ANCHORAGE-A pair of goals by forwards Brock Nelson and Brendan O'Donnell lifted the North Dakota Fighting Sioux over host Alaska Anchorage, 5-2 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game at the Sullivan Arena on Friday evening.
The Fighting Sioux (7-7-1, 5-6-0 WCHA) used three goals in the first period to hand the Seawolves (5-8-2, 2-8-1 WCHA) their second straight loss at home. With the win, UND holds sole ownership of eighth in the 12-team league with 10 points, while UAA is tied for 11th with Minnesota State at five points apiece.
The Fighting Sioux opened the scoring just 95 seconds into the first stanza with an even-strength tally by O'Donnell, who converted on a cross-ice pass from Mark MacMillan. UND would take a 3-0 lead in 39 seconds with a power-play goal by Nelson and O'Donnell's second of the frame at 9:03 and 9:42, respectively.
The Seawolves ended the shutout at 12:45 with a goal on the man advantage by junior defenseman Scott Warner (Anchorage), who collected a rebound and fired on net. Freshman Austin Coldwell and sophomore Jordan Kwas assisted on Warner's first of the season.
Following the first intermission and a lengthy review by the officials, the referees awarded Carter Rowney a UND power-play goal to give the Fighting Sioux a 4-1 lead at 8:22 of the second, before Nelson collected his team-leading 12th goal of the season at 10:12 of the third on the man advantage.
Junior defenseman Curtis Leinweber would furnish the final score of the game and his fourth in three games. Leinweber (Calgary, Alberta), who received the puck from senior defenseman Brad Gorham and rookie Eric Scheid, streaked to the net and beat senior goalie Brad Eidsness to cut the lead to 5-2.
After UND's three-goal first period, UAA netminder Rob Gunderson was chased from net, giving the opportunity to classmate Chris Kamal. Gunderson (2-4-2) earned the loss with 6 saves, while Kamal made 17 stops. Eidsness posted the win to improve to 3-1-0 with 26 saves.
UAA came back in the first period to tie UND on shots, 12-12, before being outshot in the second, 5-3 and leading the third, 13-11.
The Fighting Sioux were able to capitalize on 3-of-6 power-play opportunities, while the Seawolves were 1-for-7. UAA was tagged for 12 minutes of penalties to UND's 14.
Scheid's assist gives him 1-5-6 totals in the last six games, while Kwas has posted 2-2-4 totals in four games after missing five straight with a shoulder injury.
In addition to three injured Seawolves, UAA skated without its top-goal scorer junior Mickey Spencer, who garnered a spearing major against Minnesota State on Nov. 26.
The Seawolves will host the series finale against the Fighting Sioux at 7:07 p.m. AST on Saturday at the Sullivan Arena.