ANCHORAGE - Sparked by early goals from Hudson Friesen and Blake Tatchell, the Alaska Anchorage hockey team hung on Friday for a 3-1 victory over defending NCAA runner-up Quinnipiac in the opening game of the Kendall Hockey Classic at Sullivan Arena, giving first-year coach Matt Thomas a victory in his debut behind the Seawolf bench.
The Seawolves (1-0-0) also got a late insurance tally from junior co-captain Brett Cameron, and senior Rob Gunderson stopped 24 of 25 shots to earn the win in goal.
The 10th/13th-ranked Bobcats (0-1-0) - the defending ECAC Hockey champions - got a first-period tally from junior winger Bryce Brabant, but otherwise could not solve Gunderson. UAA held the visitors from Hamden, Conn., to 0-of-4 overall on the power play, with Gunderson making 11 saves in the third period.
UAA got on the board at the 9:10 mark of the first when Friesen, a freshman winger from Manitoba, took a feed from fellow rookie Dylan Hubbs and beat Bobcats goalie Michael Garteig (17 saves).
Just three minutes later, Friesen stole the puck and raced behind the Quinnipiac goal, where he found Tatchell with a perfect feed to make it 2-0. The goal was the 10th of Tatchell's career as the sophomore from Saskatchewan got his second season off to a hot start.
Quinnipiac outshot UAA 6-5 in a scoreless second period and registered an 11-4 advantage in the third, but the Seawolves were the only team to find the net in either frame. With nearly three minutes gone in the third and UAA on the power play, Cameron deflected a shot by defenseman Blake Leask to earn his 10th career goal as well. Freshman right wing Tanner Dusyk picked up his first career assist on the play as well.
UAA finished 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
The game marked the first head-to-head meeting between the Seawolves and Bobcats in any sport.
For UAA, the victory also extended a pair of impressive unbeaten streaks, extending the program's record to 10-0-3 in season openers since 2001, plus 4-0-3 in its last seven Kendall Classic matchups.
The two-time defending tournament champions will look for a weekend sweep Saturday when they host Air Force (0-1-0) in the 7:07 p.m. AST finale at Sullivan.