After splitting the games against Lake Superior State during their conference debut Nov. 3-4, the Seawolves went to Alabama to register a similar outcome versus the University of Alabama Huntsville at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on Nov. 10-11.
Senior forward Austin Azurdia continued his scoring streak by registering a goal during Friday’s match against UAH. Azurdia’s lone team goal of the match, at 7:06 in the second period, makes it four team-leading goals on his record. Junior forward Jeremiah Luedtke and senior forward Tad Kozun each recorded assists.
The Alabama-Huntsville’s Chargers were led by Brennan Saulnier, who scored twice, in the 5-1 win over the Seawolves. Saulnier scored at 2:18 of the first period with a power-play and added another goal at 4:52 of the second period.
Christian Rajic scored another goal for UAH at 10:30 of the second period followed by his teammate Levi Wunder at 16:49. Madison Dunn sealed the win for UAH with his empty-net goal at 18.08. Overall, the Chargers outshot UAA 40-17.
During his 100th game for the Seawolves, senior goaltender Olivier Mantha registered 35 saves versus UAH’s goaltender’s 16 saves.
“We struggled to find our rhythm and our opponents were there from the start,” David Trinkberger, sophomore defenseman, said. “The long drive and entire week cost us a lot energy and you could feel it. Overall, we had a hard time to play our best and Alabama-Huntsville won rightfully.”
After their upset on Friday, the Seawolves returned to the ice on Saturday with a new tactic. In front of 3,072 attendees, the team scored three power-play goals in the second period.
With an assist from Jonah Renouf, Nicolas Erb-Ekholm was able to respond to UAH’s first goal at 14:03 of the first period — producing a 1-1 tie.
Erb-Ekholm’s goal was followed by Azurdia’s power-play goal at 17:57, assisted by Renouf as well as freshman forward Joe Sofo. Azurdia’s goal further extended his scoring streak to a team-leading five goals.
Renouf registered his third assist of the night during Kozun’s power-play goal at 19:53.
“The goal for today was to be there from the start of the game,” Trinkberger said. “We accomplished that relatively well and headed into the last period with a 3-1 lead.”
Josh Kestner of UAH registered his second goal of the night at 4:36 of the third period, followed by Connor Merkley’s goal during the final minute of the period. Alabama-Huntsville pulled their goalie for a six-on-four advantage to secure the 3-3 tie.
Luedtke’s goal in combination with Olivier Mantha’s saves during the shootout secured the win for the Seawolves. Overall, Mantha registered another 35 saves that night.
“The Chargers were able to tie with us in the last minute of the third period, which resulted in overtime,” Trinkberger said. “Both teams had good chances, but the shootout brought the final decision. Our win of the shootout secured the tie and gave us an extra point in the WCHA standings.”
UAA eared five points in its four WCHA games of the season and is currently tied for last place in the 10-team league with UAF and Lake Superior State who have played two more WCHA games than UAA.
The Seawolves will return to the Sullivan Arena on Nov. 17-18 to host a match
against WCHA rival Michigan Technological University. Michigan Tech currently
ranks third in the conference.