ANCHORAGE - Despite a pair of goals by freshman forward Justin Kirchhevel, the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves dropped their fifth straight game with a 3-2 loss by the Minnesota State Mavericks in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game on Friday night.
In his first game with the Green & Gold (1-5-1, 0-3-0 WCHA), Kirchhevel sandwiched his first collegiate goals around three Maverick (2-2-3, 2-2-1 WCHA) goals in front of 2,953 spectators at the Sullivan Arena.
With just one second left on the clock in the opening stanza, senior defenseman Luka Vidmar found senior forward Tommy Grant at center ice on the power play. Grant fired a wrister at the net to where Krichhevel managed to tip the puck to the mesh, giving UAA a 1-0 lead.
MSU responded in the second frame with two even-strength strikes at 5:34 by Anderw Sackrison and at 2:17 by Mike Louwerse. With Vidmar in the box for interference, the Mavericks took a 3-1 lead with a power-play tally by Eli Zuck at 2:17 of the third.
With 45.6 seconds remaining in the game, UAA pulled freshman netminder Rob Gunderson for the extra attacker. Kirchhevel, from Brookings, S.D., struck 25 seconds later, bringing the Seawolves within one, but there wasn't enough time left as UAA was unable to find the net.
After registering three straight games with only three infractions in each one, the Seawolves went 7-for-14 on penalties against MSU. After Evan Mosey received a 10-minute major and game misconduct at 11:48 for checking from behind, the Mavericks were 9-for-29.
Gunderson (15 saves) picked up the loss in the net, while MSU's Phil Cook earned his second win of the season with 29 saves. For the second time of the season, UAA was able to out shoot their opponent (31-18), but unable to record the win.
In addition to Kirchhevel, sophomore Mickey Spencer laced up his skates for the first time of the season. Due to injuries, the Seawolves were without defensemen Brad Gorham (concussion) and Wes McLeod (shoulder sprain) tonight and were forced to dress forwards Alex Gellert and Tyler Currier on the blueline.
The UAA vs. MSU rematch will take place at 7:07 p.m. on Saturday at the Sullivan Arena.