Nooks hot start paused by fire alarm at the Carlson Center

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 7:11 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -The Nanooks would kick off their season over the weekend on Saturday night with their exhibition game against the Vancouver Island Mariners, and the Interior’s team would get busy early.

Forty-nine seconds is all it would take, as Arvils Bergmanis would find Chase Dubois sitting back post to slam home the first goal of Nooks’ season.

Not even two minutes later, Brady Risk would find T.J. Lloyd, who took the space given, and scored goal two, going to the five hole with the back hand shot.

After that, the nooks would open the floodgates for opportunities and scoring chances, with all of the Nooks grabbing a shot on net by the end of the game.

Six minutes left in the first period, and the nooks would score again after Derek Pys would find Brady Risk, whos’ shot would get the deflection in front, off a skate to grab the fourth goal of the game.

The nooks would tally on four more goals to win the exhibition game eight to one. Head Coach Erik Largen was happy after the game with the team’s strong offensive performance.

“Yeah, I know it’s tough right, until you really get punched in the face, you don’t really know what your teams made of. You know, overall the guys did a great job. They worked hard, you know they tried to do things the right way and tried to play the game the right way. It’s just difficult, and score starts getting lopsided like it was tonight, but you know I think there’s a lot of positives to be had from the game. There’s a lot of teaching to be had from the game, and we’ll go back, watch some tape, have a good week of practice before we head to Denver,” said Erik Largen, UAF’s Head Coach.

For the players on the team, it was the first time some of the eleven guys added to the program this season got to see another jersey, and for the vets on the team, it was a great starting point.

“Yeah it’s clicked, since like, right since the beginning, right since we got here, the new guys that came in have done a fantastic job. Kind of building on what we had last year, and I think a lot of it goes to the coaches too, with what we started with practice and what they engrave in us in terms of structure and what we need to do. So I think everyone’s on the same page, they do a good job that we watch a lot of film, and we know what to do and I think tonight’s an example of that,” said Braden Birnie, a forward for the Nooks hockey team.

The Nanook’s jump out to a hot start in Saturday’s game would be halted due to the fire alarm turning on in the Carlson Center, and resulted in the building being quickly evacuated between the second and third periods.

The evacuation would turn into the fastest, and most impromptu meet and greet, with both fans and players finding a bit of humor in the situation.

After a few team and individual pictures, everyone who remained with hope of the game continuing would be allowed back into the Carlson Center after the all clear, to see the Nooks finish the off the game.

Coach Largen said he and the other coach didn’t do anything about the team staying focused, even with the unique situation that it was all the guys in the locker room. “The guys in the locker room did a good job of coming out and actually being, you know, really focused actually for the third period. I mean, I think it could’ve got pretty loosey-goosey, but you know, give credit to the guys in the locker room, the leaders in the locker room, the culture in the locker room. I mean they do a good job of getting themselves ready, and even when the score was, you know what it was in the third, I still thought the guys played hard and worked hard and back checked hard. They did a lot of good things, so it’s all credit to the players and they do all the work, and they did a good job today,”

Braden Birnie explained how the team was able to handle the situation mentally, as it was an exhibition game instead of a regular season game.

“Yeah, a little different scenario tonight, just in terms of how the game was going. We didn’t really know it was going to happen, so I think if there was a night that it was going to have to happen tonight’s a good night for it to happen. Just because we’re able to recover, definitely something a lot of us probably haven’t gone through, especially not here at the Carl. So I mean, we did come out good in the third period, so that was good to see from us, considering what was going on,” said Birnie.