With a 3-2 loss Friday night in Houghton, Michigan, the UAA hockey team was mathematically eliminated from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.
The Seawolves occupy last place in the 10-team league, which sends its top eight teams to the WCHA tournament. They are 14 points out of eighth place, and with only three regular-season games left, the most points they can score between now and the end of the season is nine.
Coming into the game, UAA trailed eighth-place Alabama Huntsville by 11 points. Catching Huntsville was possible, but only if the Seawolves won their final four games and Huntsville lost its final four. Neither of those things can happen now, because UAA lost and Huntsville won on Friday.
Jonah Renouf and Drayson Pears each scored and Kristian Stead made 39 saves for UAA, but the Seawolves were outshot 42-14 and gave up two power-play goals.
UAA (3-25-3 overall, 2-20-3 WCHA) led 1-0 in the second period and forged a 2-2 tie early in the third period. Michigan Tech (13-16-4, 12-10-3) scored the game-winning goal on a power play with 11 minutes left.
“I thought our effort was there, but we never seemed to get things rolling the way we are able to,” UAA coach Matt Curley said in a release from the school. “We struggled to get pucks to the net and gave up a lot against on the other end, ultimately costing us the game.”
After a scoreless first period, Renouf scored about five minutes into the second period on an assist from Nicolas Erb-Ekholm. Two minutes later, Tech tied the game.
The Huskies went up 2-1 a little more than four minutes into the third period, only to see UAA tie it 70 seconds later with Pear’s goal, assisted by Trey deGraaf and Carmine Buono.
UAA had no answer when the Huskies’ Jake Jackson scored a breakaway power-play goal for the game-winner.
The Seawolves were 0-for-2 on the power play and Tech was 2-for-4. UAA hadn’t allowed a power-play goal in its previous five games.
“Kristian Stead was outstanding tonight and kept us in it,” Curley said. “Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to generate some more presence in the offensive zone.”