Category: Hockey

February 27, 2017 Cheyenne Mathews
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Goalie Olivier Mantha makes a save during the game against UAF on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Photo credit: Adam Eberhardt

UAA has two Division I teams: Hockey and gymnastics, but hockey was not always a D-I sport.

According to UAA Athletic Director Keith Hackett, hockey became a Division I sport in the ’80s after Division II hockey was eliminated as a sport at that level by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

“The options available to UAA at the time were to move to Division I or Division III. UAA chose to move up in the level of competition to Division I,” Hackett said.

Matt Thomas is the head coach of Seawolf Hockey, and he says that there really is no other division for UAA to compete, except at the top level.

“There wasn’t enough schools that supported [Division II hockey], so you either compete at the Division I or the Division III level in hockey. We wouldn’t have a conference that we’d be able to go into. There’s no Division III programs out west,” Thomas said. “We wouldn’t have a conference to go to. Nobody would accept us. They pushed so hard back in the ’80s to go Division I because that was the only conference they could go into because of those teams. Division I teams, they travel. We travel quite a bit and that’s why we need it for Alaska.”

Hackett said there are several differences between Division I and II sports, and while UAA offers two Division I sports, the school is still recognized by the NCAA as a Division II school.

“Some of those differences include numbers of permissible scholarships available, size of coaching staffs, recruiting rules and regulations, level of competition, etc.,” Hackett said. “Chief among these requirements is a desire to make a commitment to developing a program that can be competitive at the highest level in college sports through competitive facilities, salaries and the support services needed to build a winning program… Up until a few short years ago, UAA did not have these kinds of necessities for our Division I programs to compete at the Division I level on a consistent basis. Competing at the Division I level takes a significant commitment of human and physical resources.”

Thomas said that the team and the scholarships it would be able to offer would be greatly affected by a different division and that only local students would come for the sport.

“There are no scholarships in Division III. You’d only have one comprised of… Well, it depends, you’d still have teams,” Thomas said. “From a scholarship standpoint, you can probably get Alaskans to play because they’d probably be here but I don’t know how many out of state people come up here. I think a lot of Division III schools people go there, they’re regional, they live in that area.”

The overall cost of athletics would be reduced if UAA didn’t offer Division I sports, Hackett said, but that many of the costs would stay the same regardless of division.

“[Without Division I sports] we would have to add programs to meet our NCAA minimum requirements to be a D-II member and to maintain our compliance with Title IX,” Hackett said. “A majority of our costs are travel related. When you have to fly to every competition, there are significant costs involved. Sponsoring Athletics is an expensive proposition but an important one for most institutions.”

Dede Allen, the associate director of Athletics, is the designated Gender Equity Coordinator for athletic programs and Title IX issues. All divisions are subject to the same Title IX regulations, Allen said.

“Title IX’s intent is simple; provide participation opportunities and athletic grant-in-aid in a gender equitable manner,” Allen said. “Any institution that receives federal funding is subject to Title IX, therefore the NCAA Division I, II or III is irrelevant. The details of how gender equity is achieved can be complicated. Title IX gives us guidance in the operation the department of athletics and it is our responsibility to make decisions in a gender neutral manner.”

Some issues that Allen focuses on are equipment and supplies, travel and per diem allowance, coaches, services, facilities, publicity, recruitment and scheduling of games and practice times.

Hockey costs more than gymnastics, and Allen said that budgets don’t need to match up as long as decisions about the teams are made without a consideration of gender.

“This doesn’t mean that we are required to spend dollar for dollar the same on men’s and women’s sports, only that decisions are made in a gender neutral manner…[For example,] gymnastics uniforms and equipment are less expensive than hockey uniforms and equipment,” Allen said.

Hackett said that there have been no further discussions to eliminate any athletic teams at UAA since Nov. 2016, and that talk of transitioning into a Division II school isn’t very serious.

“If we were to make a decision to move solely to a D-II Conference there would need to be a careful review of what that would look like and what sports might be considered for expansion,” Hackett said. “At this time there has been no serious discussion about this topic. Many of our costs would remain the same because of the huge amount of travel we already have based on our geographic location in Alaska.”

Allen said that outside of Title IX requirements, cutting or transitioning divisions also means discussing NCAA requirements.

