Michigan State junior goaltender Will Yanakeff, whose overall numbers are nothing special, channels his inner Patrick Roy when he faces UAF.
So it was again tonight, when Yanakeff stopped 34 shots and the Spartans used that stinginess and Matt DeBlouw's goal early in overtime to rack a 2-1 road win over the Nanooks in Game 1 of a best-of-3 CCHA first-round playoff series.
In three games in Fairbanks, all in the last 15 days, Yanakeff has gone 2-1-0 against UAF and stopped 110 of 114 shots (.965 save percentage).
The Nanooks also got done in, in part, by an Alaskan. The Spartans' other goal came from sophomore Tanner Sorenson of Anchorage, who scored his 11th goal of the season on the opening shift of the game.
UAF countered with Cody Kunyk's first-period goal, but could not make more advantage of their 35-15 bulge in shots on goal.
Game 2 is Saturday night, and the Nanooks must win to force a game Sunday.