'Dogs get first road victory

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Fridays haven't been bad for Minnesota Duluth the first month of the college men's hockey season. The Bulldogs are 1-1-3 on the last day of the week.

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Fridays haven't been bad for Minnesota Duluth the first month of the college men's hockey season. The Bulldogs are 1-1-3 on the last day of the week.

Saturday's have been tougher for them at 1-4.

But the Bulldogs received a chance at another day of the week Wednesday in renewing a rivalry with former Western Collegiate Hockey Association member Northern Michigan. It was the only game scheduled in Division I.

And Wednesday was a pretty good night as UMD topped No. 15-ranked Northern Michigan 6-4 in a nonleague game before 2,331 spectators at Berry Events Center.

For a team that had been averaging 1.6 goals a game the past eight games, the Bulldogs had these statistics in their first road win of the season:


* Five goals in the second period (the best in a period in more than a year).

* Three goals on the first four power plays (two 5-on-3).

* Two goals in 30 seconds.

* Two goals in 14 seconds.

* The first goal of the season for forward Matt Greer.

* The first career goal for freshman defenseman Trent Palm.

* Two goals for center MacGregor Sharp.

''Everyone was sick and tired of losing, and the last few games we got away from competing with teams. Michigan Tech outhit us [last weekend] and we just got away from skating,'' Sharp said. ''We knew we had this weekend off, so we said not to save anything. We had to be energetic.''


The offensive outburst ended a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) and came against a team ranked second in defense in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (allowing 2.17 goals a game).

Yes, the first three goals came against Northern Michigan backup goalie Brian Stewart, a freshman, but three came against senior starter Bill Zaniboni. He entered the game at 1:48 of the second period as UMD went up 3-1, then Stewart returned for the final period. UMD senior Josh Johnson was solid in his first start of the season.

The Bulldogs (3-5-3) had been outshot in all five games of their winless streak, but turned that around with a 36-26 advantage Wednesday. They were also 0-5-1 the last six meetings with the Wildcats. UMD was also without four injured regulars -- forwards Matt McKnight and Andrew Carroll (UMD's co-captains), and Nick Kemp, and defenseman Jason Garrison.

''We have 25 guys who are fully capable of getting the job done and we showed that,'' Greer said. ''We forechecked tenaciously and gave them no time to make a lot of plays, and that in turn gave us scoring chances.''

The second period produced as many goals as UMD's previous four games combined. Freshman center Drew Akins started it with a rebound goal at 1:18 (his second in two games) and was followed 30 seconds later by Greer's score. Sharp connected on rebounds in consecutive two-man advantages, and Palm followed on a one-man advantage with 8:56 left.

''In the second period, [UMD] outworked us and a couple of our guys took stupid penalties and it snowballed. You have to control things around the net,'' said Northern Michigan coach Walt Kyle.

A 6-1 lead was cut to 6-4 as the Wildcats scored three straight power-play goals spanning the second and third periods from defensemen T.J. Miller and Matt Maunu (a senior from Esko), and winger Nick Sirota. Northern Michigan (6-5-2) was within two goals with 15:32 to play and finished with 10 power plays to UMD's five.

The teams exchanged goals in the first period. Center Darin Olver, Northern Michigan's scoring leader the past three years, converted a bouncing puck in front of the UMD net with 5:34 left, and winger Mason Raymond tied it less than two minutes later on a turnover for his fourth goal of the season. He later added two assists.


''We had two good periods and we got tested in the third, and finished the job,'' said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. ''When you go out and give solid efforts, good things will happen. They threw everything at us at the end and we stayed in there and got a big win.''

Northern Michigan is tied for fourth in the 12-team CCHA, while UMD is tied for seventh in the 10-team WCHA. Northern Michigan stays on the road this weekend with games against Western Michigan in Kalamazoo. UMD is off this weekend before returning to WCHA play Nov. 24-25 against St. Cloud State at the DECC.

UMD and Northern Michigan complete their two-game, home-and-home series Jan. 24 at the DECC. Before Wednesday, they hadn't met since 2001.

Minnesota Duluth.... 1 5 0--6

Northern Michigan.... 1 1 2--4

First period - 1. Northern Michigan, Darin Olver 3 (Pat Bateman, T.J. Miller), 14:26; 2. UMD, Mason Raymond 4 (Logan Gorsalitz), 16:10. Penalties - Drew Akins, UMD (charging), 5:59; Bryan McGregor, UMD (hooking), 18:14.

Second period - 3. UMD, Akins 3 (Travis Gawryletz, Michael Gergen), 1:18; 4. UMD, Matt Greer 1 (Mike Curry, Gawryletz), 1:48; 5. UMD, MacGregor Sharp 4 (Raymond, Josh Meyers), 5:42 (5x3 pp); 6. UMD, Sharp 5 (McGregor, Raymond), (5x3 pp); 7. UMD, Trent Palm 1 (Curry, Ryan Geris), 11:04 (pp); 8. Northern Michigan, Miller 1 (Nick Sirota, Zach Tarkir), 16:02 (pp). Penalties - Chase Ryan, UMD (interference), 3:21; Bateman, Northern Michigan (holding), 4:46; Blake Cosgrove, Northern Michigan (tripping), 5:24; Gorsalitz, UMD (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:43; Matt Niskanen, UMD (holding), 13:50; Raymond, UMD (hooking), 14:16; Nathan Sigmund, Northern Michigan (hooking), 18:54.

Third period - 9. Northern Michigan, Matt Maunu 2 (Olver, Miller), 3:04 (pp); 10. Northern Michigan, Sirota 5 (Miller, Olver), 4:28 (pp). Penalties - Meyers, UMD (holding), 2:52; Meyers, UMD (holding), 4:18; Gorsalitz, UMD (holding), 4:53; Palm, UMD (hooking), 12:20; Meyers, UMD (interference), 13:52; Matt Siddall, Northern Michigan (slashing), 13:52; Bobby Selden, Northern Michigan (hooking), 17:10.


Shots on goal - UMD 13-17-6-36, Northern Michigan 9-6-11-26. Goalies - Josh Johnson (1-0), UMD (26 shots-22 saves); Brian Stewart (1-1), Northern Michigan (23 shots-20 saves); Bill Zaniboni (5-4-2), Northern Michigan (10 shots-10 saves). Power plays - UMD 3-for-6, Northern Michigan 3-of-10. Referee - John Murphy. Assistants - Eric Froberg, Tony Paquette. A - 2,331.

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