“There are other considerations like NCAA membership requirements and Conference sport offerings, in addition to Title IX, when determining sport sponsorship,” Allen said. “While dropping a male sport may not hurt our gender equity position, it may put us in jeopardy with NCAA or Great Northwest Athletic Conference rules.”

If UAA were to cut hockey, Allen said that there may not be an immediate Title IX issue, but NCAA rules require a minimum of 10 sports, and GNAC membership requires offering specific sports such as basketball and cross country.

February 20, 2017 Lauren Cuddihy
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Junior defenseman Tanner Johnson blocks a pass in the Fairbanks games for the Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup in December. Photo credit: Sam Wasson/UAA Athletics

A tradition that has been upheld by the University of Alaska, Anchorage vs. Fairbanks hockey teams will continue for the second time this season, in addition to the first duel the teams had in Fairbanks.

The players and head coach Matt Thomas are looking forward to being back.

“It’s been a while since we have been home… it allowed the players to focus on their academics, but we’re excited to be back,” Thomas said.

The Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup had been played for years to prove the dominant collegiate Alaska hockey team. Each season, the cup comes down to a total of four games: Two of them played on UAF’s home field and the other two played on UAA’s home at the Sullivan Arena. Their home games have always been some of the best.

“We know it’s about wins right now, but we have to find a way to get them.. they’re coming into our arena and we’re going to make it difficult for anyone who comes in here,” Thomas said.

For the current season, the initial two games were already played in Fairbanks on Dec. 9 and 10. Splitting the current cup standings, one win went to each of the teams.

Dec. 9 was the kick-off of the 2017 Governor’s cup, game one of two gave UAA the beginning advantage with a lead early in the first period, credited to sophomore defensemen Eric Roberts.

The addition of two more points in the second period to give the Seawolves a comfortable lead was secured by senior forward Brad Duwe, assisted by the Renouf twins, Nathan and Jonah, followed by a come-up by senior defensemen Chase Van Allen.

The game was steadily over after that, UAF only managing one point before time ran out.

The cup continued on Dec. 10 with a win to UAF. The Nanooks proved to be a lot more aggressive than the previous night, knocking out 3 points before the Seawolves even came close to the net.

Nearing the end of the third period, the Seawolves didn’t look like they were coming back with a miracle, but junior defensemen Tanner Johnson dropped in for 1 point, that gave the Seawolves a little redemption but not enough to win.

With a current 2016-17 standing of 1-1, the Seawolves and Nanooks get another chance to battle it out. However, over the years, UAF is far into the lead over the Seawolves. During the 2015-16 season, UAA wasn’t able to win a single game over the course of four games. While UAF took three of the wins and the fourth game resulted in a tie.

A year earlier, in the 2014-15 season, the cup was again split. Both the Seawolves and the Nanooks took the win twice each. For a total running score, the Seawolves only have a meager three wins against the six wins that the Nanooks were able to accomplish.

In contrast, the Seawolves have done noticeably better this season compared to others, therefore having a better chance at redeeming themselves. Every since the beginning of the season with budget constraints, the Seawolves have had many obstacles to get over and get to this point.

“This whole season more than any other seasons we have felt a lot more pressure, honestly than any other season,” Thomas said.

With already seven wins on the season this year with several games to go compared to the 11 total all season in 2015-16 and seven total in the 2014-15 season. The Seawolves are on track to win as many, if not more, this year that last year.

Coming into the Governor’s Cup will be the last regular season games for the team, junior Tad Kozun knows how important these games are to the post-season success.

“We really want to make playoffs because we know we can beat the top teams, we have had successful games against them, which has been a huge confidence booster for us,” Kozun said.

The team faces off against UAF for Governor’s Cup glory on Feb. 24 and 25 in the Sullivan Arena at 7:07 pm.

October 30, 2016 Jordan Rodenberger

UAA opened Western Collegiate Hockey Association play with an away series against the 20th-ranked Bemidji State Beavers, who is undefeated in the conference. The Beavers fended off the Seawolves’ late rally in the first game as UAA fell 2-1 in overtime. BSU opened the game with a power-play goal off of a rebound and retained…

April 24, 2016 Jake Johnson

The game of hockey was originally played in the Canadian winter on frozen lakes and ponds. Ever since its development, the game of hockey has been associated as a winter sport. While it may be a winter sport to spectators, its an all year round commitment for players and coaches alike.

