A game of bounces

The Seawolves have been a perfect 13-0-0 at home against the University of Alabama Huntsville in all their seasons prior to Friday night’s matchup. However, this season, UAA had not come away with a win at the Sullivan Arena since mid-November. Looking to extend one streak and break another, the Seawolves wanted to set the tone early, but to no avail.

Three periods later, and it was the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers (6-16-3, 4-12-3 WCHA) over UAA (9-13-3, 6-11-2 WCHA) by a score of 2-1.

“We came away with very little in terms of results,” said UAA head coach Matt Thomas after the game.

Just three minutes into the game, UAH freshman Adam Wilcox found the back of the net, and the Chargers had all the momentum.

The next 47 minutes of game action remained scoreless. Neither team was able to take advantage of their power play opportunities in the second period. UAA had their chances, but could not finish around the goal.

“There is clearly a little bit of a confidence issue going on with our guys in terms of executing,” Thomas said.

The Sullivan Arena came back to life after UAA freshman Wyatt Ege stuffed in a crucial goal midway through the final period, knotting the score at 1. This strengthened the Seawolves offensive attack, as they began to pursue the puck and attack the net with aggression.

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Alabama Huntsville right wing Matt Salhany had a breakaway opportunity with seven minutes remaining to give the Chargers the lead back, but a spectacular glove save by goaltender Olivier Mantha kept the game even.

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UAA's Olivier Mantha tracks the puck in his twenty-second start in goal this season for the Seawolves on Friday, January 29, 2016. UAA split their weekend series against the University of Alabama Huntsville in Anchorage. Photo credit: Young Kim

Moments after a pivotal power play kill by the Seawolves, defenseman Chris Williams and Chargers’ Salhany swung their sticks to gather the puck, but it deflected off of Williams’ stick and into UAA’s net. The air had been deflated in the stadium. The Seawolves found themselves trailing 2-1 with under five minutes to go in the game. Williams sat motionless at the end of the bench as he watched his teammates’ comeback effort fall short.

“To lose it the way we did, you feel really bad for the individual,” said Thomas. “We can’t come into our building, score one goal and expect to win.”

Alabama Huntsville is still at the bottom in the WCHA standings, but are looking to climb in the ranks.

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Senior defenseman Chris Williams chases after a puck in Friday's Western Collegiate Hockey Association contest between the Seawolves and University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers. Williams sat out the following game against the Chargers. Photo credit: Young Kim
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UAA's Dylan Hubbs lines up for a face off during Friday night's Western Collegiate Hockey Association game against the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers, January 29, 2016. Photo credit: Young Kim