GAME #15 - #16 MIDLAND 3, #22 ALABAMA 5
PELHAM, Ala. – Playing its first game in the newly-renovated main rink of the Pelham Civic Complex, the No. 22 Alabama hockey program knocked off No. 16 Midland on Friday night. The game marked freshman goaltender Garret Kingsbury’s first win as he stopped 20 of the 23 shots he faced, and Alabama never trailed in the first ever meeting between two nationally-ranked teams in Pelham.
Sophomore Marc Demers opened the scoring just over 12 minutes into the game with his fifth goal of the season, spurring a cascade of stuffed animals onto the ice as Alabama hosted its second-annual Teddy Toss benefitting the Tuscaloosa Police Department. Senior Thomas Godfrey was credited with the assist.
Midland answered in the second period with an unassisted goal from Luke Sanko at the 6:38 mark. Demers was sent off slashing at the 8:45 mark, but being short-handed didn’t slow the Alabama attack. Senior Dane Sana took found a misplayed puck with the Warriors netminder, Sean Kelley, trapped behind his own goal. Despite a well-taken shot from Sana, Kelley was able to make a diving stick save to preserve the tie.
With 9:29 to play in the second, the Warriors’ Kevin Finely was called for tripping, sending Alabama to the power-play. Before Finely could rejoin his teammates, Sanko was again sent off, this time for slashing, setting Alabama up for 21 seconds of 5-on-3 play. Ten seconds later, junior Taylor Joseph scored his team-leading ninth goal of the year with 7:40 on the clock. Junior Pierre Ouellette and senior Jeremy Hannah earned the assists. With Sanko still serving his slashing minor, Hannah added a second power-play goal with 6:16 to play in the second. Joseph and sophomore Taylor Bowman had the assists.
The Warriors pulled within one when Ben Henry found the back of the net just over six minutes into the final period. Alabama remained in control down to the waning moments of the game. Midland took another penalty with 2:42 to play, and the Alabama power-play unit didn’t hesitate to take advantage. Senior Jack Rooney scored with assists from Hannah and Joseph to extend UA’s lead. Senior captain Ian Soifer was then called for tripping with 2:09 on the clock, and the Warriors leading scorer, Jake Mullendore scored on the power play to result in the final score.
Alabama improves to 10-5 on the year, with all 10 wins coming against Division-I opponents. UA has now surpassed last year’s mark of a program-best nine D-I victories. Alabama closes the season series with Midland tomorrow night at 7 p.m. CT.