UAA’s hockey coaches are no exception. Just because the hockey season ends in March doesn’t mean the planning for a WCHA Division I mens ice hockey team does as well. Every year, unlike pro teams or semi pro teams, college level programs are dealt the card of filling the roles of graduate athletes. This year alone, UAA hockey is losing four senior athletes, including the 2015-16 season point leader, Blake Tatchell.

With the challenges of recruiting players every year weighing on the coaches of UAA, having a losing record only increases the difficulty to compete with top tier division I programs. The Seawolves stayed competitive at the beginning of the season but encountered an injury ridden second half that left three of their starters sidelined. This resulted in the fall to the last place spot in the WCHA for the second straight year.

“Minnesota, Boston and Michigan. Teams like those guys have top level high school programs they can watch every weekend, a lot of Alaskan kids are leaving to play in other places,” Assistant Coach Josh Ciocco said. “We would love to have a player pool in town to watch, but its not something that’s offered right now.”

These challenges force the coaches to recruit year round, even on their trips during their hockey season. Due to the expenses to travel from Alaska and watch potential prospects play, UAA often uses the team travel to see as many of the prospects as they can. The team has to send Ciocco or assistant coach Louis Mass to attend junior or high school games in nearby areas of travel in order to seek future talent.

The team uses their scholarships to entice players to the team and to improve. 18 full scholarships are offered by the school to distribute between the hockey teams roster that will typically consist of around 20-30 athletes. The scholarships are awarded between the players based on multiple different facets of their games such as play making ability, competitiveness, and leadership. As the players continue to develop whether on ice or off ice, they are again rewarded by the program with additional scholarship benefits in an attempt to keep the players competitive on the ice and in the classrooms.

“A good example of that is Austin Sevalrud, our captain, I’m pretty sure he entered the team on a walk on with minimal scholarship numbers, and he’s graduating this year with a full scholarship,” Ciocco said.

A lot of the scouting done by UAA consists of watching live games online and reviewing stat sheets on sites like hockeydb.com and eliteprospects.com. The need for this is a result of a shallow hockey market in Anchorage. The coaches will frequently watch players on live feeds of games, where they will determine whether or not the player is worth follow up.

In addition to scouting online, head coach Matt Thomas heavily relies on relationships he has made through his previous playing and coaching career, Thomas uses these contacts and trusted hockey minds to give insight into potential prospects he may have never heard about otherwise.

“Its a special thing about the game, everyone is always looking to help the development of players,” Thomas said.

Thomas also makes sure he gives Alaskan players that have the ability to be difference makers on the team a look from UAA recruiters. He also touched on the difficulty of chasing Alaskan players outside of Anchorage’s hockey market in order to give the players the adequate opportunity they may deserve.

“We understand that this is an affordable team for Alaskans, we try and get them the looks, we follow them playing outside, but its easier for teams in areas they play in to recruit them,” Thomas said.

Staying competitive in the league has been challenging for UAA as of late, but the teams’ coaches are constantly staying busy in an attempt to get back into the standings. The types of players that UAA targets aren’t all goal scorers.

“I don’t go out and search for the next Gretzky, we look for what the team needs,” Thomas said. “We’re lucky to have a guy like Josh. He’s the best at what he does.”

Last year’s addition of Mass, who grew up in Anchorage’s market understands the pull to leave Anchorage in search of better hockey. Mass was brought in by Thomas who stated that Mass’ knowledge of the town and in state hockey relationships are important to the future development of the program. Mass played college hockey at Bowling Green, a competitive team within UAA’s division. He was also a player and an assistant coach for the Alaska Aces, the only professional hockey team in Alaska.

“I understand the draw to outside teams, I did it, but adding the hometown element makes it sentimental,” Mass said.

UAA currently stretches their connections for players as far as Europe in search of the next batch of Seawolf hopefuls. Leagues such as the USHL, BCHL, NAHL and SPHL junior hockey leagues make up the majority of Division I hopefuls. UAA is growing out of the program’s rebuilding era and hopes to achieve added success like the first half of last season in the next two years. All three coaches agreed that their freshman and sophomore group landed high in production in comparison to other WCHA teams younger groups in the 2015-16 season, giving them hope for the future.

March 6, 2016 Nolin Ainsworth

Win and live to play in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs. Lose, and start summer training.

