GAME #16 - #16 MIDLAND 2, #22 ALABAMA 3
PELHAM, Ala. – The No. 22 Alabama hockey program remained undefeated at home with a 3-2 win over No. 16 Midland for its fifth sweep of the season. After falling behind, 2-0, in the first period, Alabama rallied back with three unanswered goals, the last of which game with just three minutes on the clock.
Midland struck twice in the first period with goals from Nick Blanchette and Evan Anderson at the 4:11 and 15:11 marks, respectively. Neither team took a penalty in the opening 20 minutes, but the penalties and Alabama’s scoring would pick up over the latter two frames.
Alabama responded with its first goal of the night at the 12:47 mark of the second period. The goal was originally credited to junior Taylor Joseph with an assist from freshman Vaughan Kavanaugh, but was later changed to give senior Jon Lovorn the goal while Joseph and freshman Zach McDaniel picked up the assists.
Midland started the third period on the penalty-kill, thanks to a cross checking minor in the final five seconds of the second. Freshman Nick Messina tied the game with his second power-play goal of the year just 1:39 into the final frame. Kavanaugh and freshman Josh Mooncotch were given the assists. Alabama was 4-for-6 on the power play this weekend after going just 2-for-14 in last weekend’s losses at Midland.
Alabama had a chance to take the lead when the Warriors’ Jake Mullendore was sent off for hooking with 13:40 to play. The team was able to put the puck in the net, but it was overturned for goaltender interference. After making the initial save attempt, Midland’s Dakot McDonald was run over by an Alabama player who could not stop in time, leaving a open net for the later disallowed goal.
With time winding down, senior Dane Sana broke through for Alabama. Sana scored the game-winning goal with just 3:05 on the clock. McDaniel and Joseph picked up assists on the play to record multi-point games. Alabama then held on to claim the victory despite playing the final 1:59 on the penalty kill. Freshman netminder Garret Kingsbury stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced to earn his second win of the weekend.
Alabama will now take a few weeks off for winter break before hosting Mercyhurst on Jan. 6 to open the new year. The puck is set to drop at 2 p.m. CT, as the game will be followed by the Birmingham Bulls’ game at 6:35 p.m.