Swept out of Alaska

Ferris loses 4-1 and ends Alaska road trip winless

Ferris junior goaltender Darren Smith stopped 52 of the 59 shots he faced on the weekend, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Bulldogs from being swept by Alaska. Photo by: Keith Salowich | Web Supervisor

The Bulldogs flew into Alaska with plenty of momentum after sweeping Michigan Tech at home last weekend but have left Fairbanks empty handed after Ferris dropped their second of the weekend, 4-1 Saturday night against the Nanooks.

After a back and forth first period that saw very few stoppages, the Bulldogs were able to strike first when defenseman Zach Yoder found freshman Lucas Finner in front of the net for the deflection to put Ferris up 1-0 early in the second.

Alaska put on plenty of pressure before knotting things up a few minutes later and it only took 26 seconds after that to see Alaska take the lead for good on the night when a puck bounced off defenseman Jake Hetz before finding its way behind Ferris goaltender Darren Smith.

Alaska added another goal in the third period just over five minutes into the frame to extend the lead to two before they capitalized on an empty netter late in the period to put the nail in the coffin.

With the loss, Alaska passed the Bulldogs in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) standings as the Nanooks were able to capture six points on the weekend. The Bulldogs dropped to seventh in the conference, just one point ahead of Alabama-Huntsville who holds onto the eighth and final playoff spot.

Smith made his fourth straight start for the Bulldogs after elevating his game in the month of January and stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced. Smith once again looked solid in net but the Nanooks found some bounces to seal the victory.

Though the effort seemed to be there, the Bulldogs looked out of place on the large Carlson Center Ice surface that appears to be bigger than the ocean that borders the state. The Carlson Center has proven to be a tough place to play for Ferris in the past and this weekend was no different.

The Bulldogs now have plenty of time to get ready for a road trip against Minnesota State as the team has a bye week next weekend. The free weekend couldn’t come at a better time for a depleted Bulldog lineup as the team looks to get healthy before the WCHA playoffs roll around in March.

The Bulldogs hit the ice next on Friday, Feb. 16, on the road against rival Minnesota State. Puck drop is set for 8:07 p.m.

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