Those were the stakes between the Seawolves and Alaska Nanooks in game three of the Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup on March 4.

Davis Jones’ 28 saves helped UAF (9-20-4, 7-16-4 WCHA) to a 3-2 victory over the Seawolves (11-19-3, 8-17-2 WCHA) before a raucous Carlson Center. The win clinches the Nanooks’ seventh consecutive Governor’s Cup, having now beaten or tied the Seawolves over three meetings this season.

“That’s only half the job this weekend,” UAF assistant coach Lance West said. “That’s a really, really big hockey game tomorrow it will be even more emotional and the team that can come out and control those emotions the right way will be successful.”

Emotions were high throughout Friday’s game and came to a head after a minor scuttle formed after the final whistle, leading to a handful of penalties including three 10 minute game misconducts.

After a scoreless first period, the Nanook’s began the second period in dramatic fashion, scoring 52 seconds in. The Nanooks cycled the puck on a power play carried over from the first period. Sophomore Justin Woods’ barely got his stick on a rebound off a Marcus Basara shot before backhanding the puck in.

The goal started a back-and-forth, free-wheeling period in which both teams put pressure on their opponent’s goaltenders. Despite Olivier Mantha and Davis combining for 23 saves in the period, it was 2-1 at the end of the second period.

UAF once again beat Mantha as the period started to wind down. Freshman Jasen Fernsler sent a puck on goal that ricocheted off forward Peter Kreiger that bounced into the net.

“Most goals were just pucks on net from anywhere, and that’s the game plan we’re going to come out with tomorrow again,” Nanooks’ Colton Sparrow said, who scored the game-winning goal in the third at Friday’s game.

Seawolves forward Jeremiah Leudtke’s shot at 16:16 was robbed by Davis from point-blank range.

Just when it looked like Jones was on his way to a shutout, UAA responded with 1:24 left in the period.

Matt Anholt won a faceoff draw in the UAF zone. Senior Austin Sevalrud maneuvered from left-to-right with the puck and before unleashing a slap shot that made it all the way through to Davis, scoring his first of the season.

Down 2-1, UAF continued to follow the game plan: shoot, shoot, shoot. This strategy was rewarded 14 minutes into the third period much to the elation of 3,000-plus fans in attendance.

Defenseman Josh Atkinson shot a puck from the left point. The biscuit was halfway to the goal when it was redirected to Sparrow on the opposite faceoff dot. The sophomore had plenty of open twine to shoot at and didn’t miss.

The Seawolves did not give up after going down 3-1, and when Nanooks Nolan Huysmans was called for an interference penalty at 1:31, UAA found a second-wind. The penalty set up a minute of 5-on-4 desperation hockey after UAA pulled its goalie. Blake Tatchell’s shot was stopped but the rebound went to Tad Kozun, who buried his 13th of the season and brought UAA within one.

The Nanooks could not take advantage of the open net, even after a puck hit off the post. It didn’t matter though, as Davis stood tall with several saves in the last minute to preserve the home team’s lead and win the Governor’s Cup in the third game of the tournament. The Seawolves fell 3-2 to the Nanooks, giving the Nanooks the edge in the Governor’s Cup with 3 wins.

February 28, 2016 Nolin Ainsworth
  1. Road trip For the die hard Seawolf fan and college student, this is likely the most feasible option. By inviting two buddies to come along, one can cut the gas bill in three. With the right friends, junk food and music playlist, 359 miles of highway will be a breeze. Don’t forget to call 5-1-1 in advance to learn of the road conditions you’ll be facing.
  2. Fly 15,000 air miles may not seem like a lot, but its enough to buy you a round trip ticket to Fairbanks this weekend. There are four Anchorage departures to Fairbanks on Friday morning alone. Where else can you even travel for that amount of miles? No where, that’s where.
  3. Ice skate What could be a more fitting way to travel to a hockey game? It can be easy to forget the usefulness of our network of rivers here in Alaska when we tend to ogle that glaciers that spawn many of them. There’s the Copper, Tanana, Yukon, Susitna and the list goes on. Get some exercise by taking one of these original “Alaska Highways” to the Golden Heart City. Don’t forget your headlamp and toe warmers!
  4. Stowaway Guess who’s joining our 22 student-athletes to Fairbanks? Their hockey gear. If you’ve ever seen the size of a hockey bag, you know there is plenty of room to fit a human being inside one. Just ask the team’s equipment manager to “volunteer” packing the hockey gear up, and then when the opportunity presents itself, zip yourself inside and hold on tight. Just try not to traumatize an unsuspecting Seawolf!
  5. Television I lied. This is actually the most feasible option for a college student on a tight budget. Check your local listings and kitchen cupboard for the popcorn ahead of time!
January 31, 2016 Nolin Ainsworth

With two seniors scratched from the Saturday’s lineup sheet, the Seawolves turned to what remained of its senior class — the Blake’s — to lead them against the University of Alabama Huntsville.

