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UAA Athletics

UAA hockey team back home after long absence

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: January 4, 2018
  • Published January 4, 2018

Worst meets first this weekend at Sullivan Arena when the UAA hockey team plays its first home series in nearly a month.

The last-place Seawolves host first-place Minnesota State in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series Friday and Saturday, with puck dropping each night at 7:07.

UAA will be chasing its second win of the season. The Seawolves are 1-13-4 overall and 1-8-3 in the WCHA, and their .167 overall win percentage is the worst among the nation's Division I teams.

Minnesota State is 14-6-0 overall and 12-4-0 in the WCHA and is ranked seventh in the nation.

Leading the Mavericks is C.J. Suess, a senior forward with 28 points in 20 games, which ranks him seventh in the nation in scoring. Suess has put up two-goal games in three of Minnesota State's last four outings and was the WCHA's offensive player of the month for December.

Austin Azurdia leads the Seawolves with 13 points — eight goals and five assists — in 18 games. No other UAA player has scored more than three goals.

Prior to the game, fans can join UAA coach Matt Thomas for a free chalk talk at 6:10 p.m. in the arena's northeast lounge.

Thomas' team will have a slightly different look for their first home games since being swept by the Nanooks of UAF on Dec. 8-9.

Gone is Cameron Trott, the freshman defenseman from British Columbia who delivered two goals and one assist in 10 games.

New to the lineup is Alec Butcher, a senior forward from Anchorage who played his first three seasons of Division I hockey at Sacred Heart of the Atlantic Hockey Conference.

Butcher was a member of West High's 2010 state high school championship team and played two seasons of junior hockey with the Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey league. In the 2013-14 season, he scored 66 points in 60 games for the Brown Bears to earn league MVP honors.

As a sophomore for Sacred Heart in 2015-16, Butcher ranked fourth on the team in scoring with 35 points in 37 games. As a junior last season, he scored three points in four games.

Friday's game will be UAA's first since a Dec. 15-16 road series against Bemidji State.

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