Huskies continue long trip in Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – For the first time since 1993, the Michigan Tech hockey team travels to college hockey’s northernmost outpost, Fairbanks, Alaska, to face the Alaska Nanooks and complete an 11-day Alaska road trip.

UAF (5-5-2, 2-4-0 WCHA)?is a spot behind Tech in ninth place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings after a pair of close losses, 5-3 and 4-3, at league-leading Ferris State.

Just like Michigan Tech is doing, Alaska went back-to-back on its road trip, beginning its voyage to Alaska with a split the week before at Lake Superior State.

Tech (4-8-2, 2-3-1)?enters the series after a one-point weekend at Alaska-Anchorage, 359 miles south, losing Friday’s game 3-1 before a 2-2 overtime tie on Saturday night.

The point marks Tech’s first success in three attempts on Olympic-sized ice. Like their Alaska rivals, the Nanooks play on a 200-by-100 foot sheet at the Carlson Center.

Among the Huskies playing well entering tonight’s (11:07 p.m. EST) game is junior forward Tanner Kero. Kero scored power play goals in both games of the UAA series to up his season point total to nine, with three of his four goals coming on the power play. He is on a six-game point streak.

Sophomore Alex Petan assisted on both of Kero’s goals to run his own point streak to six games and take the team lead in points with 10 (six goals, four assists).

Things have gone well for Tech on the defensive end, as the Huskies have allowed just 2.43 goals per game, good for second in the WCHA. This weekend, they’ll face the league’s second-best scoring offense, as the Nanooks are scoring 3.08 goals per game.

Goaltender Pheonix Copley started Saturday’s tie at UAA and is 20th nationally in save percentage at .926. His hometown of North Pole, Alaska is 14 miles east (and actually slightly south) of Fairbanks.