ANCHORAGE - Stellar goaltending and a goal by senior Tommy Grant with 8.1 seconds left, gave Alaska Anchorage a 2-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory over the 15th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers at the Sullivan Arena on Friday night.
The Seawolves (5-8-2, 4-6-1 WCHA) grabbed the 1-0 lead in the second period with a shorthanded strike by senior Craig Parkinson before the Badgers (7-7-3, 3-6-2 WCHA) knotted the game at 1-1 with a power-play tally. The teams battled back and forth in the third, but it was UAA's night to win, as Grant netted the game winner in the final seconds.
Following a scoreless first period, UAA went on the penalty kill after freshman We McLeod was called for tripping at 4:24. With the momentum in UAA's favor, junior forward Jade Portwood, who left the ice with a shoulder injury later in the period, connected with senior defenseman Luka Vidmar who fired on net. Parkinson then charged in for the rebound and knocked the puck free from UW's netminder Scott Gudmandson.
Just under 10 minutes later, with McLeod serving another tripping call, UW's sophomore Craig Smith fired a wrister from the blueline and junior Jordy Murry was able to deflect the puck towards the net where it hit the pipe and flew in at 15:00. Junior Jake Gardiner was credited with the second helper.
The Badgers were tagged for four straight penalties in the third frame, before sophomore forward Daniel Naslund was tagged for hooking with 1:01 left in regulation. Thirteen seconds later, Gardiner was whistled for interference, setting up the final seconds for four-on-four play.
With the seconds winding down on the clock, Vidmar sent a forward pass to freshman Jordan Kwas, who centered and found a diving Grant on the right of the goal. Grant lifted the puck over Gudmandson's shoulder for UAA's first win against the Badgers since Nov. 4, 2006.
Producing a solid night in net for UAA was freshman Rob Gunderson. Gunderson (4-5-1) helped keep the Seawolves in the game throughout the evening, making 21 saves for the win. Gudmandson (29 saves) picked up the loss and dropped his record to an identical 4-5-1.
UAA outshot UW, 31-22, including a 13-9 edge in the second period. The Seawolves, who are currently ranked No. 6 in the league, were scoreless in five man-advantage opportunities, while the Badgers went 1-for-4.
The Seawolves will battle the Badgers for the conference sweep on Saturday night at 7:07 p.m.