UAA hockey team runs winless streak to 11 with loss at Wisconsin

Doyle Woody

The agony continued for UAA on Friday night.

A 5-2 loss at No. 20-ranked Wisconsin stretched the Seawolves' winless streak to 11 straight games (0-10-1), which ties the fifth-longest such skid in the program's 34-season history.

Yet again in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game, UAA never led, was massively outshot (37-14) and was crushed on special teams -- the Badgers converted on two of three power plays and the Seawolves took the collar on three opportunities.

About the only highlight for last-place UAA (3-15-5, 1-14-4 WCHA) was the newly formed line of freshman Blake Tatchell centering wingers Scott Allen and Jordan Kwas. Tatchell and Allen each racked one goal and one assist, and Kwas furnished two helpers.

While the Seawolves have been in free-fall, the Badgers (10-8-5, 7-5-5 WCHA) have been surging. They are unbeaten in their last nine league games (6-0-3) and own three wins in three games against the Seawolves in that span. Wisconsin swept a series in Anchorage earlier this month, 5-3 and 1-0.

One aspect in which UAA was actually superior to Wisconsin entering the evening at the Kohl Center was the power play. UAA began the night converting on 9.5 percent of its chances and, granted, that is poor, but Wisconsin came in at 9.1 percent.

By evening's end, tables turned. Wisconsin improved to 11.6 percent for the season and UAA dropped to 9.1.

Special teams have been disastrous for the green and gold. UAA's power play ranks tied for 56th among 59 Division I teams and its penalty-killing unit, which dismisses 73.1 percent of opposing power plays, checks in 58th nationally.

Nic Kerdiles opened the scoring for Wisconsin 86 seconds into the game, scoring off his own rebound after his initial shot struck the right post and came back to him at the edge of Rob Gunderson's crease.

Though Tatchell beat Joel Rumpel with a wrister from the right circle at seven-minute mark to forge a 1-1 tie, Tyler Barnes scored for the Badgers late in the period.

Wisconsin's Michael Mersch added two goals the rest of the way to give him a team-leading 15 and Mark Zengerle added one to offset Allen's third-period goal, his team-best ninth.

UAA's 14 shots on goal marked the seventh time in its winless streak that it has been reduced to 18 shots or less. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Wisconsin line of Zengerle, Mersch and Joseph LaBate combined for 12 shots.

The Seawolves have been outscored 42-15 during their winless streak. In that span, they have converted 2 of 33 power-play chances (6.1 percent) and opponents have sniped 13 of 44 power-play opportunities (29.5 percent).

Seawolves notes

Tatchell's multiple-point game was his third and kept him atop the team's scoring charts with 5-10--15 totals in 23 games.

Allen's fifth career multiple-point game lifted him into second in points on UAA with 9-4--13 totals in 23 games. And Kwas' fifth career multiple-point game moved him into a tie with Matt Bailey for third in team points with 6-6--12 totals in 22 games. Kwas has 50 career points, moving him one ahead of fellow junior Bailey for most by an active UAA player.

UAA slipped to 0-7-2 in WCHA road games.

Wisconsin has won 14 straight games against UAA in Madison, where the Seawolves last won in 2005.

During its winless streak, UAA has led 20:39 of 665 minutes played.

As part of the weekend celebration of 50 years of Wisconsin hockey in the modern era, the 1973 NCAA championship team was honored. The big NCAA hero for that club was former UAA coach Dean Talafous.

In the semifinals, Talafous scored the game-tying goal against Cornell with five seconds left in regulation and the game-winning goal for a 6-5 victory with 33 seconds left in overtime. In the final, he scored the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win over Denver. All that earned him the tournament Most Valuable Player award.

Talafous, who coached UAA from 1996 to 2001, played nearly 500 games in the NHL.

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UAA 1 0 1 -- 2

Wisconsin 2 2 1 -- 5

First Period -- 1, Kerdiles 3 (Lee, Ramage), 1:26; 2, UAA, Tatchell 5 (Kwas, Allen), 6:59; 3, UW, Barnes 5 (Lee, Kerdiles), 15:13. Penalties -- R. Little, UW (holding), 2:45.

Second Period -- 4, UW, Mersch 14 (Zengerle, McCabe), 9:04 (pp); 5, UW, Zengerle 4 (Mersch, Drake), 15:22. Penalties -- Docken, UAA (cross-checking), 4:17; Crowell, UAA (tripping), 8:56; Woods, UW (hooking), 10:39.

Third Period -- 5, UW, Mersch 15 (Barnes, McCabe), 5:01 (pp); 6, UAA, Allen 9 (Kwas, Tatchell), 9:43. Penalties -- Sproule, UAA (interference), 3:37; Lee, UW (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:19.

Shots on goal -- UAA 3-4-7--14. UW 15-14-8--37.

Power-play Opportunities -- UAA 0 of 3. UW 2 of 3.

Goalies -- UAA, Gunderson, 1-7-4 (37 shots-32 saves). UW, Rumpel, 6-6-3 (14 shots-12 saves).

A -- 10,154 (15,359). T -- 2:10.

Referees -- Derek Shepherd, Tim Walsh. Assistant referees -- Dan Carey, Ed Moberg.