#22 Alabama Falls Late at #17 Midland, 4-3
GAME #14 - #22 ALABAMA 3, #17 MIDLAND 4
FREMONT, Neb. – The No. 22 Alabama hockey team suffered a late loss to No. 17 Midland at the Sidner Ice Arena on Saturday night. With 30 seconds on the clock, Midland’s Zach Voss put home a rebound for the game-winning goal in a contest that saw a plethora of penalties.
The Warriors totaled 90 minutes of penalties in the 60-minute game and saw five players along with their head coach ejected for abuse of officials. The first of their penalties came before play even began with Voss taking a 10-minute misconduct. Alabama was not without its own infractions, however. Junior Taylor Joseph was charged with 17 of the team’s 23 minutes and was the first player ejected in the game at the 13:18 mark of the first period.
Alabama was immediately put on its heels as junior goaltender Jesse Gordichuk left the game with an injury just 6:43 into the first period. Freshman Garret Kingsbury came on to play the remainder of the game and made 27 saves on 31 shots.
Jason Henry opened the scoring for Midland at the 11:16 mark, and the Warriors led at the first intermission. Luke Sanko would extend their lead 8:54 into the second period, but then things got out of hand for the Warriors bench.
At the 11:20 mark, a routine interference call on Sanko led to the ejection of Midland head coach Jason Cirone and Blake Ortman. Later in the period, Ryan Conybear was called for cross checking, putting Alabama on the power play for the 11th time on the weekend. UA was 0-for-10 on the power play on the weekend before that point, and hadn’t converted in its last 14 tries.
Junior Stephen MacInnis, playing his first game of the year as a defenseman due to injuries, lit the lamp on the advantage to end the drought with 1:10 left in the period and cut the Warrior lead to one, up 2-1.
Just 3:24 into the final period, freshman Nick Messina tied the game and extended his goal scoring streak to four consecutive games. Midland answered at the 11:10 mark, though it appeared the puck had been kicked in, before more chaos ensued. Sanko was called for his fourth minor of the game with 8:14 to play, but refused to go to the penalty box. Officials had to then forcibly escort the now-ejected Sanko off the ice.
Alabama again tied the game with a goal from sophomore Andrew Durkin, his first of the year, at the 13:24 mark. Shortly after the tying goal, Voss was called for boarding, giving Alabama a chance to take the lead on the power play, but it could not convert.
In the final minute of the game, Voss was able to put a rebound past Kingsbury before slamming into the goalpost on his way past the net. That would prove to be the game-winner. As the horn sounded, three more Warriors were given misconduct or disqualification penalties. Conybear, Hillman and Ben Henry joined Sanko and Ortman with ejections.
Alabama returns home on Dec. 8 to host the Warriors in Pelham. It will be the first game in the newly-renovated main arena and the team’s second-annual Teddy Toss game. The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. CT. The ticket booth will open at 5 p.m. with gates opening at 6 p.m.