Fairbanks, AK. - Three late stops by Ferris State men's ice hockey freshman goaltender Carter McPhail sealed the deal as the Bulldogs took down the Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks 3-2 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play on Friday night at the Carlson Center.
Ferris State freshman defenseman Brenden Rons scored his first collegiate goal with 6:01 remaining to give the Bulldogs a late 3-2 lead in the game, while McPhail shined, picking up his first collegiate win on 35 saves.
The Bulldogs got out in front at 13:58 of the first period on the power play when redshirt senior defenseman Zach Yoder made a backhand tap out of the air to bat the puck by UAF goaltender Anton Martinsson for a 1-0 Ferris State lead for his first goal of the season. Freshman defenseman Jake Willets earned his team-leading ninth assist of the season on Yoder's goal, while freshman defenseman Blake Evennou picked up his fourth.
At 10:56 of the second period, Ferris State junior forward Liam MacDougall picked off a zone-exit pass and broke down the right wing lane in on Martinsson, shorthanded. MacDougall ripped a shot cross-cage inside the left goal post for a 2-0 Ferris State lead for his first goal of the season unassisted.
The Nanooks answered 17 seconds later at 11:13 of the second period when Steven Jandric scored to cut the Bulldog lead in half. Alaska tied the game at 2:27 of the third period when Chris Jandric scored on a shot through traffic.
Ferris State picked up the game winning goal when Willets bounced a zone-exit pass off the boards out to freshman forward Jason Brancheau in neutral ice. Brancheau walked the puck over the right wing side of the blue line and centered a pass to Rons who drove the net and fired a low shot past Martinsson for his first collegiate goal and the 3-2 Bulldog lead at 13:59 of the third period. Brancheau (2) and Willets (10) earned assists on the eventual game-winning goal.
Down the stretch, McPhail and the Bulldog defense warded off a late charge by the Nanooks to seal their second WCHA win in three games.
Ferris State finished 1-2 on the power play, while the Nanooks finished 1-3. Martinsson made nine saves for the Nanooks as he took the loss. McPhail picked up his first collegiate win, making 35 stops, including 28 in the final 40 minutes of play.
The Bulldogs look to sweep the Nanooks on the road on Saturday, (Nov. 23) at 11:07 pm ET inside the Carlson Center in Fairbanks before trekking to Anchorage in the midst of their 12-day trip.