Bulldogs upset Colorado College

Minnesota Duluth is finding some of those bounces missing in the first half of the season. Defenseman Josh Meyers lofted a backhand shot 75 feet Friday night and it found the net. Center Jeff McFarland didn't get all of the puck and it floated hi...

Minnesota Duluth is finding some of those bounces missing in the first half of the season.

Defenseman Josh Meyers lofted a backhand shot 75 feet Friday night and it found the net.

Center Jeff McFarland didn't get all of the puck and it floated high off his stick, but hit just under the crossbar and found the net.

The Bulldogs used those critical goals to beat No. 11-ranked Colorado College 4-3 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men's game before 4,443 spectators at the DECC.

So, after going 4-13-3, UMD has strung together four straight wins for its best streak since the first month of 2004-05.


UMD (8-13-3 overall and 5-10-2 WCHA) fell behind 2-0 in the first seven minutes, then rallied for its most notable victory since stopping No. 7 Denver 2-1 in overtime Oct. 27 at the DECC. McFarland converted a Mike Curry pass with 2:22 left for the game-winner.

"Our confidence has gone straight up the last few weeks. We have the confidence now to go into the offensive zone and make plays,'' said McFarland. "Mike gave me an unreal pass, through a defenseman, and right onto my stick. It ended up to be a little chip shot and kept going up, and I thought it was going over the net.''

It went to the near side past Colorado College backup goalie Drew O'Connell. It left UMD 7-3-1 against the Tigers the last 11 meetings.

The Bulldogs also had goals from defenseman Jay Cascalenda (the first of his career) and winger Mason Raymond (tied for the team lead with eight). And senior goalie Josh Johnson of Esko, in a weekend rotation the past month, was solid with 20 saves.

Colorado College (13-9-1 and 9-6) had an early lead, fell behind 3-2, and tied the game 3-3 with the only goal of the second period.

"I'd love to get those first two goals back. They were not good by any means,'' said Johnson. "But I took a couple of deep breaths and told myself not to get too worked up. Our guys were flying all around getting shots and I knew we had plenty of time.''

After being limited to two goals in a home split with North Dakota last weekend, Colorado College scored on two of its first four shots. Left winger Bill Sweatt, in his first game since returning from the bronze-medal U.S. team in the World Junior Championships in Sweden, came from behind the net for a wraparound goal at 2:07. Freshman center Andreas Vlassopoulos followed at 6:32 on the Tigers' first power play, scoring from the right circle.

UMD rallied in the counter-punching period with three goals in 6:46.


Cascalenda scored 9:40 into the game from the slot, which was followed by goals 2:38 apart. Meyers had the most eye-opening shot, from neutral ice in front of the Colorado College bench. The puck skipped in front of the net and bounced right past O'Connell's outstretched glove.

O'Connell, a sophomore, was starting his first game since a 7-2 home win Nov. 18, 11 games ago.

"I saw it was going on net and it was wobbling and thought, 'You get a lot of weird bounces at the DECC, anything can happen,''' said Meyers, whose nine career goals are all on power plays.

Raymond scored with 2:54 left in the opening period for a 3-2 lead, and Tigers defenseman Lee Sweatt tied it at 3:15 of the second.

"The story is we had opportunities in the third period, especially on the power play, and didn't get it done,'' said Colorado College coach Scott Owens. "Duluth made a nice play to win it.''

UMD, which led 29-23 on shots, missed the net on a few excellent chances in the third before scoring, including Curry with 4:57 to go. Then he set up McFarland for his fourth goal of the season.

"We have the attitude now that we don't care what the deficit is,'' said Cascalenda. "It seems like now the bounces are going our way.''

Three straight home wins have given UMD something of a new start.


"We beat a very good team that has some very skilled players. That's what I liked best. We stayed with it, and chipped back and won,'' said UMD coach Scott Sandelin.

Colorado College....2-1-0--3

Minnesota Duluth....3-0-1--4

First period - 1. Colorado College, Bill Sweatt 5 (Jimmy Kilpatrick), 2:07; 2. Colorado College, Andreas Vlassopoulos 2 (Brandon Polich, Lee Sweatt), 6:32 (pp); 3. UMD. Jay Cascalenda 1 (MacGregor Sharp, Michael Gergen), 9:40; 4. UMD, Josh Meyers 6, 14:28 (pp); 5. UMD, Mason Raymond 8 (Bryan McGregor), 17:06. Penalties - Jay Cascalendo, UMD (slashing), 4:48; Addison DeBoer, Colorado College (hooking), 13:19.

Second period - 6. Colorado College, Lee Sweatt 6 (Scott McCulloch, Kilpatrick), 3:15 (pp). Penalties - Derek Patrosso, Colorado College (slashing), 4:05.

Third period - 7. UMD, Jeff McFarland 4 (Mike Curry), 17:38. Penalties - Cascalenda, UMD (hooking), 6:23; Sharp, UMD (tripping), 11:19.

Shots on goal - Colorado College 6-10-7-23, UMD 12-12-5-29. Goalies - Drew O'Connell (3-3), Colorado College (29 shots-25 saves); Josh Johnson (3-2), UMD (23 shots-20 saves). Power plays - Colorado College 2-of-4, UMD 1-of-3. Referee - Todd Anderson. Assistants - Brad Shepherd, Jared Moen. A - 4,443.

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