Here is the scant consolation from UAA's regular season-ending 6-1 loss at the University of Denver on Sunday: Tyler Currier's late goal kept the Seawolves from tying a dubious mark in their 20 seasons in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
As it was, coupled with the Pioneers' 7-1 win in Friday's season opener, the Seawolves were outscored by 11 goals in the series.
That matches UAA's second-worst goal differential in a WCHA series and matches the worst WCHA weekend in coach Dave Shyiak's eight seasons. UAA was outscored 14-3 in a series at Michigan Tech in 2006 during Shyiak's second season.
UAA's worst weekend in its WCHA history came in 1996, when it fell 7-2 and 8-1 at Minnesota-Duluth for a goal differential of minus-12.
In any event, the Pioneers brunched on the Seawolves on Sunday, when the puck at Magness Arena dropped at 9:07 a.m. ADT -- 11:07 CDT.
UAA (4-23-7, 2-20-6 WCHA) lost its seventh straight game, and the setback marked the sixth time in that span it has been limited to one goal or none.
The Seawolves, who have won just once in their last 22 games, finished with their second-worst WCHA regular-season record since joining the league. Only their 0-22-6 campaign in 2002-03 was worse.
After being outshot 52-17 in the series opener, the Seawolves hit the 17-shot mark about halfway through Sunday's match, so their effort was more earnest even as the Pioneers outshot them 34-28 for the game.
Still, Denver (19-11-5, 13-9-5 WCHA), which is ranked No. 11 in one national poll and No. 12 in another, blew to a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals from Scott Mayfield, Zac Larraza and Nolan Zajac.
Shawn Ostrow bagged two goals in the second period and David Makowski scored in the third before Currier ruined the potential shutout by Sam Brittain (27 saves) when he scored inside the last four minutes.
UAA junior Chris Kamal stopped 28 shots.
UAA freshman defenseman Austin Sevalrud received a five-minute major and game disqualification for kicking in the waning seconds of the second period. That DQ means he will not be eligible to play Friday night, when UAA opens a best-of-3, first-round WCHA series at regular season co-champion St. Cloud State.
Sevalrud's infraction marked the 10th major penalty the Seawolves have been hit with in 34 games this season, and it marked Sevalrud's third major, tying center Matt Bailey for the team lead.
Denver secured the No. 5 seed in the conference, which earned it the right to host rival Colorado College in the first round.
The Seawolves are 1-18-3 in their last 22 games.
They went 1-1 against St. Cloud, their playoff opponent. The Seawolves lost 4-3 in overtime in the series opener at Sullivan Arena on Nov. 30 and rebounded for a 3-1 win on Dec. 1.
Of the 10 major penalties UAA has been issued, opponents have scored five goals and the Seawolves countered with one short-handed goal. UAA killed Sevalrud's major Sunday.
Currier's goal was the senior's fourth of the season, topping the three career goals he had in 67 games his first three seasons.
Denver's line of Larraza, Ostrow and Ty Loney tortured the Seawolves in the series. Larraza scored three goals and went plus-7; Ostrow delivered three goals and one assist, and went plus-7; and Loney furnished six assists and a plus-6 rating.
Here are the six WCHA first-round playoff match-ups:
UAA at St. Cloud State; Bemidji State at Minnesota; Michigan Tech at North Dakota; Minnesota-Duluth at Wisconsin; Colorado College at Denver; and Nebraska-Omaha at Minnesota State-Mankato.
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.
UAA 0 0 1 -- 1
Denver 3 2 1 -- 6
First Period -- 1, DU, Mayfield 4 (Arnold, Jacobson), 7:03; 2, DU, Larraza 11 (Phillips, Loney), 12:03; 3, DU, Zajac 6 (LaLeggia, N. Shore), 18:44. Penalties -- Bailey, UAA (charging), 17:13.
Second Period -- 4, DU, Ostrow 13 (Didier, LaLeggia), 5:24; 5, DU, Ostrow 14 (Phillips, Loney), 14:15. Penalties -- Tabrum, DU (hooking), 1:29; Makowski, DU (cross-checking), 15:09; Sevalrud, UAA, major-game disqualification, served by Pettitt (kicking), 19:54.
Third Period -- 6, DU, Makowski 8 (Zajac, Loney), 11:02; 7, UAA, Currier 4 (Leask, Naslund), 16:42. Penalties -- Murphy, UAA (slashing), 7:38; Murphy, UAA (boarding), 17:54.
Shots on goal -- UAA 11-13-4--28. DU 15-10-9--34.
Power-play Opportunities -- UAA 0 of 2. DU 1 of 4.
Goalies -- UAA, Kamal, 2-13-3 (34 shots-28 saves). DU, Brittain, 5-6-0 (28 shots-27 saves).
A -- 5,249 (6,026). T -- 2:20.
Referees -- Tom Sterns, Scott Bokol. Assistant referees -- Tim Swiader, Gary Pedigo.
By DOYLE WOODY