Mankato outguns UAA 3-1

dwoody@adn.comDecember 7, 2012 

Two things the Seawolves have yet to accomplish this season -- consecutive wins and a road victory -- continued to elude them Friday night.

UAA gave up its lone lead in a heartbeat, surrendered a season-high 40 shots on goal and was outshot by a 2-to-1 margin, all of which added up to a 3-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association loss to Minnesota State-Mankato.

UAA, coming off a 3-1 victory over St. Cloud State that snapped a seven-game winless streak and, it hoped, provided some impetus to improve its fortunes, managed just 21 shots on goal at the Verizon Wireless Center.

That hardly proved enough ammunition to cool off Mavericks freshman goaltender Stephon Williams of Fairbanks, who has backstopped each victory in his club's five-game winning streak. In that stretch, Williams owns a miniscule goals-against average of 1.20 and a lofty save percentage of .953. He's been the league's Rookie of the Week in consecutive weeks.

Responsibility for UAA's loss could not be pinned on junior Chris Kamal, who stopped a career-high 37 shots.

UAA (3-6-4, 1-5-3 WCHA) remains in last place in the 12-team league. Minnesota State-Mankato (8-5-2, 6-5-0), under first-year coach Mike Hastings, sits in a tie for fourth place with St. Cloud State.

The Seawolves got off to an encouraging start just 1 minute, 49 seconds into the game when junior center Matt Bailey flicked a sharply angled backhand into a small opening above Williams' left shoulder and below the crossbar for a 1-0 lead. The goal snapped Bailey's 10-game drought.

Just 12 seconds later, though, Bailey took a tripping penalty and the Mavericks answered with Zach Palmquist's power-play strike for a 1-1 tie. UAA's lead lasted just 70 seconds.

The Mavericks earned a 2-1 lead on Johnny McInnis' rebound goal late in a period in which they outshot the Seawolves, 16-6. That tied the most shots on goal the Seawolves have surrendered in a period this season.

Brett Knowles' first college goal, five minutes into the third period, pushed the Mavericks' lead to 3-1, and Williams made the advantage stand.

UAA went 0 for 3 on the power play and has cashed in just five times on 46 man-advantage chances this season. The Seawolves' opponents have outscored them 13-5 in power-play goals.

Seawolves notes

Freshman center Blake Tatchell's five-game point streak was snapped, as was junior Quinn Sproule's three-game streak.

UAA is 0-3-2 in WCHA road games.

Kamal raised his save percentage to .912 from .908.

Mavericks senior center Eli Zuck of Anchorage had one shot on goal and an even rating.

Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.

UAA 1 0 0 -- 1

Mankato 2 1 0 -- 3

First Period -- 1, UAA, Bailey 2 (Roy, Warner), 1:49; 2, Mankato, Palmquist 2 (Lehrke, Williams), 2:59 (pp); 3, Mankato, McInnis 6 (Stern, Grant), 15:24. Penalties -- Bailey, UAA (tripping), 2:01; Nelson, Mankato (holding), 10:17.

Second Period -- 4, Mankato, Knowles 1 (Hayes, Nelson), 4:42. Penalties -- Sproule, UAA (interference), 9:00; Elbrecht, Mankato (hooking), 16:27.

Third Period -- None. Penalties -- Sproule, UAA (hooking), 4:41; Sevalrud, UAA (hooking), 6:18; Palmquist, Mankato (interference), 8:19.

Shots on goal -- UAA 6-6-9--21. Mankato 16-11-13--40.

Power-play Opportunities -- UAA 0 of 3. Mankato 1 of 4.

Goalies -- UAA, Kamal, 2-4-0 (40 shots-37 saves). Mankato, Williams, 5-3-1 (21-20).

A -- 3,041 (4,832). T -- 2:17.

Referees -- Craig Welker, Brett Klosowski. Assistant referees -- Nick Bradshaw, Sam Shikovsky.

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