The Seawolf hockey team used a late game push Friday night to turn a potential 3-1 loss into a 3-3 tie with the 14th-ranked Minnesota State Mavericks.
Down 3-1 in the final minutes of the third period, the Seawolves capitalized on a power play by slapping in a goal at the 16:49 mark. Freshman forward Blake Tatchell was the man behind the shot, registering his fourth goal of the season.
The Seawolves sounded the buzzer again 40 seconds later and freshman forward Bobby Murphy logged the score. The goal was Murphy’s first in his young career with the Seawolves, and it couldn’t have come at better time.
These goals had one thing in common: They both came off of passes served up by freshman defensemen Blake Leask.
The overtime period secured the draw. There were a couple close calls at the Seawolves’ net, but they protected well and avoided a sudden death loss.
The Seawolves’ initial goal was scored by freshman forward Hayden Trupp on an assist from senior forward Daniel Naslund. Naslund was the only non-freshman to contribute a point Friday.
Things got chippy in the third period and three players from each team spent time in the box. Chances are there would have been fists thrown had the refs not stepped in.
A tie is not a win. But for the Seawolves, the positives from this game certainly outweigh the negatives. Bobby Murphy, the frosh who nailed the game-tying goal, agreed with that sentiment.
“I feel like it’s a push in the right direction,” said Murphy. “We wanted the win, but we came back from a 3-1 deficit, and I thought we were the better team tonight.”
In a season that’s strayed far away from the Seawolves’ expected results, fair credit must be given to the team for staying committed. Murphy was straightforward when asked how the group deals with their struggles.
“No one has ever given up,” said Murphy. “Despite our record, we practice hard and never change our attitude.”
So many programs fall into slumps because there’s a negative culture that’s created —not the Seawolves. In lieu of their down season, they’re still fighting.
The Seawolves return from a trip to Wisconsin Feb. 1 in a matchup against Colorado College. As usual, they’ll host their opponent at the Sullivan Arena, and the puck will drop at 7:07 p.m.
* Photos courtesy of students in JPC 368 Commercial Photography.