What the UAA hockey team cherished most Saturday night was not that their 6-1 victory over Alabama-Huntsville produced its season-high for goals and the most it has scored in more than a year.
Nor was it that the Seawolves four power-play goals in the final 20 minutes at Sullivan Arena set a school record for most man-advantage strikes in a period.
Nor was it that their five power-play goals were one shy of a school record for most power-play goals in a game.
And even though the sweep of the Chargers in the revamped Western Collegiate Hockey Association gave UAA (5-3-0, 2-2-0 WCHA) more wins than it managed all last season (4-25-7), it still wasn’t the buzz of the dressing room afterward.
No, what the Seawolves savored most was Kory Roy’s goal, the first of his college career.
Roy snapped off a one-timer from between the face-off circles during a two-man advantage in the third period to pump UAA’s lead to 5-1.
That goal was a long time coming — 61 games.
And — exhale.
“It felt just like it always felt — great,’’ Roy said. “It felt as good as I remember it.’’
Actually, he knows whereof he speaks. Roy did not lack scoring credentials when he arrived back in his hometown to play college hockey. In 2010-11, his last year in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, he scored 30 goals in 53 games for the Canmore Eagles. The season before that, he bagged six goals in nine playoff games for Canmore.
But he came up empty in 22 games as a freshman, 34 more as a sophomore, and in his first four appearances this season.
“It’s like digging a hole, being in quicksand — pick your cliche,’’ Roy said. “It was great to score. You feel like you’re contributing. You feel like a player again.’’
Roy’s goal came when Jordan Kwas fed him a perfect pass.
“He put it right in my wheelhouse,’’ Roy said. “I just said, ‘Whatever happens, I’m going to shoot it hard and get if off quick,’ and it found the back of the net.’’
When Roy scored on the 39th shot on goal of his UAA career, he raised his hands above his head and held them there. Teammates rushed in for a hockey hug.
Kwas said he didn’t specifically target Roy on that power play, but kept him in mind.
“You’re not thinking just that, but if it’s there …’’ Kwas said. “He’s a hard-working kid, a local kid. It’s good to see, so good to see.’’
Brett Cameron, who had one goal and one assist, said he and his teammates were ecstatic when Roy scored.
“I feel like our whole bench was cheering as hard as he was,’’ Cameron said. “It was so great for him and great for us. It was awesome.’’
And thus, Roy will presumably no longer have to hear the gentle encouragement he usually heard from a teammate on game night.
“At least one guy would always say, ‘Tonight should be the night,’ ” Roy said. “You’re like, ‘Yeah, it’ll be tonight.’ I just tried to stay as positive as I could.’’
Granted, Alabama-Huntsville owns the worst penalty-killing efficiency in Division I (61.0 percent).
And, granted, the Chargers (0-8-0, 0-6-0 WCHA) are one of three winless teams, along with Dartmouth (0-6-0) and Army (0-5-0), among the 59 in Division I.
Still, the Seawolves wouldn’t care if their six goals Saturday and their 7 of 15 power-play performance in the series came against Joe’s Plumbing.
What they careed most about this night was their joy for Roy.
The UAA record for most power-play goals in a game is six, set against Alabama-Huntsville in a 15-4 victory at Sullivan on Dec. 13, 1991.
UAA on Saturday broke the previous school record of three power-play goals in a period — the Seawolves managed three in a period against Northern Arizona in 1984 and Notre Dame in 1990.
Junior winger Scott Allen scored one goal and set up two others to tie his career-high with three points. That gave him a five-point weekend (2-3—5) after entering with 2-1—3 totals in six games.
Cameron went 2-2—4 in the series to triple his previous production (1-1—2) in six games.
Blake Tatchell’s two assists snapped his five-game point drought.
Kwas’ two helpers give him 46 in his career, most among active Seawolves.
Matt Bailey’s goal was his team-leading sixth in eight games. The senior center scored seven goals in 36 games last season.
Also scoring for the Seawolves were freshman winger Hudson Friesen (his second this season) and junior defenseman Austin Coldwell (his first this season).
Senior Rob Gunderson stopped 18 shots to improve his season save percentage to .916.
Find Doyle Woody’s blog at adn.com/hockeyblog.
Ala.Huntsville 1 0 0 — 1
UAA 1 1 4 — 6
First Period — 1, Ala.-Huntsville, Brears 3 (Soquila, Marooney), 8:12; 2, UAA, Allen 4 (Cameron, Sproule), 8:28. Penalties — Misuraca, Ala.-Huntsville (hooking), 4:24; Vanderlugt, Ala.-Huntsville (tripping), 10:03; Duwe, UAA, major-game misconduct, served by Van Allen (checking from behind), 16:19.
Second Period — 3, UAA, Bailey 6 (Allen, Tatchell), 9:43 (pp). Penalties — White, Ala.-Huntsville (hooking), 3:07; Rassell, UAA (tripping), 5:39; Coldwell, UAA (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:38; Pierce, Ala.-Huntsville (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:38; White, Ala.-Huntsville (holding), 9:20; Marooney, Ala.-Huntsville (hooking), 11:29; Strukoff, Ala.-Huntsville (roughing), 20:00.
Third Period — 4, UAA, Friesen 2 (Kwas, Tatchell), 1:34 (pp); 5, UAA, Coldwell 1 (Leask, Allen), 12:30 (pp); 6, UAA, Roy 1 (Kwas, Sevalrud), 13:55 (pp); 7, UAA, Cameron 3 (Van Allen, Williams), 16:45 (pp-ea). Penalties — Salhany, Ala.-Huntsville, major (charging), 11:53; Pierce, Ala.-Huntsville (slashing), 13:31; Schools, Ala.-Huntsville (high-sticking), 16:45; Bailey, UAA (tripping), 19:47.
Shots on goal — Ala.-Huntsville 12-4-3—19. UAA 9-6-13—28.
Power-play Opportunities — Ala.-Huntsville 0 of 3. UAA 5 of 11.
Goalies — Ala.-Huntsville, Larose, 0-4-0 (28 shots-22 saves). UAA, Gunderson, 3-2-0 (19 shots-18 saves).
A — 2,256 (6,251). T — 2:11.
Referees — Tom Sterns, Rodney Tocco. Assistant referees — Travis Jackson, Nick Walters.