UAF blows third-period lead, falls 3-2 to Western Michigan

The UAF Nanooks tonight endured one of those losses that make for long, restless evenings trying to get to sleep.

Leading No. 9-ranked Western Michigan 2-0 after two periods, and outshooting the Broncos 19-9 in the third period, and possibly on the edge of gaining a national ranking with a sweep of the CCHA series, the Nanooks succumbed 3-2.

Gotta hand it to the Broncos -- three third-period goals is a heckuva way to salvage a series split on the longest road trip of the season.

The Nanooks, who won 6-1 Friday, were up 2-0 courtesy of Tyler Morley's first-period goal and Cody Kunyk's second-period strike.

But the Broncos rallied for those three third-period goals and Mike Cichy's goal at 17:16 of the period proved the winner. Western Michigan goaltender Frank Slubowski stopped 40 shots, and all 19 he faced in the third period, to backstop his team.

UAF freshman John Keeney, who had an assist on Kunyk's goal and had stopped 81 of 84 shots in the previous three games, made 26 saves.

A victory in regulation would have furnished the Nanooks a first-place tie in the 11-team CCHA. Instead, UAF (6-4-2, 4-3-1 CCHA) sits in fourth place, still pretty nice position.

Oh, but what might have been...