ANCHORAGE – Powered by two goals and an assist from forward Matt Bailey and excellent netminding by Rob Gunderson, the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves skated to a 3-2 WCHA victory over the NCAA defending champions and No. 1-ranked Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on Saturday evening at the Sullivan Arena.
The Seawolves (7-17-2, 4-17-1 WCHA) scored first and held the lead through the first period before taking a two-goal advantage in the second. The Bulldogs (18-6-4, 12-5-3 WCHA) then cut the lead in half at the midway point of the third, before the Seawolves responded with a beautiful give-and-go two minutes later for the 3-1 advantage. UMD found the net with four minutes left in the frame for the 3-2 final.
Rookie Corbin Karl opened the scoring for the Seawolves with his second tally of the season at 1:23 of the first, with helpers going to junior forward Mitch Bruijsten and Bailey. Despite being outshot 9-4 in the frame, Gunderson kept UAA in the game, leading 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Bailey, a sophomore from Winnipeg, Manitoba, earned his third career multi-goal game, with the first tally coming on the man advantage at 13:39 of the second. After UMD’s Scott Kishel was ejected for a 5-minute major for checking-from-behind and coincidental penalties, Bailey and the freshman tandem of Austin Coldwell and Eric Scheid capitalized on the 4-on-3.
Gunderson’s would-be shutout lasted for 49 minutes and 26 seconds before the Bulldogs' J.T. Brown furnished his fifth goal of the series at 9:26 of the final stanza. The UMD drive was short-lived though, as Bailey, who collected an assist on Friday night, struck again at 11:31 for a four-point weekend. Bailey and senior Brad Gorham went back and forth with the puck before Bailey fired, beating a moving Kenny Reiter.
Mike Seidel would bring the Bulldogs within one at 15:57 with an extra attacker, but the Seawolves held their ground and sent UMD packing with their second loss in three games.
Gunderson, a sophomore, earned the WCHA win with 27 saves, while Reiter, the brother of former UAA goaltender Kevin Reiter, picked up the loss with 17 saves. The Bulldogs won the shots battle, posting 29 to the Seawolves’ 20.
UAA was 1-for-4 on the power play, while UMD was 1-for-5. The Seawolves were tagged for 14 minutes of infractions to the Bulldogs’ 21.
The Seawolves, who saw an eight-game losing streak come to an end, continue their six-game homestand on Feb. 10-11 when they host Minnesota State. The games are scheduled to commence at 7:07 p.m. both nights.