Blake Tatchell scored, Blake Leask and his fellow defensemen played lights-out defense and UAA defeated UAH 4-3 to remain in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff hunt.

“To lose the way we lost last night was a real heartbreaker for our guys,” said UAA bench boss Matt Thomas of Friday’s game. “I don’t even know if it should have been a one goal game to be honest with you, but it’s good to learn how to win one goal games.”

Similar to the night before, it was the visitors who opened the scoring. Chargers Regan Soquila fired a shot past the blocker of Olivier Mantha to give the Chargers an early lead at 7:07 of the first period.

However, unlike the night before, the Seawolves wasted no time in putting a goal up themselves.

Freshman Sean MacTavish hit an open Brad Duwe with a puck near the Chargers left faceoff dot. UAH goalie Matt Larose appeared to square up to Duwe, but the junior’s wrist shot found the twine anyway.

“To be honest, our line should have scored probably five or six more goals, but that’s how it goes on any given night,” said forward Anthony Conti, who also assisted on Duwe’s goal.

Fans would get out their seats once more before as UAA mounted a two-goal lead with less than two minutes left in the period.

This time, Tad Kozun, UAA’s most consistent goal-scorer this season, shot a puck through the wickets of Larose.

The Seawolves came out in the second period hungry for more goals. Tatchell temporarily satisfied that hunger when he scored on his own rebound in front of a sprawling Larose.

The Chargers did not quit fighting though, and Tyler Paulsen’s quick stick at 12:36 of the second period beat Mantha, bringing his team within a goal. Max McHugh’s backhand pass deflected off the left skate of team mate Jetlan Houcher that went straight to Paulsen.

Jarrett Brown scored for the Seawolves in the third period to help UAA regain a two-goal lead. Once again, the Chargers answered in the same period. Soquila redirected a shot in the slot off a shot from defenseman Kurt Gosselin, giving him his second goal of the night.

The Chargers had a couple more opportunities to knot the game at four, but Olivier Mantha blocked them all allowing the Seawolves to win 4-3. The standout sophomore was only forced to make nine saves total in the game.

The teams traded shoves and a few punches after the final whistle of the third period but shook hands moments later at center ice as is the custom for the end of Saturday games.

“It’s two teams that are fighting to stay in the playoff picture,” Thomas said. “Both teams know how much it matters.”

The Seawolves enter the final month of the regular season with next weekend’s games in Marquette, Michigan against the Northern Michigan Wildcats. The Seawolves are tied for sixth place in the WCHA with Lake Superior State. Ahead of the Seawolves and Lakers in a tie for fifth place, with 18 points, are the Wildcats and Bemidji State. Only the top-8 teams qualify for postseason play in the WCHA.

December 6, 2015 Nolin Ainsworth

Christmas came early for Seawolf hockey fans. Three weeks early to be exact.

The Seawolves swept the No. 17 Michigan Tech Huskies last Friday and Saturday in Houghton, Michigan, winning 3-2 on both nights. UAA now improves to 5-4-1 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play heading into Part I of the Governor’s Cup this weekend at home. The wins were easily the biggest surprise of week nine of the WCHA season, a weekend in which all 10 teams were in action; that’s because the two clubs’ seasons were going in opposite directions as of late. The Seawolves hadn’t won a game in the last two weeks, whereas the Huskies hadn’t lost in that amount of time.

“Tonight feels even better,” UAA coach Matt Thomas said after Saturday’s win.

Thomas knew a higher level of play was needed Saturday if they expected the same outcome from the night before. That’s just what he got. After putting only 18 shots on Michigan Tech’s Jamie Phillips Friday, UAA placed 27 on net Saturday against backup net minder Matt Wintjes.

“We needed to be faster team off the rush and did that,” Thomas said.

