ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska-Anchorage scored three goals in a three-minute span of the second period as the Seawolves defeated Air Force, 5-4, in the first round of the Nye Frontier Classic at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska.
The Falcons, 1-2, will now face Miami in the consolation game, while the Seawolves will host Mass.-Lowell for the championship.
Air Force put the first marker on the board as Tom Starkey scored on the power play at 2:02 of the first period. Billy Devoney took as shot from the point that was redirected out front and Starkey scored his first goal of the season on a flurry in front of the net.
UAA answered at the 10:57 mark on a rush up ice. Dallas Steward scored on a rebound of Daron Underwood’s shot.
The Falcons regained the lead just 23 seconds later as Alaska native Shane Saum scored his fourth of the season. Pelletier took a shot from the slot that was saved and Saum cleaned up the rebound for a 2-1 Falcon lead.
Neither team had a shot on net in the first seven minutes of the second period and Air Force’s offense, which produced 10 shots in the first period, struggled to keep the puck in the zone. UAA scored three goals in a span of just over three minutes for a 4-2 lead. UAA tied the game at 14:24 of the second period on a two-on-one play. After a turnover in the neutral zone, Brandon Stegal found Jim Dahl on the left wing and Dahl’s slap shot from the faceoff dot found the net. The Seawolves took a 3-2 lead when Steward walked the puck out of the corner and to the front of the net. His wrister beat Mike Polidor to the short side at 17:13.
Thirty seconds later, the Seawolves took a 4-2 lead as UAA controlled the puck in the Air Force zone and a back-hand, blind pass from Ales Parez found Chris Fournier all alone on the left side. His wrister beat Polidor short side from the bottom of the circle at 17:46.
The Falcons rallied with two goals in the third but could dig out of the hole. Ryan Wiggins’ goal at 4:17 of the third period cut the UAA lead to one goal. Spanky Leonard made a pass from behind the net and Wiggins knocked in the bouncing puck.
43 seconds later, UAA scored to make the score 5-3. Steward took a shot from the top of the circle that Polidor saved but the puck rolled free and Charlie Kronschnabel scored his first of the season.
Air Force continued to pressure the UAA defense and Falcon freshman Theo Zacour scored his first career goal at 9:19. He took a pass from Devoney in the neutral zone and skated through two UAA players and past another. As UAA goaltender Chris King went down to the ice, Zacour flipped the puck over him to make the score 5-4.
Air Force had several chances to tie the game late with the best coming off the blade of Leonard. With 3:12 remaining, Leonard’s slap shot was slowed down by King but the puck slid through the five-hole, through the crease and just outside the far post. Polidor was pulled from the net with 23 seconds left, but the Falcons never threatened.