UAA hockey team stumbles in first road game

Doyle Woody

UAA skated into Friday night with a chance to make hockey history.

That was the least of the Seawolves' concerns by the time they exited the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.

After opening the season with two wins last weekend, UAA saw things seriously spiral on them late in the first period and early in the second period, when Western Michigan flexed on its way to a 6-2 victory at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament.

The Broncos, who didn't manage a goal in two losses to Notre Dame last weekend, scored with four-tenths of a second left in the first period, then racked consecutive goals in a 50-second span early in the second period.

That furnished a 4-1 lead and chased UAA senior goaltender Rob Gunderson (eight saves), who gave way to freshman Michael Matyas.

UAA has not started a season 3-0-0 since the 1991-92 campaign. And in 36 seasons of Seawolves hockey, 31 of them at the Division I level, they have never started 3-0-0 against Division I opponents.

One of the few bright spots for UAA was senior center Matt Bailey, who scored both goals to deliver the fifth two-goal game of his career.

Special teams proved the Seawolves' undoing. They generously granted the Broncos 10 power plays -- after giving up just nine opportunities in two games last weekend -- and were twice nicked for power-play strikes. They also surrendered a short-handed goal and went just 1 of 7 with the man advantage.

UAA failed to score on a five-minute power play in the first period. The Seawolves also gave up a goal with the teams skating 4 on 4 when Western Michigan's Sheldon Dries scored his first college goal with less than a second left in the first period.

Former UAA winger Sam Mellor furnished one assist for the Broncos.

Shane Berschbach scored two goals for Western Michigan, which received 24 saves from Frank Slubowski.

Matyas stopped 11 of 13 shots.

The Seawolves on Saturday play the University of Denver.

UAA notes

Bailey owns 30 career goals, tops among active Seawolves.

Freshman defenseman Chase Van Allen of Anchorage had an assist for his first college point.

Bailey and sophomore center Blake Tatchell each cranked five shots, tying Western Michigan's Josh Pitt for most in the game.

UAA's 26-25 edge in shots marked the first time it has outshot the opponent in three games.

The meeting between the Seawolves and Broncos was the first in nearly 25 years.

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Western Michigan 2 2 2 -- 6

UAA 1 0 1 -- 2

First Period -- 1, WMU, Pitt 1 (Mellor, Berschbach), 15:48 (pp); 2, UAA, Bailey 2, 19:03 (pp); 3, WMU, Dries 1 (Oesterle, Morrison), 19:59. Penalties -- McKee, WMU (slashing), 7:50; McKee, WMU, major-game misconduct, served by Rebry (checking from behind), 10:32; Rassell, UAA (holding), 15:34; Bailey, UAA (holding), 16:06; LaPorte, WMU (slashing), 17:11; Pitt, WMU (elbowing), 19:51; Allen, UAA (tripping), 19:54.

Second Period -- 4, WMU, LaPorte 1 (Balisy), 2:50 (sh); 5, WMU, Berschbach 1 (Kovacs), 3:40. Penalties -- Fleming, WMU (high-sticking), 1:23; Fleming, WMU (interference), 5:18; Murphy, UAA (hooking), 9:02; Sevalrud, UAA (high-sticking), 9:50; Williams, UAA (cross-checking), 11:35; Oesterle, WMU (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:35; Friesen, UAA (interference), 14:46; Mellor, WMU (interference), 15:49.

Third Period -- 6, WMU, Berschbach 2 (Kovacs. Pitt), 2:05; 7, WMU, Brown 1 (Balisy), 5:03 (pp); 8, UAA, Bailey 3 (Van Allen, Coldwell), 14:19. Penalties -- Hubbs, UAA (slashing), 2:05; Hubbs, UAA (cross-checking), 4:37; Sproule, UAA (charging), 9:02; Friesen, UAA (high-sticking), 17:35; Cameron, UAA (elbowing), 19:29; Rebry, WMU (elbowing), 19:57.

Shots on goal -- WMU 9-7-9--25. UAA 7-9-10--26.

Power-play Opportunities -- WMU 2 of 10. UAA 1 of 7.

Goalies -- WMU, Slubowski, 1-2-0 (26 shots-24 saves). UAA, Gunderson, 1-1-0 (12 shots-8 saves); Matyas, enter 3:40 2nd period (13-11).

T -- 2:24.

Referees --Bobby Lukkason, Tommy Albindia. Assistant referees -- John Conoy, Skip Jantz.