The Seawolves fell down by a goal Saturday when Husky left wing Brett Boeing scored his first on the season just six minutes into the game. The home team maintained its one goal advantage through the rest of the first period. Seawolf Jarrett Brown evened up the score in the second, after a scrum formed around Wintjes who coughed up a rebound that Brown cashed in on. The Seawolves dodged a bullet later in the period — killing off a short 5-on-3 Husky power play after Matt Anholt was called for delay of game while on the penalty kill himself.

The Seawolves revisited the penalty box later in the period, and this time the Huskies used the most of the opportunity to take the lead. Tyler Heinonen was in the right place at the right time to put Michigan Tech up. Alex Petan’s shot bounced off Mantha’s leg pad within reach of Heinonen who stood off the right post.

The Seawolves came out firing in the third period — first, it was defenseman Chase Van Allen’s turn. Next, it was Brad Duwe’s, who stripped the puck from a Husky player deep in their own before firing one over Wintjes shoulder and all but sealing the come-from-behind win.

June 2, 2015 Nolin Ainsworth

UAA’s Wells Fargo Sports Complex is not the only sporting venue in Anchorage that is undergoing changes this summer. The Sullivan Arena is also amid interior renovations as well. This summer, crews are installing new seating, concrete flooring, refrigerate tubing, dasher boards (where the ads go around the ice), doors, and a new ice plant….

June 2, 2015 Nolin Ainsworth

For many of the incoming college freshmen, the arrival to UAA in the Fall will the first step they make toward living out a dream.  But for the student-athletes recruited by the Seawolves, it is just the latest chapter in a dream they have be chasing for years, especially for the ones joining the D….

March 19, 2015 Nolin Ainsworth

Following the last meeting between the UAA Seawolves and University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks at the beginning of spring semester, the clubs’ respective seasons have gone in opposite directions. After sweeping the Nanooks both nights in Fairbanks Jan. 16 and 17, the Seawolves’ wheels fell off — losing their next nine Western Collegiate Hockey Association…

May 20, 2014 Travis Dowling

The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) is a mid-level professional hockey league that is one tier beneath the American Hockey League (AHL). The playoff champions of ECHL are awarded the coveted Kelly Cup. The Alaska Aces hockey team has won the Kelly Cup twice before, in 2006 and in 2011. The first two games of the best of seven Western Conference Finals were played between the Alaska Aces and the Bakersfield Condors on Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17.

 

May 16, 2014

 

The Alaska Aces opened the Western Conference Finals against the Bakersfield Condors as the Aces continue their quest for the Kelly Cup. Defeating the Condors proved to be no easy task in game 1 of the seven game series. The Condors took the lead 1-0, with a goal scored by Bakersfield’s Chris Collins at minute 14:45 of the second period.

 

The Condors carried their 1-0 lead forward into the third period. However, the Aces quickly tied the game with a goal scored within the first minute of the third period, with a goal scored by Alaska’s Evan Trupp. Alaska’s Jordan Morrison scored the game-winning goal for the Aces at minute 17:31 of the third period.

 

Alaska’s come-from-behind victory in game 1 of the seven game series, gave the Aces the lead in the Western Conference Finals by 1-0.

 

 

May 17, 2014

 

The Alaska Aces leading the best of seven series in the Conference Finals 1-0 against the Bakersfield Condors, found themselves in a tough battle for a second win, on Saturday. The Condors took the lead with a pair of goals in the second period scored by Jordan Knackstedt and Chris Collins.

 

Evan Trupp scored off a deflection for the Aces in minute 5:28 of the third period, to cut Bakersfield’s lead to 2-1. Brendan Connolly of Alaska, had a bouncing puck land at his skate, which he then kicked to his stick, and scored from the right edge of the paint to tie the game with 6:23 left in regulation.

 

The Condor’s Gary Steffes scored the game-winning goal three minutes into overtime giving Bakersfield the victory over Alaska and tying the series at one win apiece in the Conference Finals. The series will now shift to Bakersfield for the next three games and then if needed the teams will return to Alaska for the final two games of the series.

April 29, 2014 Travis Dowling

University of Alaska Anchorage senior hockey captain Matt Bailey signed a two-year contract with the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks on March 25. Bailey left Anchorage last week to play for Anaheim’s American Hockey League team in Norfolk, Va. Goseawolves.com reported that Matt is working with professors at UAA so that he can complete his Bachelor’s degree in marketing, and graduate this spring.

