ANCHORAGE - Two goals from sophomore Ben Matthews lifted Alaska Anchorage to a 3-1 victory over the visiting Minnesota State Mavericks in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game at the Sullivan Arena, giving the Seawolves the sweep Saturday.
UAA (11-9-2), which netted two goals in the first and one in the third, improved to 7-7-2 overall in league play and sole ownership of fifth in the standings with 16 points. With the loss, MSU (12-10-0, 10-6-0 WCHA) got leap-frogged by Bemidji State and is now third in the league with 20 points.
The Seawolves' night was highlighted by a pair of goals from Matthews. A local of Eagle River, Matthews registered his first collegiate goal and assist last weekend in Wisconsin before his two-goal night and is now 3-1-4 in the last four games.
At 16:37 of the first, Matthews gave the Seawolves their first two-goal lead of the series with a shot from the right point that went through two defensemen and netminder Stephon Williams (Fairbanks), high and blocker side. Matthews' second of the night came early in the third at 1:34 to secure UAA's win.
The Seawolves got on the board first when Brett Cameron came down the right-side boards, turned and centered to a streaking Matt Bailey in the slot, whose wrister went bar-down at 10:08 of the opening stanza. Bailey's strike ties him with injured Scott Allen with a team-high 11 apiece on the season.
Just 65 seconds into the second, a turnover in the Maverick zone led to a 2-on-1 rush the opposite way, where Zach Lehrke - with his stick between his legs - caught a pass from JP Lafontaine and then managed to get a shot off to cut the lead in half.
UAA had a goal waved off in the second after review proved that a Seawolf was in the crease. Matthews would have had an assist on that goal.
The Mavericks' hopes for a comeback came in the last 3:28 of play when Hayden Trupp was whistled for facemasking and received five minutes. That, along with goaltender Cole Huggins - who relieved Williams after the third UAA goal - on the bench for the extra attacker, gave MSU a 6-on-4 advantage.
Fortunately, UAA kept the Mavericks from any Grade A scoring chances as the time clicked off the clock and improved to 9-2-1 at home - the Seawolves' best home record after 12 games since joining Div. I and the best since 1983-84 when UAA went 12-0-0 at home to start the season.
Netminder Chris Kamal was stellar in net for the fourth straight game, registering a season-and team-high 35 saves. MSU out shot UAA for the second consecutive night, 36-16.
This was also the first UAA sweep vs. MSU since Jan. 15-16, 1993 (4-2, 5-4).
The Seawolves, who just returned to Anchorage the evening of Jan. 9, will hit the road Jan. 15 for a league series at WCHA newcomer Alabama Huntsville, Jan. 17-18.