FAIRBANKS, AK - Three second period power play goals by the Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks was the difference as they downed the Merrimack Warriors by the score of 3-2 in the first round of the Brice Alaska goal rush tournament. Merrimack (1-2-0, 0-1-0 HEA) will return to action tomorrow afternoon as they will take on the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves at 8:00 pm ET.
Sophomore Quinn Gould (Fort McMurray, AB) got the Warriors on the board with 5:13 remaining in the first period as he jammed home a rebound off of a breakaway attempt by freshman Brian Christie (West Chester, Pa.). The assist for Christie is his first career point in only his second game and Dan Kolomatis (Basking Ridge, NJ) also picked up an assist.
Mike Collins (Boston, Mass.) made it 2-0 as he took the puck from behind his net and went the length of the ice, beating Steve Thompson with a wrist shot from the top of the right face off circle. Tom McCarthy (Maple Grove, MN) and Josh Myers picked up the assists on Collins' shorthanded goal.
The Nanooks wasted no time responding with two straight power play goals to tie the game at two. Tyler Morley scored the first goal off of a perfect deflection in front of Merrimack goalie Sam Marotta (Bridgewater, Mass.) and Trevor Campbell beat Marotta from the left circle to tie the game.
With 2:49 remaining in the second period, Alaska took their first lead of the game as they scored their third power play goal of the period. Cody Kunyk found the back of the net as he tipped in a point shot, making the score 3-2 in favor of the home team.
Alaska went 3-5 on power plays in the second period and 3-9 overall while the Warriors finished the game going 0-4.
Marotta made a couple late saves on a Nanook power play with just over three minutes remaining in regulation but it was not enough as Merrimack was unable to score in the final minutes.
Alaska held on to win 3-2 in the final minutes as the Warriors pressured Thompson with multiple good scoring chances.
Marotta finished the game with 30 saves while Thompson finished with 27 saves.