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College men's hockey: For UMD, right time for week of resting

Taking a week off might be good for the Minnesota Duluth men's hockey team. With a break in their schedule the Bulldogs can: * Get rid of the flu bug. * Heal some bruises. * Watch the rest of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association beat up on e...

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Taking a week off might be good for the Minnesota Duluth men's hockey team.

With a break in their schedule the Bulldogs can:

* Get rid of the flu bug.

* Heal some bruises.

* Watch the rest of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association beat up on each other, literally.

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UMD (11-9-6) helped itself immeasurably with a 2-1 overtime victory Saturday against Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison and now is off until a series at Michigan Tech on Feb. 15-16.

The Bulldogs regained a tie for fourth in the WCHA, with Wisconsin, and earned their highest place of the season in the PairWise Rankings, which mimic the NCAA tournament selection process. UMD came into the Wisconsin series at No. 12, split games with the Badgers, and is now No. 8. Wisconsin (12-11-5) is No. 15. Sixteen teams make the Division I playoffs.

"Considering some of the circumstances [of the weekend], we hung in there and got a huge win,'' UMD coach Scott Sandelin said.

Junior defenseman Jason Garrison suffered a broken right leg in the first period of Friday's 3-1 loss, in a strange sequence where he fell to the ice after clearing the puck and then took a hit from Wisconsin's Patrick Johnson. The hit smacked Garrison into the endboards.

Senior center Matt McKnight, UMD's captain, missed both games with the flu. Winger Mike Curry returned from a shoulder injury, while winger Justin Fontaine played despite bruising a foot the week before.

The revised lineup came up with just three goals but limited Wisconsin to just four, and the Bulldogs gained a split with only a month remaining in the regular season. Winger Jordan Fulton tipped a Travis Gawryletz right point drive for Saturday's winning overtime goal, which capped a strong finish. The Bulldogs were badly outplayed in the second period after taking a 1-0 first-period lead.

"It seemed like we were dead out there in the second period, and after that our coaches told us to go out, cycle the puck, get in front of the net and find a seam. And that's exactly what happened,'' Fulton said. "We played wellFriday, so we knew we could play with them.

"We needed to win a game like this. It's going to be playoff-type games from here on out.''

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Andrew Carroll gave UMD an early spark on the first short-handed shift, scoring 3:11 into the game for the only goal of the first period. He outhustled Wisconsin defenseman Kyle Klubertanz into the right corner of the offensive zone, took the puck and headed to the crease to stuff a shot past goalie Shane Connelly. UMD, with the No. 2 penalty-killing efficiency in Division I, had its fifth short-handed goal of the season.

Sophomore goalie Alex Stalock provided stability the rest of the way as UMD was outshot 32-23. The Bulldogs are 4-2-2 the last eight games, and Stalock has a 1.62 goals-against mark and a .944 save percentage during that stretch. His marks for the season are 2.13 and .922.

Saturday's win broke Wisconsin's six-game unbeaten streak overall (4-0-2) and five-game unbeaten streak against UMD (3-0-2).

"We played well for almost the whole weekend and gave ourselves a chance to win both games. That's all you can ask,'' said Stalock.

UMD (7-8-5 in the WCHA) is one win and one point away from matching its league totals from last season.

WCHA STAYS TIGHT

Places four through nine in the WCHA standings are separated by only five points following the weekend's results.

* A rough 1-1 tie between Minnesota and North Dakota on Saturday in Minneapolis was highlighted by a messy post-game. There were 14 penalties following the overtime, including game disqualifications to Minnesota's Tony Lucia and North Dakota's Darcy Zajak. Penalties were handed out following a video replay of the central incident, with referee Don Adam aided by league commissioner Bruce McLeod and supervisor of officials Greg Shepherd.

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In all, each team had 17 penalties, including a checking-from-behind major to North Dakota's Ryan Duncan seven seconds into the game. North Dakota's Joe Finley and Minnesota's Blake Wheeler shoved each other in the handshake line.

The aftermath also included North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol giving an obscene hand gesture to Adam during the second period.

Hakstol made a public apology Sunday

"I'm disappointed in myself for allowing my emotions and frustrations to get the better of me,'' Hakstol told the Grand Forks Herald. "I feel terrible about my actions and can assure everyone that such a thing will never happen again.''

McLeod said the incident, which included bad language, is a violation of the league's code of sportsmanship conduct and could result in disciplinary action by the league.

* No. 10 Minnesota State-Mankato has won four straight games after a sweep of No. 5 Denver, 5-1 and 3-2, and is sixth in the league, one point out of fourth.

* Last-place Alaska Anchorage was eight minutes from a home sweep of Michigan Tech, but the Huskies scored goals 2:47 apart in the third period for a 2-2 tie. Anchorage won 4-0 Friday.

* No. 3 Colorado College gave the WCHA a confidence boost with a home sweep of No. 10 Clarkson 5-2 and 6-1. The Huskies are 8-1-1 the last 10 games overall and 13-0 at the World Arena, site of the 2008 NCAA West Regional.

Saturday's Summary

Minnesota Duluth........... ...1-0-0-1 - 2

Wisconsin.......................0-1-0-0 - 1

First period - 1. UMD, Andrew Carroll 7 (Evan Oberg, Alex Stalock), 3:11 (sh). Penalties - Jay Cascalenda, UMD (hooking), 2:04; Drew Akins, UMD (roughing), 2:04; John Mitchell, Wisconsin (roughing), 2:04; Stalock, UMD (instigation, roughing, served by Mike Montgomery), 4:03; Ben Street, Wisconsin (roughing), 4:03; Matthew Ford, Wisconsin (roughing), 4:03.

Second period - 2. Wisconsin, Ford 4 (Street, Davis Drewiske), 5:59 (pp). Penalties - Carroll, UMD (roughing), 1:57; Sean Dolan, Wisconsin (goalie contact), 1:57; Mitchell, Wisconsin (roughing), 1:57; Evan Oberg, UMD (holding), 4:08; Cody Goloubef, Wisconsin (interference), 10:22; Patrick Johnson, Wisconsin (roughing), 19:53; MacGregor Sharp, UMD (roughing), 19:53.

Third period - No scoring. Penalties - Jordan Fulton, UMD (interference), 7:47; Carroll, UMD (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:51; Patrick Johnson, Wisconsin (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:51; Trent Palm, UMD (tripping), 10:46; Blake Geoffrion, Wisconsin (holding), 11:04.

Overtime - 3. UMD, Fulton 5 (Travis Gawryletz, Mike Curry), 1:00. Penalties - None.

Shots on goal - UMD 7-5-10-1-23, Wisconsin 8-15-9-0-32. Goalies - Stalock (11-9-6), UMD (32 shots-31 saves); Shane Connelly (11-11-3), Wisconsin (23 shots-21 saves). Power plays - UMD 0-of-4, Wisconsin 1-of-5. Referee - Marco Hunt. Assistants - Brad Roethlisberger, Mike Gulenchyn. A - 15,237.

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