ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Freshman Merit Waldrop scored two goals and freshman Chris Tarkir added another to help UAA (0-0-1, 0-0-0 WCHA) salvage a 3-3 tie against Canisius (0-0-1, 0-0-0 Atlantic Hockey) in the Seawolves’ season opener tonight during game two of the 2004 Nye Frontier Classic at Sullivan Arena.
UAA will have a chance to defend its 2003 Nye Frontier Classic title by virtue of winning a deciding shootout 2-1 at the end of the overtime period on goals by Waldrop and sophomore Justin Bourne. The Seawolves will face WCHA foe Minnesota, who earlier defeated Massachusetts 1-0, in the championship game Saturday night at 7: 05 p.m.
Waldrop, who tallied three assists in UAA’s 5-1 exhibition game victory over Grant MacEwan College last Saturday in Soldotna, also assisted on Tarkir’s game-tying goal giving the walk-on from Anchorage his first career three-point game (2-1–3). For his efforts Waldrop was named the Player of the Game.
Canisius forged ahead 1-0 on a Jon Durno slapper at 2:18 of the first before Waldrop would tally back-to-back goals putting the Seawolves ahead 2-1. Waldrop beat Golden Griffin netminder Bryan Worosz high at 8:46 of the first unassisted before connecting from the high slot on the power play at 9:53 of the second. Freshman Tyler Cherwinski and junior Spence Gilchrist were credited with assists on Waldrop’s second score.
The Golden Griffins tied the score just before the second intermission on a goal by Billy Irish-Baker and took the lead again at 4:12 of the third when Tim Songin beat UAA netminder John DeCaro.
Tarkir corralled a rebound and found the back of the net at 18:12 of the third to secure the tie for the Seawolves. Junior Justin Johnson fired the initial shot which bounced off Worosz’s pads.
DeCaro, making his first start in net for UAA, stopped 16 shots, including thwarting three attempts during the shootout.
UAA killed off all eight penalties and went 1-7 on its own power play. The Seawolves outshot Canisius 30-17.
Seawolf head coach John Hill remainded unbeaten in season openers at 3-0-1.