University of Minnesota Gophers hockey player Kyle Rau.
Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune
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U ties Seawolves on Haula's goal
- Article by: MATT NEVALA
- Special to the Star Tribune
- November 12, 2012 - 7:31 AM
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - Pegging the Gophers erratic during portions of Saturday night's game might have seemed unfair to the determined effort put in by Alaska Anchorage.
Regardless, second-ranked Minnesota likely left Sullivan Arena less than ecstatic with the outcome.
Erik Haula's third-period goal forged a 2-2 with the Seawolves in what could be the Gophers last game in Anchorage for a while. Minnesota moves to the Big Ten Conference next season while UAA will remain in a watered-down version of the WCHA.
The teams played a scoreless five-minute overtime period. Minnesota (6-2-1, 3-2-1) outshot UAA 5-0 in the extra session.
A similar theme from the series opener appeared in the offing when the Gophers received the evening's first power-play opportunity -- and cashed in.
Sophomore winger Seth Ambroz aretrieved Travis Boyd's crossing pass. Ambroz roofed a shot high in the left corner for his third goal of the season at 2 minutes, 11 seconds.
But unlike Friday night when Minnesota secured the first four power plays and scored on all of them, UAA earned three consecutive chances with the extra attacker. The Seawolves tied things up at 12:21.
UAA freshman Blake Tatchell found Jordan Kwas open near the hash marks of the right circle. Kwas whistled a low shot past Gophers freshman goalie Adam Wilcox (21 saves) for his third goal.
The second period featured no scoring but plenty of checking from behind. Or at least a pair of major penalty calls -- one for each team.
But before all that, the Gophers' vaunted power-play unit couldn't convert on a golden 5-on-3 chance that began at 5:26. The Seawolves were simultaneously whistled for holding and too many men on the ice.
Minnesota did little with the two minutes.
The Gophers' Jake Parenteau was the first to exit with a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct. The junior rode UAA's Chris Crowell into boards in the right corner of the Minnesota defensive zone.
Exactly 2:28 of game time later, the Seawolves' Matt Bailey was whistled for hitting Kyle Rau in almost the same spot as Parenteau's infraction.
Surprisingly, all this special teams play didn't translate to loads of offensive chances as each squad clamped down defensively.
A late UAA slashing penalty on defenseman Chris Williams allotted the Gophers' 39 seconds of 5-on-3 time entering the third. Williams went to the penalty box at 19:51 of the second.
Minnesota did nothing on its power play, and at 3:34 of the third Gophers defenseman Nate Schmidt was hit with a tripping penalty.
The Seawolves broke the 1-1 tie only four seconds after the penalty expired. UAA senior Alex Gellert rocketed a shot past Wilcox from the left faceoff dot at 5:38.
The Gophers answered with an impressive demonstration of puck possession that seemingly lasted an eternity. However, Minnesota only mustered five shots on goal during the stretch, ending with Seth Helgeson's blast from the left point at 12:39.
Haula tied things up at 13:31. He stormed in from the left wing before slipping his seventh goal past UAA goalie Rob Gunderson.
The Gophers outshot UAA 28-23 in regulation, 5-0 in overtime.
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