Sunday, March 6, 2016

Nanooks Earn Governor's Cup, Last WCHA Playoff Berth

The University of Alaska (Fairbanks) Nanooks claimed their seventh consecutive Governor’s Cup with a 3-2 victory over in-state rival Alaska Anchorage on Friday night at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. For good measure on Saturday night, they posted another 3-2 victory while also claiming the final Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff spot and ending the Seawolves’ 2015-16 season.
Peter Krieger's third-period power-play goal with just over five minutes remaining in regulation Friday stood up as the game-winner for Alaska (10-20-4 overall, 8-16-4 WCHA), while Davis Jones made 28 saves for the Nanooks. Jones finished with 19 stops on Saturday, and made an early third-period score by Justin Woods stand up as the decisive marker shortly after UAA (11-20-3, 8-18-2) had forged a 2-2 tie. Woods sat out last season while being treated for Ewing’s Sarcoma.
Alaska is 3-3-0 in its last six outings overall following a five-game losing skid. The Seawolves, meanwhile, lost 13 of their final 16 games to fall out of playoff contention. UAA needed just two points over the weekend to advance to the postseason, and also went 0-3-1 overall against the Nanooks this season.
Alaska will now face top-seeded and 13th-ranked Michigan Tech in a best-of-three WCHA series beginning on Friday in Houghton, Mich. The Huskies defeated the visiting Nanooks on Feb. 26-27 by 6-5 and 3-2 scores. Alaska missed the playoffs last season due to NCAA sanctions.

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