Travis Oleksuk's goal 50 seconds after the opening faceoff was all the offensive support Aaron Crandall needed Saturday night, but the University of Minnesota Duluth gave the freshman goaltender more anyway -- a whole lot more.
Crandall turned aside all 26 shots the University of Alaska Anchorage sent his way and Oleksuk and sophomore left winger Dan DeLisle each scored twice as the Bulldogs cruised to a 6-0 win and a sweep of their two-game Western Collegiate Collegiate Hockey Association series with the Seawolves.
A sellout crowd of 5,481 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center saw the No. 6 Bulldogs go up 3-0 after two periods on goals by DeLisle (his first as a collegian) and team scoring leader Justin Fontaine (on the power play). Even strength tallies by senior left winger Kyle Schmidt and DeLisle and a shorhander by Oleksuk -- while UMD was killing off a five-minute major penalty on sophomore right winger Mike Seidel for contact to the head -- sealed the Bulldogs' fifth straight victory. It also kept them unbeaten in 2010-11 at 5-0-1 overall, their best start in six years. Crandall, who was redshirted one year ago, has not allowed a goal since giving one up on the first shot he faced as a collegian last Saturday against Providence College and since that time has blanked the opposition for 119:02. Schmidt, rookie right winger J.T. Brown, who scored the game-winner in Friday's 3-2 overtime triumph over Alaska Anchorage (1-4-1 overall; 0-2-0 WCHA), and sophomore center Keegan Flaherty all finished the evening with two points while Oleksuk added an assist to his two-goal effort.
UMD, which has outshot each of its six opponents to date, including the Seawolves Saturday (27-26), are at Bemidji State University next Friday and Saturday for its first-ever WCHA series with the Beavers.