UAA hockey loses back-to-back vs. Alabama-Hunstville

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After kicking off their season just under a month ago, UAA hockey currently holds no conference wins and two losses, but with a total of one season win with five losses. With that record, the Seawolves are currently put at No. 9 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

The weekend of Nov. 4 and 5 allowed the Seawolves a new opportunity. The University of Alabama-Huntsville traveled up to Alaska to play UAA in two back-to-back weekend games. UAH currently ranks slightly above UAA holding No. 5 in the WCHA standing, with a season record of 2 wins and 7 losses.

Friday, Nov. 4 – Alabama Huntsville at Sullivan Arena

Returning to the rink, the Seawolves first game of the weekend suffered drastically with a final score of 2-5, leaving them with an additional loss to add to their previous 0-2 conference record.

Things took a turn for the worst in the first several minutes of the game, when Alabama-Huntsville accumulated the first two goals of the game, blowing passed the Seawolves with their aggressive offense.

Discouraged, Seawolves tried to stay with it, although sophomore defenseman Eric Roberts wasn’t extremely concerned.

“We are playing well and we are doing good things, so there’s definitely no need to worry. We just need to find a way to overcome the diversity that we are facing right now,” Roberts said.

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As the Seawolves struggled to keep up, Alabama-Huntsville prospered once again to get another goal under their feet. It wasn’t until 13 minutes into the first period that senior forward Brad Duwe cut their lead and scored the first of the two goals of the night for the Seawolves.

With a 4-1 game now, the Seawolves weren’t dangerously behind starting the second period. To their disadvantage, the Seawolves saw less luck in this period compared to the first. With only one goal scored in a rather uneventful 20 minutes, UAH extended their lead to 5-1 finishing off the second period of the game.

With a rather discouraged team of Seawolves, the guys returned to the ice for a final head to head in the third period. In a temporary turn of events, the Seawolves were able to out shoot the UAH 12-5, but only securing 1 point from Duwe.

With the game dying down and the clock running out, the Seawolves were dished another loss, 2-5. With unfortunate circumstances, the team is keeping their heads held high including sophomore forward Mason Mitchell.

“[The game] didn’t go as we wanted, but we are getting better everyday,” Mitchell said, which is an important aspect to look at.

Despite the score, UAA still had several standout players. Duwe, of course, scoring both goals of the night but only with assistance from freshman forward Alexi Ainali. In addition, junior goalie Olivier Mantha helped keep UAH’s points at bay by stopping 19 of the 21 shots made at him while he was on the ice.

Saturday, Nov. 5 – Alabama Huntsville at Sullivan Arena

With a rematch between UAA and UAH following Friday’s loss, the game gave the Seawolves back some of their confidence. After the majority of the game left them with a deficit, the third period proved to be successful on the Seawolves side, it was the overtime that left them with a loss at 2-3.

Coming into the first period, the Seawolves earned a penalty for sophomore forward Alex Jackstadt holding, but other than several more penalties on both sides, the first 20 minute period was otherwise uneventful and left the score at 0-0.

With the second period starting, UAA was again being hit with more and more penalties, in addition, UAH began to turn over and take more shots and put the pressure on. With two failed saves from goalie Olivier Mantha, Alabama Huntsville was up 2-0 coming into the third period. A new motivation pressured the Seawolves, within the first minutes of the period, junior defenseman Jarrett Brown made UAA’s first goal, only to get it waived off after a lengthy video review.

Addressing the weaknesses that they had encountered over the weekend, the Seawolves knew they had to change something, sophomore forward Mitchell had the right idea.

“I’d have to say we need to improve our power play and play a full 60 minutes, [in addition] we have to shoot the puck more,” Mitchell said.

Left only temporarily again at 2-0, junior forward Matt Anholt and sophomore forward Nils Rygaard each pull through to tie the game up. Requiring overtime, both teams push through in an attempt to win.

With five minutes to make or break it, the time ran quick. There were no goals for the first several minutes, nonetheless, with only one minute left UAH broke through and scored to win the game.

Finishing off the weekend, the Seawolves suffered two back to back loses to Alabama Huntsville, 2-5 and 2-3.

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Forward Mason Mitchell manages to take the puck after a face-off. Photo credit: Jay Guzman
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Forward Mason Mitchell manages to take the puck after a face-off. Photo credit: Jay Guzman