A season that started with doubt and ended with possibility is over for the UAA hockey team, which lost 4-2 Saturday to third-ranked Minnesota State in the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.
UAA finished the season with a 4-25-7 record under second-year coach Matt Curley, who guided the Seawolves through a rocky offseason and to their first WCHA playoff appearance since 2014.
For awhile during the summer, the team’s existence was in jeopardy as the University of Alaska dealt with huge, system-wide budget cuts. The program survived, and on the final weekend of the regular season the Seawolves clinched a WCHA playoff spot, giving themselves the hope of a postseason run.
It never happened. The Mavericks beat the Seawolves 8-1 on Friday and ended the best-of-3 series with Saturday’s win. They outshot UAA 53-14 on Saturday and 50-17 on Friday.
Saturday’s game was close till the end. UAA led 1-0 on Marcus Mitchell’s goal 11 minutes into the second period and were tied 1-1 going into the third period. Corey Renwick and Zac Masson assisted on Mitchell’s goal.
Minnesota State (31-5-2) grabbed a 2-1 lead two minutes into the third period, but the Seawolves tied it 2-2 two minutes later with a goal from Renwick assisted by Mitchell and Zach Nazzarett.
The Mavericks scored the game-winner with about five minutes left and sealed the win with an empty-net goal.
Kris Carlson made 49 saves for the Seawolves.