Seawolves Defeat Fairbanks in Front of Electric Home Crowd

After a dominant three-goal second period, the Seawolves defeated in-state rivals the University of Alaska Fairbanks 4-2 to close the Governor’s Cup with an exciting finish 

By Avery Williamson 


It was a glass-shattering game on Feb. 3, as UAA handed Fairbanks a 4-2 loss in the final game of the Governor’s Cup. 

Long before the puck dropped, the boys were preparing for this matchup.

“The energy all week in practice was great,” said Seawolves head coach Matt Shasby. “The players knew this was their last chance to beat UAF this year and wanted to finally get it done. Our graduating players wanted it bad and our other players wanted to get it for them.”

The Seawolves carried that energy onto the ice, eager to defeat Fairbanks for the first time since reinstatement. 

While the boys strive to win every game, the determination for victory is amplified when they face Fairbanks.

“The rivalry is a real thing,” said Shasby. “There is a trophy on the line and with the increased number of games against each other, the players build that dislike. I think our fans enjoy the intensity this series brings.” 

The student section demonstrated that intensity described by Shasby.  Throughout the game, they booed at Fairbanks and slammed the glass for the Seawolves. When asked what they thought about Fairbanks, avid hockey fan Ethan Sundown’s answer was simple:

“I hate them.” 

Hannah Boron, who got to know UAA Forward Jarred White in biology class last year, shared a similar distaste, “All I can say is they (UAF) must be honored to be in our presence.” 

With an excited home crowd behind the glass, the Seawolves took the ice with one thing in mind: victory. 

In the opening period, Fairbanks’ Jonny Sorenson connected with the net seven minutes into the game. This was the lone goal of the first period. 

The second period was a different story, with the Seawolves dominating UAF. Freshman Aiden Westin got the boys on the scoreboard just over two minutes into the period. The goal was assisted by Riley Thompson, also a freshman forward. 

Immediately after the goal, UAF’s Brayden Nicholetts headed to the penalty box for holding. The Seawolves capitalized on the power-play opportunity, with Ben Almquist scoring less than 45 seconds later. The goal was assisted by Jarred White and Gunnar VanDamme. 

“Once we got that first goal the energy really shifted and you could feel the excitement,” said Shasby. “We scored pretty quickly again so it really boosted our confidence.” 

As if those back-to-back goals weren’t impressive enough, UAA fought to increase its lead. With eight minutes left in the period, Connor Marritt scored the Seawolves’ third goal of the game. With that goal, Riley Thompson recorded another assist and William Gilson got his first of two for the night. The rest of the second period was scoreless. 

“We were much more confident with the lead going into the third period this time around,” said Shasby. “After last weekend against Providence, we knew the style and what it was going to take to close it out. UAF is not an easy team to hold off.”

Fairbanks worked hard to make a comeback in the third period, scoring their second goal of the night with 10 minutes left in the game. 

Trailing by one goal with two minutes until the final buzzer, the Nanooks pulled goalie Pierce Charleson to add another offensive player to the ice. 

The Seawolves’ defense was too strong, though. UAA stole the puck and Porter Schachle, a junior out of Wasilla,  scored into an empty net. The goal was assisted by Adam Tisdale and William Gilson. 

The Seawolves held off Fairbanks for the rest of the period and the team skated to a 4-2 victory over the in-state rivals. 

As the final buzzer went off, Max Hegleson’s stick hit a plexi-glass panel by the home bench and caused it to shatter.

“It was a freak accident with the glass breaking,” said Shasby. “Usually, pucks are the main culprit when that happens but this time the stick struck it just perfectly for it to shatter. I’ve never seen a stick break glass like that.”

The glass shattering only added more electricity to the rink. As fans celebrated by banging on unbroken glass panels, the Seawolves reflected on all the hard work they’ve put in the past two seasons since reinstatement to get to this moment. 

“We’ve been waiting for that moment for so long and just to have it in our hands and celebrate with the guys was great,” UAA senior Connor Marritt told the Anchorage Daily News“It’s been a long time coming and feels so good. I wish we could’ve done this sooner but I hope this keeps trending in the right direction.”

Shasby credits part of the win to the enthusiastic fans.

“Our crowd and support has been incredible this year and last,” he said. “Our players really appreciate the packed house and the energy the crowd brings. Once we were able to finally find the back of the net the crowd really got into the game and helped us along. We were very happy that our crowd got to see a win against UAF.”

With that dominant performance against Fairbanks, the Seawolves are feeling confident and ready to finish the season strong. 



If you missed the Fairbanks game, don’t worry–the Seawolves will be here this weekend too. The pack will face off against Long Island University at the Avis Alaska Sports Complex on Feb. 10 and 11. You can purchase tickets here. If you have tickets to Sunday’s 5 p.m. game but will be doing Super Bowl activities instead, please consider donating your ticket back to the box office. Seawolf 5th Line will get donated tickets into the hands of youth hockey players to fill the stands. If you aren’t sure how to return your ticket, please email us.

Following the LIU game, the Seawolves will be gone three consecutive weekends as they travel across the country to play Lindenwood University, Augustana University and Stonehill College. As always, Anchorage fans are encouraged to join the official watch party at Las Margaritas, located at 541 W. Dimond Blvd.