ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Anchorage downed Minnesota, 3-2, in the championship game of the 2004 Nye Frontier Classic at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska. The Seawolves (1-0-1, 0-0-0 WCHA) never trailed in the game to capture their second consecutive Frontier Classic title and hand the Golden Gophers (2-1 -0, 0-0-0) their first loss of the young season.
Alaska Anchorage gained the 1-0 lead after the first period on Shea Hamilton’s power-play goal at 16:48. Minnesota goaltender Justin Johnson, making his first start of the season, made the initial save, but Hamilton scored to give Minnesota its first deficit of the season. Ales Parez and Justin Bourne picked up assists on the play. The Golden Gophers trailed heading into the first intermission despite outshooting UAA, 14-7.
Minnesota knotted the game at one at the 4:02 mark of the second period with Chris Harrington’s first goal of the season and 10th lamplighter of his career. With UM on the power play, Tyler Hirsch found Harrington in the high slot for the one-timer to beat UAA goaltender Nathan Lawson. Danny Irmen was credited with the second assist.
The Seawolves responded at 7:26 on a breakaway goal by Matt Hanson. Minnesota got caught on a line change with Lawson making the long pass to set up Hanson for the goal.
The Gophers gained the second tie of the game a short time later with its second power-play goal of the game. Taking feeds from Harrington and Ryan Potulny, freshman defenseman Alex Goligoski fired a wrist shot from the point for his first goal as a Golden Gopher. The power-play opportunity was awarded after UAA was given a bench minor after Seawolves fans threw debris onto the ice after Hanson’s goal.
The two teams went into the second intermission tied at two with the Golden Gophers outshooting UAA, 14-9, in the period.
Alaska Anchorage tallied the game-winning goal nine minutes into the third period with Hamilton’s second marker of the night. With two Golden Gophers in the penalty box, Hamilton gathered a rebound at the side of the net and beat Johnson for the go-ahead goal.
Minnesota pulled Johnson with over a minute left in the game, but failed to solve Lawson who picked up his first win in a Seawolf jersey. Johnson took the loss for UM to fall to 0-1 -0 on the year. The Golden Gophers dominated in the shot department with a 38-19 advantage on the shot board. Alaska Anchorage went 2-for-9 with the man advantage, while Minnesota went 2-for-8.