FAIRBANKS - Despite two goals by senior forward Matt Bailey, the Western Michigan Broncos handed the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves their first loss of the season with a 6-2 victory in Game 1 of the 6th annual Brice Alaska Goal Rush Friday at the Carlson Center.
Playing each other for the first time since 1989, UAA and WMU were scoreless for the first 15 minutes of play before the Broncos commenced the scoring with a man-advantage strike at 15:48.
The Seawolves knotted the game at 19:04 of the opening stanza with a power-play wrister by Bailey, who was unassisted on the play. The Broncos, who went scoreless in two games against Notre Dame last weekend, tallied their second goal of the short season with .4 of a second left in the frame to take a 2-1 lead.
Following the first intermission, Western Michigan extended their lead to three, chasing senior netminder Rob Gunderson (8 saves) to the bench with back-to-back goals at 2:50 (shorthanded) and 3:40. First-year head coach Matt Thomas turned to Michael Matyas, giving the freshman minutes in just his second collegiate game.
UAA kept the deficit to three before allowing two goals - including one on the power play - in the final period. The Bronco's fifth tally came at 2:05, when Shane Berschbach furnished his second of the game, while the sixth strike came at 5:03 with a Dennis Brown wrister from the slot.
In a contest filled with penalties, Bailey picked up his 13th career multi-point game and second of the season with a goal at 14:19. Assists went to freshman Chase Van Allen - the first of his career - and to Austin Coldwell.
UAA was 1-7 on the power play, while WMU went 2-8. The Seawolves were tagged for 24 infractions to the Broncos 31.
The Seawolves, who won the tournament in 2008 and 2011, will see the No. 12 Denver Pioneers tomorrow for Game 3 of the tournament at 4:07 p.m. ADT.