Minnesota Duluth entered its final Western Collegiate Hockey Association series of 2012 on Friday night looking to continue a positive trend.
The Bulldogs struck early and went on to defeat Alaska Anchorage 5-1 before a crowd of 2,215 at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska. That put UMD 6-2-1 in the opening games of nine series this season.
Senior center Jake Hendrickson scored just 86 seconds into the game, while freshman center Tony Cameranesi and defenseman Chris Casto added goals 61 seconds apart late in the second period to provide all the scoring the Bulldogs would need.
UMD seeks its first sweep of the season in a 10:07 p.m. rematch Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (6-8-3 and 4-6-3 in WCHA) allowed just 17 shots on goal for the game, a season best, in their first appearance on an Olympic-size rink the last two months.
Last-place Anchorage (3-8-4 and 1-7-3) has just one victory the past 11 games (1-7-3) and ranks last in the WCHA in power-play efficiency and penalty killing. The Seawolves are averaging just 2.14 goals a game.
UMD is 4-3-2 the last eight games overall this season and 7-2 the last nine games in the series. The Bulldogs are 4-4-1 the last nine games in Anchorage, losing each time by one goal.
Hendrickson earned his third goal in three games my converting a Keegan Flaherty rebound past goalie Chris Kamal, providing a 1-0 lead through one period. Cameranesi scored with 4:29 left in the second period, making it 2-0 and Casto tucked in a Caleb Herbert rebound with 4:28 to go. Cameranesi has eight goals this season and leads WCHA rookies, for all games, in scoring with 17 points.
UMD outshot Anchorage 11-1 in the second period and finished with a 38-17 advantage. The Bulldogs had a five-minute major power play spanning the second and third periods, when Anchorage’s Hayden Trupp hit UMD’s Andy Welinski from behind, yet didn’t score.
Cameranesi and Casto would add their second goals of the game three minutes apart midway through the third period. Freshman Matt McNeely was in goal for UMD and gained his fourth victory with 16 saves. His shutout bid was broken by Tyler Currier with 5:54 to play.
Minnesota Duluth……………. 1-2-2—5
Alaska Anchorage……………. 0-0-1—1
First period — 1. UMD, Jake Hendrickson 4 (Keegan Flaherty), 1:26. Penalties — Tim Smith, UMD (tripping), 13:20; Andrew Pettit, Anchorage (hooking), 14:33; Cody Danberg, UMD (tripping), 16:50; Jordan Kwas, Anchorage (roughing), 19:23.
Second period —2. UMD, Tony Cameranesi 7 (Drew Olson, Joe Basaraba), 15:31; 3. UMD, Chris Casto 1 (Caleb Herbert, Hendrickson), 16:32. Penalties — Drew Olson, UMD (boarding), 5:09; Joe Basaraba, UMD (cross-checking), 8:46; Hayden Trupp, Anchorage (5-minute checking from behind major, 10-minute game misconduct), 17:47; Cameranesi, UMD (slashing), 19:55; Tyler Currier, Anchorage (facemasking), 19:55.
Third period — 4. UMD, Casto 2 (Cody Danberg), 9:56; 5. UMD, Cameranesi 8, 12:53; 6. Anchorage, Currier 3 (Chris Crowell, Bobby Murphy), 14:06. Penalties — Cameranesi, UMD (roughing), 6:14; Austin Coldwell, Anchorage (roughing), 6:14; Austin Farley, UMD (holding), 11:32; Blake Tatchell, Anchorage (holding), 11:32; Austyn Young, UMD (roughing), 14:16; Austin Sevalrud, Anchorage (roughing), 14:16.
Shots on goal — UMD 12-11-15—38, Alaska Anchorage 6-1-10—17. Goalies — Matt McNeely (4-4-1), UMD (17 shots-16 saves); Chris Kamal (2-6), Alaska Anchorage (38 shots-33 saves). Power plays — UMD 0-of-3, Alaska Anchorage 0-of-4. Referees — Chris Perrault, Tom Sterns. Linesmen — Carl Saden, Travis Jackson. A — 2,215.