ST. CLOUD, Minn. — St. Cloud State opened first-round play of the WCHA playoffs with a strong 5-1 win at home over Alaska-Anchorage. The victory moves the No. 4 Huskies’ record to 28-8-1, while UAA falls to 7-23-5.
The two teams will square off in the second game of the best-of-three series on Saturday night.
St. Cloud State jumped to a quick lead in the contest when sophomore forward Chris Purslow crossed the blue line and blasted a shot past UAA’s Chris King at 4:36 of the first period.
SCSU’s senior captain Brandon Sampair added his 10th goal of the season at 17:06 of the first to gain the game winner with an assist from Tyler Arnason. In the second period, junior Mark Hartigan added an insurance goal on the power play at 15:48 with an assist from Arnason and Sampair.
Purslow came back in the third period with his second goal of the night (sixth of the season) with another unassisted blitz at 4:52. UAA changed goalies at that point with Kevin Reiter replacing King. The Seawolves broke Scott Meyer’s shutout when Vladimir Novak posted a goal at 6:49 of the third.
To complete the scoring, Nate DiCasmirro scored his eighth goal of the season at 11:11 with assists from Arnason and Hartigan on the power play.
In the contest, SCSU was an impressive two-of-three on the power play while UAA was 0-of-2. SCSU also outshot the Seawolves 25-21, with Meyer posting 20 saves in the contest. Meyer now has 22 wins on the season, which ties him for the team record along with Brian Leitza, who had 22 wins in 1997-98.
The game was a quick two hours, five minutes thanks to a season-low five penalties called in the game. SCSU had just two penalties for four minutes, while UAA had three penalties for six minutes.
SCSU owns an 11-game unbeaten string against UAA and a seven-game win streak against UAA. Overall, the series between UAA and SCSU stands at 23-9-3 in favor of the Huskies.