St. Cloud State eliminates Seawolves with 5-1 win

Doyle Woody

The agony is over for the Seawolves, who Saturday night wrapped what equaled the second-worst campaign in their hockey program's 34-season history with a 5-1 loss at St. Cloud State in Minnesota.

The No. 8-ranked Huskies swept the best-of-3, first-round Western Collegiate Hockey Association series after thumping UAA 6-1 on Friday and dismissing the Seawolves on Saturday.

UAA's 4-25-7 record (.208 winning percentage) in coach Dave Shyiak's eighth season matched the Seawolves .208 winning percentage in his first season of 2005-06 (6-27-3).

The only worse season in UAA history came in 2002-03, when it went 1-28-7 and finished the season with a 35-game winless streak.

While this edition of the Seawolves spent most of the season reeling, they were particularly in a spiral throughout the last two-thirds of the season -- UAA went 1-20-3 in its last 24 games and finished with nine consecutive losses.

UAA was outscored 24-4 in its last four games and managed just one goal or fewer in eight of their nine straight losses to end the season.

UAA's .208 winning percentage ranks 57th of 59 Division I teams and is among its litany of stats that are among the worst in major college hockey.

UAA's 1.86 goals per game ranks 58th. UAA's 3.69 goals surrendered per game ranks 57th. Its minus-1.83 goal differential per game ranks 57th. And its 74.5-percent penalty-killing efficiency ranks 58th.

Even so, the Seawolves trailed just 1-0 through two periods Saturday at the National Hockey and Events Center. Drew LeBlanc, the Huskies senior who earlier in the week was voted the league's Player of the Year, scored less than six minutes into the game and that strike stood for nearly 40 minutes.

That the Seawolves were in the game was testament to the goaltending of junior Chris Kamal, who delivered a career-high 41 saves.

After St. Cloud's David Morley pushed the Huskies' (23-14-1) lead to 2-0 five minutes into the second period, UAA answered in a heartbeat. Blake Tatchell's goal 62 seconds later restored the one-goal lead for the home team at 2-1.

But Nic Dowd scored on the power play midway through the period, Cory Thorson struck four minutes later and Ben Hanowski added an empty-net goal to send the Seawolves packing.

St. Cloud State outshot UAA 46-20, and Huskies goalie Ryan Faragher made 19 saves.

Saturday was the end of the line for five UAA seniors -- defenseman Scott Warner, and forwards Alex Gellert, Tyler Currier, Chris Crowell and Daniel Naslund.

St. Cloud's sweep was one of three in the six WCHA first-round series. Minnesota beat Bemidji State 4-3 for a sweep and Wisconsin eliminated Minnesota-Duluth 4-1.

Three other series will go to a decisive Game 3 on Sunday after the visitors won Saturday, when Colorado College beat Denver 2-1, Nebraska-Omaha beat Minnesota State-Mankato 2-1 and Michigan Tech won 2-1 at North Dakota.


Shuffling the deck

Tatchell's goal was his team-leading 25th point. His nine goals tied Jordan Kwas for second on the team behind Scott Allen's 12.

Gellert had an assist in his final game to give him 12-28--40 totals in 132 career games. Naslund finished 15-27--42 in 132 games. Currier went 6-8--14 in 103 games. Warner went 8-23--31 in 105 games at UAA -- he transferred back to his hometown team after starting his college career with one season at Army.

Crowell finished with 1-4--5 totals in 95 career games.

Shyiak is 3-15-0 in the playoffs.


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UAA 0 0 1 1

SCS 1 0 4 5

First Period - 1, SCS, LeBlanc 13 (Kossila), 5:46. Penalties - Daly, SCS (tripping), 1:05; Allen, UAA (high-sticking), 7:11; Prochno, SCS (holding), 13:26.

Second Period -- None. Penalties - Bailey, UAA (tripping), 19:23; Prochno, SCS (holding), 19:51.

Third Period - 2, SCS, Morley 11 (Johnson, Milan), 4:56; 3, UAA, Tatchell 9 (Gellert, Docken), 5:58; 4, SCS, Dowd 11 (Jensen, LeBlanc), 9:13 (pp); 6, SCS, Hanowski 15 (Dowd, LeBlanc), 18:47 (en). Penalties - Currier, UAA (elbowing), 8:32.

Shots on goal - UAA 6-6-8--20. SCS 14-19-13--46.

Power-play Opportunities - UAA 0 of 3. SCS 1 of 3.

Goalies - UAA, Kamal, 2-14-3 (45 shots-41 saves). SCS, Faragher, 22-12-1 (20 shots-19 saves).

A - 3,663 (5,371). T - 2:23.

Referees - Matt Ulwelling, Jonathan Morrison. Assistant referees - Brandon Polich, Rick Nelson.



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