ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska-Anchorage and Minnesota-Duluth skated to a 2-2 overtime tie Saturday night. After spoiling the Seawolves’ home opener Friday night with a 3-2 win, the Bulldogs scored late in the third Saturday to take three out of four points in the WCHA series.
“After watching the video [of Friday's game] we were even worse than I thought we were,” said UAA head coach John Hill, who was instead, by comparison, “happy with the effort tonight.”
But the Seawolves continued to rely on underclassmen for their scoring punch, as freshman and sophomores accounted for all six points on the evening (and nine of 10 for the series). After acknowledging the chemistry the young line of John Hopson, Curtis Glencross and Ales Parez have found, Hill said that the Seawolves need the upperclassmen to show up and that “until we generate offense in other areas it is going to be a struggle for us” to win.
The teams skated even and scoreless through the first period, as both teams were able to mount sustained attacks in the other’s zone and both teams benefited from excellent goaltending — UAA from Junior Kevin Reiter and UMD from freshman Isaac Reichmuth.
UAA tallied the first goal on the power play at 6:51 of the second period when Parez recorded his first collegiate goal. After defenseman Matt Hanson rifled a slapshot from the point that was kicked out by Reichmuth, and Hopson was subsequently rejected by Reichmuth at point-blank range, Parez gathered the puck and finally beat the netminder on the third attempt.
The second period proved pivotal for UMD as it held up to strong pressure by UAA and then pulled even. The Seawolves outshot the Bulldogs, 8-1, in the first half of the period, but just seconds after UAA’s Dallas Steward was snuffed on a clean breakaway by Reichmuth, UMD made it 1-1 at 12:17 when Junior Lessard found a loose puck behind Reiter in the crease and stuffed it home for the power-play goal.
Looking as if they would redeem themselves after blowing a 2-0 lead Friday night, the Seawolves came out buzzing in the third and scored early at 2:39 on the power play. Hopson recorded his team-leading fifth goal and sixth point of the season when he finished a barrage of Seawolves power-play shots by racing into the crease to punch home a rebound that had trickled behind Reichmuth.
Redemption slipped away from the Seawolves however, at 13:35, when Jon Francisco’s shot from the blueline got past Reiter and knotted the teams at two goals apiece.
Both teams had scoring chances and odd-man rushes during the five minute overtime, but the goal scoring was over for the night.
For the Seawolves, the tie marked their first WCHA point of the season but was not what they were hoping for from their home opener. Now they head out on the road to Colorado College and North Dakota the next two weekends.
UMD will have its own challenges next weekend when it travels to No. 2 Denver.