UAA scored two short-handed goals in 36 hockey games last season.
Saturday afternoon, the Seawolves bagged two shorties in a first-period span of just 3 minutes, 12 seconds.
UAA used that special-teams surge, a career night from sophomore winger Scott Allen and a two-goal game from freshman Blake Tatchell to earn a 6-3 nonconference victory over Merrimack College at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament in Fairbanks.
The Seawolves (2-1-1) generated a strong bounce-back performance after being thumped 5-0 by No. 2 North Dakota in Friday's tournament opener at the Carlson Center.
Tatchell's deflection of Allen's shot from the right boards furnished UAA a 1-0 lead just three minutes into the game, but a major penalty against winger Brett Cameron for contact to the head put the Seawolves in a perilous situation midway through the first period.
Yet not only did the Seawolves of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association keep the Warriors (1-3-0) of Hockey East from threatening much during that extended man advantage, they also extended their lead.
Center Matt Bailey led a 3-on-1 counter-attack while short-handed and dished from the left wing to Alex Gellert charging down the slot. Gellert beat Rasmus Tirronen with a wrist shot for his second career shortie and a 2-0 UAA lead.
Three minutes later, with UAA's Tyler Currier in the penalty box, Allen's wrist shot on the rush deflected off Merrimack defenseman Jordan Heywood and tumbled past Tirronen for a 3-0 cushion.
Allen added another goal in the second period for the first two-goal game of his UAA career -- he scored three goals in 28 games as a freshman last season and already has three goals in four games this campaign -- and his first three-point game in green and gold.
Tatchell, who was the Most Valuable Player in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League last season, added another goal in the third period. And defenseman Quinn Sproule scored on the power play, breaking UAA's season-opening streak of 13 fruitless power plays.
UAA's opponents have scored four power-play goals on 21 opportunities this season, but the Seawolves have registered three shorties in those situations.
The only downside for UAA on Saturday was surrendering three third-period goals. John Heffernan, Mike Collins and Dan Kolomatis each delivered for the Warriors.
Those markers kept UAA junior goaltender Rob Gunderson from his first college shutout, but he stopped 27 shots to pick up his first win this season.
The Seawolves this week travel to Grand Forks, N.D. to open WCHA play with a two-game series against North Dakota.
Bailey's two-assist game marked his second multiple-point game of the season and the eighth of his career.
Freshman winger Hayden Trupp, pulled down on a third-period breakaway, was awarded a penalty shot but failed to score.
Gellert, a senior, and junior center Daniel Naslund, who assisted on Sproule's goal, each played their 100th career game for UAA on Friday.
Sophomore defenseman Austin Coldwell was a scratch Saturday, and freshman blueliner Chris Williams made his UAA debut.
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.
Merrimack 0 0 3 -- 3
UAA 3 1 2 -- 6
First Period -- 1, UAA, Tatchell 1 (Allen), 3:17; 2, UAA, Gellert 2 (Bailey), 12:19 (sh); 3, UAA, Allen 2, 15:31 (sh). Penalties -- Bailey, UAA (charging), :41; Cameron, UAA, major-game misconduct, served by Pettitt (contact to head), 9:59; Currier, UAA (hooking), 15:31; Bly, Merrimack (charging), 17:46.
Second Period -- 4, UAA, Allen 3 (Warner, Bailey), 17;16. Penalties -- Williams, UAA (boarding), 2:03; Ellis, Merrimack (cross-checking), 7:41.
Third Period -- 5, Merrimack, Heffernan 1 (Hussar, Kolomatis), 2:20 (pp); 6, UAA, Tatchell 2, 7:55; 7, Merrimack, Collins 2 (Myers), 11:58; 8, UAA, Sproule 1 (Naslund), 15:32 (pp); 9, Merrimack, Kolomatis 1 (Toomey, McCarthy), 16:09. Penalties -- Naslund, UAA (interference), 1:25; Ellis, Merrimack (roughing), 13:57.
Shots on goal -- Merrimack 12-10-8--30. UAA 10-5-9--24.
Power-play Opportunities -- Merrimack 1 of 5. UAA 1 of 3.
Goalies -- Merrimack, Tirronen, 0-2-0 (24 shots-18 saves). UAA, Gunderson, 1-0-1 (30 shots-27 saves).
A -- 2,027 (4,595). T -- 2:30.
Referees -- Brad Albers, Matthew Miller. Assistant referees -- John Canoy, Scott Sivulich.