|1st||7:34||AKA||1-0||EV||Austin Azurdia (12)||Jeremiah Luedtke/6, Tad Kozun/10|
|1st||9:18||AKA||2-0||EV||Nicolas Erb-Ekholm (6)||Jarrett Brown/8, Tomi Hiekkavirta/5|
|1st||18:20||AKA||3-0||PP||Jarrett Brown (4)||Austin Azurdia/6, Alec Butcher/3|
|2nd||6:59||AKA||4-0||EV GW||Alec Butcher (8)||-|
|2nd||12:01||AKF||1-4||EV||Ryker Leer (6)||Kyle Marino/5, Zach Frye/20|
|2nd||16:11||AKA||5-1||SH||Nicolas Erb-Ekholm (7)||Jonah Renouf/11|
|3rd||16:58||AKF||2-5||PP EA||Justin Woods (9)||Tyler Cline/4, Zach Frye/21|
|3rd||18:03||AKF||3-5||PP EA||Ross Heidt (6)||Steven Jandric/19, Tayler Munson/6|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Alaska Anchorage (3-26-4)||1/5||10/42||1|
|Alaska Anchorage Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Olivier Mantha (W, 3-23-4)||60:00||3||3||17||15||35|
|Anton Martinsson (L, 10-17-3)||26:59||4||2||1||0||3|
FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Alaska Anchorage scored three goals in the first period to eventually defeat the Alaska Nanooks hockey team 5-3 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association matchup at the Carlson Center on Friday night. The loss drops Alaska's overall record to 11-19-3 and 9-16-2-1 in conference play, while Alaska Anchorage improves to 3-26-4 on the season and 3-21-3-3 in league matchups.
"Ultimately, it's disappointing for all of us. As a group, from coaches to players, we all have to take responsibility that we didn't come ready to play tonight," head coach Lance West said on Friday. "I think what happened tonight was that we thought it was going to be easy. We knew what kind of game they were going to play, stretching guys, throwing pucks the length of the ice, trying to get behind you and they got those two breakaways. Then, this is the first time I've said this all year and I don't want to say it, but I think we got selfish. We kept trying to play 1-on-1 on rushes when we had numbers and then we took some bad penalties. As a group, we had put ourselves in a situation now where it's a must-win. We have to be mad at ourselves tonight, get passed it and show up tomorrow night as a group and represent this program the way we should."
The Seawolves broke open the scoring at the 7:34 mark of the first period, catching the Nanooks on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush. UAA's Austin Azurdia scored his 12th goal of the season by cutting to the middle after receiving a pass from Jeremiah Luedtke while Tad Kozun was awarded the secondary assist.
Not even two minutes later, UAA struck again, as Nikolas Erb-Ekholm capitalized on a neutral zone turnover by the Nanooks and found himself on a small breakaway before going backhand on Alaska sophomore goaltender Anton Martinsson. Erb-Ekholm's sixth goal of the season was assisted by Jarrett Brown and Tomi Hiekkavirta.
At the 18:20 mark, Brown produced his second point of the night, a power play goal to make it 3-0 before 20 minutes even elapsed in regulation. Brown shot a one-timer from the face-off dot in the Alaska defensive zone for his fourth goal of the season and was assisted by Azurdia and Alec Butcher.
The second period saw a combined three goals, as Butcher scored on a wrap-around play at the 6:59 mark to make it 4-0 before Erb-Ekholm scored his second goal of the night, a shorthanded tally, at the 16:11 mark.
Between the Seawolves' two second period goals, Alaska finally got on the board as junior forward Ryker Leer buried a rebound to make it 4-1. UAA's goaltender Olivier Mantha stopped a long shot from senior defenseman Zach Frye, before sophomore forward Kyle Marino also got a piece of the rebound. Mantha was able to make the back-to-back saves but couldn't stop Leer's backdoor shot for his sixth goal of the season.
The Seawolves took two five-minute major penalties late in the third period, with the Nanooks pulling goaltender Niko DellaMaggiore to give Alaska a 6-on-3 advantage. Redshirt-senior defenseman Justin Woods rifled a slapshot from the high slot to pull the Nanooks within 5-2 at the 16:58 mark of the third. Woods' ninth goal of the season was assisted by sophomore forward Tyler Cline and Frye, for his second assist of the night.
At the 18:03 mark, sophomore forward Ross Heidt kept the momentum going with another 6-on-3 extra-attacker goal to make it 5-3. Heidt cleaned up a rebound from freshman forward Steven Jandric, while senior forward Tayler Munson was given the secondary assist.
Alaska outshot the Seawolves 38-27 on the night, with 18 shots in the second period and 17 shots in the third. UAA's Mantha tallied a game-high 35 saves, while the Nanooks' Martinsson collected three and reliever DellaMaggiore posted 19.
In the special teams race, Alaska went 2-for-6 on the power play, while Alaska Anchorage went 1-for-5.
Alaska is now in a must-win situation going into tomorrow' game versus Alaska Anchorage in order to earn a WCHA Playoff spot. The Nanooks currently sit in the eighth and final postseason spot in the WCHA standings, with Lake Superior creeping behind with 27 points. If LSSU beats Ferris State on Saturday (three points) and the Nanooks out-right lose (zero points), LSSU would beat Alaska in a tie-breaker and head to the postseason. If the Nanooks earn one or more points on the night, they will punch a ticket to the Playoffs. If Alaska and Lake Superior both lose (zero points), Alaska will continue on.
The Alaska Nanooks and the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves will close out the 2017-18 regular season tomorrow, as they face one each other in another WCHA matchup tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 24) at the Carlson Center. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:07pm AKST, but the Nanooks will be honoring five seniors at 6:50pm AKST.