In the increasingly discouraging times UAA continues to endure — a 13-game winless streak, two months without victory — the Seawolves of late have at least received an encouraging boost from the line of center Blake Tatchell and wingers Scott Allen and Jordan Kwas.
Allen’s team-high 10th goal in the late going Friday night at Sullivan Arena generated a 2-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association tie with Colorado College.
All five of the Seawolves goals in the last three games have come from members of the Tatchell line. Friday, Tatchell scored UAA’s first goal, and he and Kwas assisted on Allen’s game-tying strike.
Since Kwas, a right wing, joined Tatchell and left wing Allen last weekend in Wisconsin, Tatchell has produced 2-2—4 totals, Allen has delivered 2-1—3 totals and Kwas has furnished 1-3—4 totals.
“I don’t think it’s anything special we’re doing,’’ Tatchell said. “We’re just trying to keep it simple, get pucks in and support each other on the puck, find each other in open ice and make plays.’’
Kwas, a junior, said transitioning onto Tatchell’s line has been smooth.
“There’s just a natural chemistry, playing with two shooters,’’ he said. “We’re finding each other and we’re building on that chemistry.
“Myself, I feel like I’ve been off my game a lot of the year, whether that’s from losing or whatever, but those two guys are skilled and make me look good out there.’’
The trio also represents the team’s top three scorers. Tatchell checks in with 6-11—17 totals in 25 games, Kwas owns 7-7—14 totals in 24 games and the sophomore Allen follows with 10-4—14 totals in 25 games.
Allen’s goal came with less than four minutes to play in regulation and answered Andrew Hamburg’s go-ahead, power-play deflection of an Ian Young shot less than three minutes before that.
Allen got the puck below the goal line on right wing, skated behind the net and came out just above the goal line on the left side, with his back to the net. With UAA defenseman Chris Williams busting down the slot, Allen spun to his right and flicked a forehand inside the left post, over the right pad of Tigers senior goaltender Joe Howe (29 saves).
“I saw some pressure on (Williams), so I shielded my body and fired it, and luckily it went in,’’ Allen said.
Still, last-place UAA (3-16-6, 1-15-5 WCHA) extended its winless streak to 13 games (0-11-2), the fourth-longest such drought in the program’s 34 seasons. Colorado College (10-14-3, 7-10-2) remained in ninth place in the 12-team league.
Tatchell gave UAA a 1-0 lead three minutes into the game when he intercepted a pass by Colorado College sophomore winger Scott Wamsganz of Anchorage between the circles in the Tigers zone, got Howe to bite on a fake and zipped a wrister behind the goalie.
Colorado College answered late in the period with the teams skating 4 on 4. Alex Krishelnyski finished a pretty play — he scored off helpers from defenseman Peter Stoykewych and Hamburg — that began with Stoykewych blocking a shot in his own zone and initiating the counter-attack.
UAA outshot Colorado College 10-6 in the first period and 31-21 for the game — that’s the biggest shot advantage the Seawolves have enjoyed this season.
“I thought they came out really, really strong, kind of had us on our heels,’’ said Tigers coach Scott Owens. “We were kind of fortunate to get out of the first period 1-1.’’
Each team was whistled for a major penalty in the first period. Colorado College’s Jeff Collett received a major and game misconduct for checking from behind against UAA defenseman Scott Warner. Less than two minutes later, UAA defenseman Austin Sevalrud was docked for a major and game misconduct for checking from behind against Colorado College defenseman Mike Boivin.
After Krushelnyski’s goal created a 1-1 tie, the teams went the equivalent of nearly two full periods without scoring again. Then, Colorado College’s second power-play unit got one past UAA junior Chris Kamal (19 saves) and Allen countered for UAA.
While the game was sloppy at times, it did not lack for energy.
“The pace was high, it was a little bit risky at times — there were mistakes made — but it was entertaining,’’ Owen said. “For us, it’s disappointing we didn’t get a win, but it was a good road point and maybe we can build on it.’’
UAA has now been penalized for nine major penalties in 25 games this season. Its opponents have been docked for three.
UAA’s six deadlocks tie it for second-most in Division I behind Clarkson’s seven ties.
Friday marked just the third time in 25 games this season the Seawolves have fired 30 or more shots on goal — all three games ended in ties. Air Force, North Dakota and Wisconsin each have six ties — Wisconsin tied 1-1 at North Dakota on Friday night. Two of UAA’s ties have come against North Dakota and Air Force.
Special teams continue to plague the Seawolves. UAA has surrendered a power-play goal in six of the last seven games and its 73.2-percent penalty-killing efficiency ranks 58th among 59 Division I teams. UAA went 0 for 3 on the power play, and its 9.6-percent efficiency sits 57th in Division I.
UAA senior center Daniel Naslund sat out the game with illness.
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CC 1 0 1 0 — 2
UAA 1 0 1 0 — 2
First Period — 1, UAA, Tatchell 6, 3:13; 2, CC, Krushelnyski 10 (Stoykewych, Hamburg), 17:11. Penalties — McDermott, CC (hooking), 10:09; Collett, CC, major-game misconduct, served by Wamsganz (checking from behind), 13:16; Bailey, UAA (hooking), 13:20; Sevalrud, CC, major-game misconduct, served by Pettitt (checking from behind), 14:44.
Second Period — None. Penalties — None.
Third Period — 3, CC, Hamburg 6 (Young, Krushelnyski), 13:27 (pp); 4, UAA, Allen 10 (Kwas, Tatchell), 16:05. Penalties — Murphy, UAA (holding), 5:46; McDermott, CC (hooking), 6:03; Bailey, UAA (slashing), 11:51.
Overtime — None. Penalties — None.
Shots on goal — CC 6-7-6-2—21. UAA 10-6-13-2—31.
Power-play Opportunities — CC 1 of 3. UAA 0 of 3.
Goalies — CC, Howe, 6-7-2 (31 shots-29 saves). UAA, Kamal, 2-9-2 (21 shots-19 saves).
A — 2,630 (6,251). T — 2:32.
Referees — Craig Welker, Johnathan Morrison. Assistant referees — Travis Jackson, Carl Saden.
By DOYLE WOODY