ANCHORAGE – Despite two-point nights from freshman Tad Kozun and Austin Azurdia and excellent goaltending from rookie Olivier Mantha, the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves’ season came to an end Saturday with a 3-2 win by the Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game at the Sullivan Arena.
Additionally, the game doubled as Game 4 of the Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup. With the win, the Nanooks tied the season series, 2-2 to force the all decisive shootout. UAF (19-13-2, 14-12-2 WCHA) ended up winning the shootout, 1-0, to claim the Cup for the sixth straight season.
The night started with a scoreless first period of play before the Nanooks opened the scoring with three straight goals in the second period. Scoring for the Nanooks were Talyer Munson (1:17) – his second of the weekend – Trevor Campbell (2:26) and Josh Erickson (14:37).
Ending the shutout was Kozun at 15:43, when he collected a rebound to beat Sean Cahill. Azurdia and junior Chris Williams assisted on the play. Azurdia then netted his eighth on the season from the goal line with less than five seconds to go in the stanza. Freshman Jarrett Brown and Kozun were the helpers on the play.
Neither team was able to score in the third, even with UAA skating with an extra attacker in the last minute with Mantha on the bench. The lone goal in the shootout was from Tyler Morley.
Much like the rest of the season, Mantha (7-18-3) was the shining star. The La Tuque, Quebec, native turned aside 40 saves in the loss, while coming up with many huge saves to keep it a one-goal game. Overall vs. UAF, Mantha stopped 143 of 150 shots in four games for an impressive .953 save percentage.
To date, the Cup crown has been decided by a shootout eight times with the Nanooks – who are now 7-0-1 since the beginning of February – winning seven, while this was the seventh straight one-goal game between the teams.
The Seawolves ended their 2014-15 campaign with an 8-22-4 overall record and a 5-21-2 slate in league play. UAA finished last in the 10-team conference with 12 points.