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College men's hockey: Same old story as Bulldogs beat Gophers again

Minnesota Duluth players react after Parker Mackay scored the game-winning goal in overtime against Minnesota during the Ice Breaker Tournament at Amsoil Arena in Duluth on Friday. (Clint Austin / / 5
Minnesota Duluth right wing Parker Mackay (39) scores the game-winning goal against Minnesota goaltender Eric Schierhorn (37) in overtime during the Ice Breaker Tournament at Amsoil Arena in Duluth on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. (Clint Austin / / 5
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Minnesota’s misery against its in-state rivals — specifically its younger brother up the road — continues.

Featuring eight new faces, seven of which are freshmen, Minnesota Duluth won its eighth straight game over the Gophers on Friday night via a 4-3 overtime decision in the semifinals of the Ice Breaker Tournament at Amsoil Arena.

Junior wing and assistant captain Parker Mackay backhanded a bouncing game-winning goal into the net 1:45 into the extra period in front of an announced crowd of 7,203 to set up a championship match against Michigan Tech at 7:37 p.m. Saturday at Amsoil. The Gophers and Union College will meet for third place at 4:07 p.m.

“It’s a big character win for this group being down going into the third period and coming back twice from one goal leads,” Mackay said. “Moving forward, this is going to be huge.

“A lot of those young guys got a lot of experience and no better crowd or atmosphere to be in for your first game.”

Minnesota junior goaltender Eric Schierhorn, making his 76th college start, finished with 40 saves on 44 shots while Bulldogs sophomore goalie Hunter Shepard, making his second collegiate start and playing in his third collegiate game, stopped 18 for UMD.

In addition to Mackay, the Bulldogs picked up goals from both Anderson brothers, Mikey and Joey, as well as from sophomore forward Riley Tufte.

The goals by Tufte and Joey Anderson, a fellow sophomore win and linemate, came during a crazy opening four minutes of the third period when the Bulldogs and Gophers combined to pop in three scores.

Tufte tied the game at 2-2 with a power-play goal 23 seconds into the third. Joey Anderson then tied the game at 3-3 with a backhander through the five hole of Schierhorn.

Just 40 seconds prior to Joey Anderson’s goal, the Gophers had taken a 3-2 lead thanks to junior wing Jack Ramsey.

Despite losing the lead so quickly, Joey Anderson said Ramsey’s goal didn’t drain the momentum gained from Tufte’s goal.

“It just rejuvenated our entire bench,” Joey Anderson said of Tufte’s goal. “Even with them scoring a quick one after that, our energy was back on the bench and that was huge. It propelled us the rest of the game.”

Minnesota took a 2-1 lead in the latter half of the second, getting goals from junior forward Tyler Novak and freshman wing Scott Reedy.

Reedy’s goal gave the Gophers just their second lead over the Bulldogs in eight games with a power-play goal in the final two minutes of the period.

“I thought we played a pretty good game, the second period we had a bit of a lull, we were a little flat,” Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said. “Getting the goal early in the third was a big lift and I thought it elevated our play in the third period. I liked our response when they went ahead. It’s a good sign.”

The Gophers went into the tournament having last beaten the Bulldogs in the 2014 Ice Breaker semifinals, hosted by Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

But the Gophers’ struggles against in-state rivals hasn’t been limited to the Bulldogs. Over the three previous seasons, Minnesota went 7-17 (.292) against UMD, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State-Mankato and Bemidji State with just three wins coming over the previous two seasons in 14 games against in-state opponents.

Huskies down Dutchmen

Michigan Tech not only advanced to the Ice Breaker championship game with a 6-3 win over Union in the first semifinal Friday, the Huskies scored what could be a key victory for the WCHA come NCAA tournament selection time.

The WCHA combined was an NCAA-worst 17-48-5 (.279) a year ago, with the Huskies going 8-8-1. They were the league’s lone representative in the NCAA tournament after winning the league’s postseason championship.

“I’m just excited we were able to pull that game out,” said Joe Shawhan, who picked up his first win as head coach of the Huskies Friday. “It gives us an opportunity to get closer to what we want to do, which is have a chance to advance at the end of the year and keep playing when other teams aren’t.”

Senior forward Joel L’Esperance had two goals for the Huskies (1-1) and sophomore forward Anthony Rinaldi had a pair of goals for the Dutchmen (0-2). Huskies junior goaltender Patrick Munson — who was previously rostered at Vermont and Denver — made 35 saves for Tech.

Minnesota 0-2-1-0—3

Minn. Duluth 1-0-2-1—4

First period — 1. UMD, Mikey Anderson 1 (Nick Swaney, Jared Thomas), 7:56 (pp). Penalties — Leon Bristedt, MIN (tripping), 5:56; Mike Szmatula, MIN (hooking), 6:12; Nick Wolff, UMD (tripping), 9:22; Jack Glover, MIN (cross checking), 13:10; Swaney, UMD (tripping), 14:36’ Scott Perunovich, UMD (interference), 19:48.

Second period — 2. MIN, Tommy Novak 1 (Tyler Sheehy), 13:26; 3. MIN, Scott Reedy 1 (Casey Mittelstadt, Rem Pitlick), 18:16 (pp). Penalties — Tyler Nanne, MIN (slashing), 6:28; Karson Kuhlman, UMD (holding), 9:19; Riley Tufte, UMD (interference), 16:25; Darian Romanko, MIN (holding), 18:28.

Third period — 4. UMD, Tufte 1 (Perunovich, Jarod Hilderman), 0:23 (pp); 5. MN, Jack Ramsey 1 (Ryan Norman, Romanko), 3:09; 6. UMD, Joey Anderson (Peter Krieger), 3:49. Penalties — Reedy, MIN (holding), 5:49; Krieger, UMD (interference), 6:12.

Overtime — 7. UMD, Parker Mackay 1 (Avery Peterson), 1:45. Penalties — None.

Shots on goal — MIN 5-7-8-0—21; UMD 13-15-12-3—44. Goalies — Eric Schierhorn, MIN (44 shots-40 saves); Hunter Shepard, UMD (21-18). Power plays — MIN 1-of-6; UMD 2-of-6. Referees — Ryan Hersey, Nick Krebsbach. Linesmen — Andy Dokken, Jeff Schultz. Att. — 7,203.

Matt Wellens

College hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune covering the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs men's and women's teams, as well as the NCAA Division III programs at St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior.

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