The Seawolves won the Kendall Hockey Classic Saturday night by holding off the Air Force Falcons in an overtime nail biter.
After falling to an early 2-0 deficit, the Seawolves put up three unanswered goals. They held on to the 3-2 lead until the Falcons pushed in a goal with only .2 seconds left in regulation.
The two teams played to a draw in the five-minute overtime period. It was the Seawolves’ Friday night 2-0 win against Canisius College that gave them the tournament crown over the Falcons, who were coming off a tie with the UAF Nanooks.
Senior forward Matt Bailey was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Bailey had two points in the tournament, including a game-tying breakaway goal in the second period against the Falcons.
Junior goaltender Rob Gunderson shook off a rough start and finished with 20 saves. Gunderson also tallied an assist on the Seawolves’ first goal of the night.
The Seawolves showed their ability to fight back on multiple occasions. But their most significant response came after the stunning late goal by the Falcons that sent the game into overtime.
Alex Gellert, who hit the go-ahead goal for the Seawolves in the third period, described how the team reacted to the Falcons’ score.
“Our guys just tried to stay positive,” said Gellert. “We battled back from 2-0 so we were okay with going into overtime.”
Gellert also put a special emphasis on the importance of battling back when talking about what the team will take away from the tournament.
“We battled back,” said Gellert. “It was good for us as a team to be able to come back from that kind of deficit. The tournament was a stepping stone for us to get ready for the season.
The Seawolves will have to keep this level of hockey up if they want to start their 2012 season better than their 2011 campaign that ended with a 10-25-2 record.