ANCHORAGE, Alaska — In the final game of the Kendall Hockey Classic, the Northeastern Huskies (1-0-1, 0-0-0 HEA) topped the University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves (1-1-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) 4-2. Senior forward Ryan Ginand led the Huskies with two goals and Brad Thiessen provided solid goaltending.
The Huskies scored first when Ryan Ginand netted a four-on-four tally. Ginand started with the puck near the red line, thanks to a feed from Kyle Kraemer. Ginand was being pressured by the Seawolves’ defense and had to flip to his backhand, then slid the puck past UAA netminder Jon Olthuis.
“I got a nice pass from [Kyle] Kraemer and I saw one-on-one and just tried to make one move to the outside and catch the goalie off guard; I put it low, short-side,” said Ginand.
The Huskies increased their lead thanks to a Wade MacLeod power-play strike. Tyler McNeely took the puck in three-on-one with McNeely in the lead. McNeely took a shot and after Olthuis made the initial save he kicked it out to where MacLeod was able to slam it to the back of the net.
The Seawolves cut the lead in half with a power-play strike of their own when the Huskies put the puck in the back of their own net. It was a center feed coming from Jade Portwood which hit off the skate of Denis Chisholm.
“The irony is that the first three goals scored against us this season all came off our guys,” Northeastern Coach Greg Cronin said, referencing the two goals scored by Alaska yesterday which were both deflections.
The Huskies increased their lead back to two when Ginand scored his second of the game on a one-timer of a feed from Dennis McCauley. Ginand at first seemed handcuffed by the pass and was not able to get a good angle on it, which seemed to surprise Olthuis as Ginand beat him on the blocker side.
“I kind of looked up before I got that pass, and saw the goalie didn’t even look like he was set and the quick shot, we’ve been working on quick releases all summer so I just tried to get the quickest shot off I could and it worked.” Ginand said.
Once again the Seawolves battled back, scoring a four-on-four goal. Paul Crowder pounced on a rebound of a Trevor Hunt shot.
Northeastern increased their lead once again with a power-play goal on McCauley’s deflection of a Louis Liotti shot from the point.
“They don’t mean anything in terms of our Hockey East standings, but I think it’s good for us,” said Cronin. “I told the team afterwards it’s the first time we’ve played games against a team, so we have some live ammunition. To play back-to-back nights after a long trip out here, I thought we played pretty good. We had a lot of energy early in the game.”
Because the Huskies won the game, the University of Alaska Nanooks won the 2008 Kendall Hockey Classic. Northeastern finished second, UAA was third, and UConn finished fourth.