thursday's second quarterfinal match.
The sixth-seeded Spartans, who advance to the playoff semifinals
for the first time in Rick Comley's tenure in East Lansing, will
take on Ohio State Friday. The winner of that game meets the Alaska-Fairbanks-Michigan
winner in Saturday's championship game.
Miller, J. Slater
Slater, D. Miller
Slater, C. Potter
Miller, T. Goebel
Potter, T. Goebel
Dominic Vicari, 60:00, 33 saves, 0 GA
Chris Holt, 58:59, 37 saves, 4 GA (1 ENG)
MS 7/14; NO 10/28
Plays: MS 2-7; NO 0-6
as we win, by one or by four, it doesn't really matter,"
senior captain Jim Slater said, "as long as we get it done."
MSU took a two-goal lead after one period thanks to offensive
elements that have become quite familiar to Spartan fans in recent
weeks – the power play, and the goal-scoring prowess of
the forward foursome of Colton Fretter, Jim McKenzie, Drew Miller
Fretter recorded his team-high 20th goal of the season 3:28 into
the game. McKenzie would score his man-advantage goal a little
more than seven minutes later.
A trio of
infrequent goal scorers picked up the last three MSU markers.
Tom Goebel gave the Spartans a three-goal advantage when he scored
for the fifth time this season 6:17 into the second period. Less
than five minutes later, freshman Daniel Vukovic notched his first
career goal to make the score 4-0. Another freshman, Chris Mueller,
scored an empty-net goal for the Spartans late in the third period.
Though Slater and Miller didn't score, they each contributed three
assists. Goebel had a pair of assists to go along with his goal,
and defenseman Corey Potter also had two assists.
"Our hats are off to Michigan State," UNO coach Mike
Kemp said. "They took control of the game early on. I thought
they asserted themselves very well and took advantage of every
opportunity that we gave them."
draws Michigan in Friday's first semifinal. The significance of
the game beyond determining which team advances to Saturday's
championship game is minimal – win or lose, the Wolverines
are likely locked into a no. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
semifinal match between Michigan State and Ohio State, on the
other hand, is thick with importance. With both teams battling
for their NCAA lives, the winner here may not cement their status
in the national tournament, but it'll certainly put them on more