ANCHORAGE – In-state rivals Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks skated to a 1-1 overtime tie in Game 2 of the Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup Saturday at the Sullivan Arena in a game that doubled as a Western Collegiate Hockey Association contest.
In the first half of the 23rd annual Cup series, the Nanooks (5-10-3, 3-8-3 WCHA) took a 1-0-1 lead going into the series finale in Fairbanks, March 4-5. UAA (8-7-3, 5-5-3 WCHA), which is looking to capture its first Cup title since 2009, will need to win both games up north for the title.
Scoring for the Seawolves was junior forward Connor Wright in the first, while senior Tyler Morley scored for the Nanooks in the second before both teams were scoreless in the final regulation period and the five minutes of overtime.
Wright, playing in just his second game of the season, netted his second goal of the season with a shot from the corner, beating Jesse Jenks five hole with just 2:04 expired on the clock in the opening stanza. Sophomores Austin Azurdia and Jarrett Brown assisted on the play that occurred on UAA’s third shot of the night.
The Seawolves continued to dominate the play in the remaining minutes of the first, hitting Jenks with 12 shots to UAF’s five. That momentum would change in the second as the Nanooks were getting good looks in direction of netminder Olivier Mantha and finally broke through at 16:20. Captain Morley collected his team-leading eighth of the season when he capitalized on a backdoor, five-hole shot.
In the third, UAA was granted a five-minute major power play after UAF’s Austin Vieth received a game misconduct for contact to the head – taking out freshman forward Nicholas Erb-Ekholm – who later exited the ice with the Seawolf trainer. Unfortunately, the Seawolves were unable to find the game winner, sending the match into extra minutes.
The tie moved UAA into a two-way tie with Lake Superior State for sixth in the league standings with 12 points – matching UAA’s point total from the 2014-15 season.
The Seawolves will be off for the Holidays before returning Jan. 8-9 at the Sullivan Arena for a pair of WCHA games vs. Bemidji State.