Hockey earns huge split at No. 6 North Dakota
The puck has finally started to bounce the Seawolves’ way. When a clearing attempt by North Dakota took a funny hop off the boards and found its way onto the blade of UAA junior defenseman Spence Gilchrist, he slammed it home from the point.
It sealed a 2-1 win over No. 6 ranked North Dakota Dec. 4. But it meant so much more. It helped ease the pain after a 4-2 loss Dec. 3. And it erased some of the memories of a 5-game losing streak.
“We stayed within our game plan and kept our composure,” said UAA assistant coach Keith Morris after the game on KENI radio.
It wasn’t a road trip worthy of too many accolades, though. The Seawolves (6-7-1, 4-6-0 WCHA) had plenty of chances but couldn’t capitalize in the opener and the Fighting Sioux (10-6-2, 8-5-1 WCHA) came away with the victory.
“Our second period commitment wasn’t there and we couldn’t establish a flow,” said Morris after the loss. “It’s disappointing to get the loss when we were so close to the win.”
The win highlighted Gilchrist’s solid play in the series. The junior was skating for the first time all year because good off-season recruiting had limited ice time on the blue line. Gilchrist proved to be the difference with the game-winning goal Saturday and two assists Friday.
“We are fortunate that we have depth on the blue line,” said Morris. “Gilchrist made the best of his chances this weekend.”
Seawolves goalie Nathan Lawson got the start in net both games against the Sioux, and he showed his skill, posting 34 saves in the opening loss and only giving up one goal with 38 saves to tkae home the victory.
“Lawson has tremendous potential being such a young goalie,” said Morris. “At times he’s shown inconsistency, but he has been able to steal us some wins with great goaltending.”
UAA junior forward Brent McMann also had a good weekend in Grand Forks. McMann was able to snap home a wrister from the slot, after making a couple nice moves along the boards, to get the Seawolves on the board 1-0 in the win. McMann has played well all season with three goals, but versus the Sioux he just seemed to be in the right place at the right time all weekend.
“Brent worked real hard in the off-season and he always has the potential to make a difference,” said Morris.
Charlie Kronschnabel and Brandon Segal also tallied goals for the Seawolves in North Dakota, and for Segal, it was his first of the year. Freshman forward Eric Walsky also saw his first ice time of the season in Grand Forks, as he made his debut in green and gold after being on the injured reserve from the start of the season.
The Seawolves next play Colorado College Dec. 10 and 11 at the Sullivan Arena.
UAA women start conference play with pair of losses
The Great Northwest Athletic Conference is proving no friendlier to the Seawolf women’s basketball team than the Division I teams of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout.
The Seawolves, who lost two Shootout games by a combined 53 points, dropped two GNAC road games by a total of 48 points. UAA had a tough task to open the season falling 94-64 to No. 3 ranked Seattle Pacific Dec. 2 and 85-67 to undefeated Central Washington Dec. 4.
Against the Falcons, the Seawolves (1-4, 0-2 GNAC) had no answer. Coming off Shootout all-tournament honors and a monstrous 37-point effort against Eastern Washington, UAA leading scorer Stephanie Beason (24 points per game) was limited to six points in 1-7 shooting. Center Taylor Long did her best to pick up the slack with 20 points, shooting 7-14 from the floor. Cassie Bro added 12 points and Tenecia Macon 10.
The Falcons (5-1, 2-0 GNAC) used a 22-4 run in the first half to establish a double-digit lead they never relinquished. SPU had five players in double figures led by 16 points from Michelle Beaumont. Wasilla native Brittany Kroon added 13 points in the rout.
More big individual efforts couldn’t save UAA against Central Washington, either. Macon had her first career double-double with 16 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks in only 18 minutes. Long led the team in scoring with 18 and Bro chipped in 11.
But an 8-0 run to end the first half by the Wildcats (6-0, 2-0 GNAC) gave them the lead for good and a 7-0 run in the second half buried UAA. Laura Wright topped the Central stat sheet with 18 points.
UAA returns home for a pair of non-conference games at the Wells Fargo Sports complex against West Virginia Tech Dec.10 and 11 followed by the Glacier Classic at the University of Alaska Faribanks Dec. 17 and 18.
Seawolves continue slide against Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Badgers didn’t give the UAA hockey team much to be thankful for over the Thanksgiving break.
Poor goaltending and a hot No. 4 ranked Badgers team combined to hand the Seawolves their fourth straight loss, and second straight sweep, losing both games by a 4-1 score Nov. 19 and 20.
After a rough weekend in Mankato ending with two losses and two players being suspended due to conduct detrimental to the team, the Seawolves came home to Sullivan Arena and still couldn’t get on the same page with one another.
Poor goaltending and a poor special teams effort put a serious damper on the Seawolves chances to upset the Badgers both Friday night and Saturday afternoon. UAA goalie Nathan Lawson stopped 27 of 31 shots on goal Friday night but let in three soft goals, as Wisconsin sophomore sniper Robbie Earl burned Lawson for the first three goals of the game and a hat trick.
The goaltending continued to kill the Seawolves chances Saturday afternoon as goalie John DeCaro gave up four goals on only 13 shots by the Badgers and was pulled at the 15:11 mark of the second period.
The Badgers proved they are a national championship contender as they dominated UAA all weekend. UAA could only muster one power play goal on 13 chances.