Hockey opens up 2018-19 season

The Seawolves asserted their early season dominance in an exhibition game against Simon Fraser on Sept. 29.

After ranking No. 10 out of 10 teams in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association during the previous season, the Seawolves revamped their roster and coaching staff to start the season out strong.

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Trey Degraaf celebrates a point against Simon Fraser. Photo credit: Skip Hickey

With the departure of all coaching staff, the new Head Coach Matt Curley, his two assistant coaches Mark Phalon and Matt Bruneteau and a set of three new goaltenders, helped lead the team to a 5-1 win.

“It has been a long off season for all of us, myself included, and it is nice to finally get going. The guys have put in some great work in on the ice and in the weight room,” Curley said.

To kick the game off to a strong start, senior forward Nils Rygaard scored the first game of the night halfway into the first period. Rygaard’s goal was the only point scored during the first period for both teams.

Despite having a successful offense in all three periods of the game, the Seawolves excelled during the second period by scoring four of the five goals for the night.

Only a minute into the period, junior defenseman Nolan Nicholas scored the second goal of the night, followed by junior forward Corey Renwick’s goal seven minutes later.

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Renwick scored the only power-play of the night that put the Seawolves at a 3-point lead, 3-0.

Not even two minutes later, sophomore forward Jordan Xavier pushed the lead to 4-0 with another goal. Continuing the scoring streak, junior forward Jonah Renouf scored the final goal of the game for the Seawolves 13 minutes into the second period.

With less than 60 seconds left in the second period, Simon Fraser made an attempt at redemption, scoring their only goal of the game.

At 5-1, the final period was uneventful with neither team scoring.

In addition to the five scoring members, three goaltenders rotated in and out through the game to prevent Simon Fraser from scoring.

Sophomore Brody Claeys helped lead the group of goaltenders in the first season without previous standout Olivier Mantha, who departed UAA to play professionally.

Claeys was joined by freshman Kristian Stead and sophomore Kris Carlson.

Claeys played part of last season for the Seawolves finishing with a .898 save percentage. Stead redshirted last year due to injury, and Carlson just transferred to UAA after one year at Providence.

Despite the 5-1 win, the game did not count as a regular season game for the Seawolves. The following weekend lead them into regular season competition.

“I think the ability to open up at home against [Colorado College], in front of our fans here in Anchorage, is a great opportunity,” Curley said. “It is nice to start off on the right foot with, and then we can acclimate traveling on the road and getting into league play.”

The Seawolves hosted Colorado College on Oct. 6-7 at Sullivan Arena before traveling to Michigan on Oct. 26 and 27 to play against Ferris State University.