ANCHORAGE - Sophomore Mitch Bruijsten netted the game-tying goal to help the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves to a 2-2 overtime tie with the No. 9/10-ranked Denver Pioneers in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game on Saturday night at the Sullivan Arena.
The Seawolves (5-10-3, 4-8-2 WCHA) trailed the Pioneers (12-5-3, 9-3-2 WCHA) 2-1 for the majority of the second frame and half of the third before Bruijsten received a centering pass from senior Craig Parkinson and sent a backhander to the mesh for the eventual final tally.
The Seawolves were first to score in the opening stanza. With just 20 seconds expired on a UAA power play, Parkinson fed classmate Tommy Grant a pass in front of the net. Grant then fired and DU rookie goaltender Sam Brittain sent the rebound into the capable hands of freshman Jordan Kwas, who lifted the puck top-shelf at 4:58.
The Pioneers would end the shutout at 13:45 with an even-strength tally by Matt Donovan, who capitalized on a turnover in the Seawolf zone. Donovan received the puck on the right of UAA netminder Rob Gunderson and blasted the puck through traffic to knot the game at 1-1.
Following the first intermission, the Pioneers gained the lead at 2:10 with a strike by Dustin Jackson. It wasn't until 11:50 of the third that Bruijsten would strike and send the game into overtime. In addition to Parkinson, Curtis Leinweber was also credited a helper.
The teams had equal chances to net the game-winner throughout the remaining minutes of regulation and in extra minutes, but neither could break through with a goal.
Gunderson (4-7-2) earned the tie with 18 saves, while Brittain (10-4-3) posted 20 saves. UAA outshot DU, 22-20.
The Seawolves were able to benefit on 1-of-4 power-play opportunities, while the Pioneers were scoreless on three attempts. UAA was tagged for 5-for-10 penalties, compared to DU's 6-for-12.
The Seawolves, who end the first half of the season with 10 WCHA points and tied for No. 9 in the standings with Minnesota State, will have the next month off before seeing the Colorado College Tigers at home on Jan. 14-15.