By Karl Henkel/Western Michigan Beat Writer
The Alaska Nanooks quickly squashed any chance for a postseason Cinderella run by Western Michigan as the Nanooks swept the Broncos over the weekend in the opening round of the CCHA Tournament.
Alaska won both games by scores of 4-0 and 4-1.
In the opener, Alaska got on the board with two first-period goals and added one goal each in the final two periods.
Special teams didn’t play a factor in the game as all four goals came at even strength.
Alaska was 0-for-3 on the power play, while Western Michigan was 0-for-2.
WMU’s Riley Gill stopped 40 shots, including 22 in the third period. Alaska’s Scott Greenham stopped all 16 shots the Broncos fired his direction.
The second game proved to be the dagger in Western Michigan’s season. Once again Alaska (18-9-9) scored two first-period goals, this time sandwiching Ryan Watson’s second goal of the season for the Broncos.
Two second-period goals, including a power-play goal from Dion Knelsen, capped the 4-1 victory.
Gill made 36 saves in his final game for Western Michigan. Greenham stopped 27.
The Broncos finish the season 8-20-8 and will look for a new coach for the 2010-11 season. Jim Culhane was relieved of his duties by the university in mid-February, though he coached the team the remainder of the season.
Alaska, the No. 5 seed, plays Northern Michigan in the next round.