Bailey posted career highs of 20 goals and 38 points in the 2013-14 hockey season with the Seawolves. Matt also finished his collegiate career with a ranking of 23rd all-time on the UAA scoring list with a total of 94 points in 138 career games. Matt started his professional career with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals.

According to Goseawolves.com, Bailey said, “I want to thank the people of Anchorage and the University of Alaska Anchorage for allowing me to chase my dreams while getting my education. I feel truly grateful to have been able to live in Alaska and have this amazing experience.”

Matt also added, “I’d like to thank the entire coaching staff this year for making this the best year of hockey of my career.”

Bailey was recently named to the All-WCHA First Team, the WCHA All-Academic Team and honored as a WCHA Scholar-Athlete.

Only one Seawolf alumnus, Jay Beagle, currently plays in the NHL. He plays for the Washington Capitals and played hockey for UAA from 2005-2007.

January 28, 2014 Travis Dowling

Friday night the University of Anchorage Alaska faced off against the Northern Michigan University Wildcats. The ‘Wolves and Wildcats would both pick up a victory in the weekends two game series. Friday night would belong to the Wildcats, as they beat the Seawolves 3-1.

The first goal of the game scored by NMU’s Mitch Jones, his goal came at 11:27. The Seawolves would tie the game at 14:35 with a goal scored by Dylan Hubbs.

December 10, 2013 Travis Dowling

Friday night UAA faced off against the University of Alaska Fairbanks for the Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup. Fifteen seconds into the start of the game the UAF Nanooks struck first with a goal scored by Marcus Basara. The Seawolves would tie the game at 15:49 of the first period. The goal scored by Dylan Hubbs, his second goal of the season. Jordan Kwas and Chris Williams assisted Hubbs on the play.

December 10, 2013 Audriana Pleas

The UAF Nanooks entered the Wells Fargo Sports Complex Saturday night and walked out bruised green and gold. The UAA men’s basketball team defeated UAF to record their first GNAC win of the season. The night featured UAA forcing Fairbanks to turn the ball over three times consecutively within the first half. The Seawolves walked away with a 96-76 win over their in state rivals.

It was a packed house with a small section of devoted but rowdy UAF fans. Teancum Stafford put the Seawolves on the board first. But UAF begin to accumulate a small lead. UAA trailed by one point for a majority of the first half. However, it was not long until sophomore guard Brian McGill started to get in a rhythm. McGill was the leader for the Seawolves ending the night with 29 points, 4 rebounds and 11 of 12 from the line.

The highlight moment belongs to sophomore forward Christian Leckband who glided through the paint to deliver a nasty dunk on the Nanooks. In the last moments of the first half junior guard Travis Thompson dished out to McGill who went coast to coast for a layup. UAA finally controlled the momentum of the game and managed to stack a 45-36 lead going into halftime.

UAA had several transition points thanks to aggressive defense by Thompson and senior guard Colton Lauwers. UAA would come out in the second half steadily building on their lead and getting out of reach from the hungry Nanooks. UAF shots would fall occasionally as they went on a three-point shooting escapade. But UAA’s senior guard Kyle Fossman and teammates Thompson, McGill, Leckband and Lauwers were all gold from beyond the arch as they went a total of 13 of 32.

Nanook’s Ronnie Baker had the best night for Fairbanks. He went 3 of 4 from the free throw line on top of netting 21 points and 4 boards. Teammates Joe Slocum (11 points, 4 rebounds) and Andrew Kelly (12 points, 11 rebounds) both had standout nights for UAF. But their effort would not be enough to break their current losing streak in what is UAA’s 16th straight victory.

UAF is still looking for the first win in the series since Jan. 28, 2006. The rivals will meet again in what will be UAA’s last conference game Feb. 27 at UAF. This was the pair’s last match up at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex before the opening of the Alaska Airlines Center in fall 2014.

Up next is a back-to-back game versus Wisconsin-bred Northland International Pioneers (4-9) on Dec. 16 and 17.

 

November 21, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

UAA has branded this chapter of Seawolf hockey as “A New Day.” The program wants to give people a reason to forget its checkered and disappointing past. A solid start to the season won’t wash away those memories, but they’re on the right track.