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2021 Ice Breaker: Captain Cates returns, scores game-winner in 3-2 win for Bulldogs over Providence

Senior captain Noah Cates scored his 30th collegiate goal 3:20 into the third period to lead UMD over Providence at the Ice Breaker Tournament in Duluth.

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Minnesota Duluth forward Jesse Jacques (18) scores a goal against Providence goaltender Jaxson Stauber (30) during the second period of the final game of the Icebreaker Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Ejected from Friday’s 5-1 Ice Breaker Tournament semifinal loss to Michigan 15-plus minutes into the game after elbowing an opponent in the head, Minnesota Duluth’s Noah Cates found some redemption Saturday in the consolation game.

The Bulldogs senior captain and winger produced a highlight-reel worthy game-winning goal 3:20 into the third period to lead No. 5 UMD to a 3-2 victory over No. 10 Providence in the Ice Breaker finale on Saturday night at Amsoil Arena.

“It felt good to help the team win,” Cates said. “I felt like I put us very shorthanded, not only for five minutes, but for two periods without another forward (on Friday). I definitely owed the guys. They battled for me Friday. To put a big goal in Saturday felt good.”

Cates scored the game-winner — his 30th goal as a Bulldog and second of the season — on a wraparound, attacking the Friars’ zone while his linemates changed. He used his speed to freeze Providence junior goaltender Jaxson Stauber — a Minnesota State transfer and son of former NHL goaltender Robb Stauber — on the near post, leaving the far post open for the tuck-in.

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“I saw earlier in the game (Stauber) was pretty aggressive on someone coming on that wing, so I faked the shot and he played it pretty aggressive,” Cates said of the game-winner. “I tried to wrap around for a rebound, or put it in the net. I was happy it worked out. It was a pretty big goal for us.”

UMD senior center Jesse Jacques and freshman center Dominic James also scored for UMD. Jacques, of Hermantown, tied the game at 1-1 just under 90 seconds into the second period with his second goal of the weekend while James, with his first collegiate goal, gave UMD a 2-1 lead midway through the second.

James' goal was set up by junior wing Quinn Olson, who did a 180 to avoid a block before making a no-look, behind-the-back pass past between his skates to James.

“Those are the types of plays Quinn makes, and Blake (Biondi) opening space going to the net,” James said, crediting his linemates for the goal. “We’ve just been buzzing as of late. I just had my stick on the ice knowing Quinn could get it there, and I made sure I put it into the back of the net.”

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Minnesota Duluth forward Blake Biondi (7) watches as a shot from Minnesota Duluth forward Dominic James (17) scores a goal against Providence during the second period of the final game of the Icebreaker Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Junior wing Patrick Moynihan scored in the first period for Providence to make it 1-0 and sophomore wing Brett Berard — who was ejected after the first period of the Friars’ 5-2 loss Friday to Minnesota State in the Ice Breaker — tied the game at 2-2 via a power-play goal 30 seconds into the third period.

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Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said his team started the game on its heels as they were outshot 15-8 in the opening 20 minutes and down a goal. A conversation during the first intermission changed the tide, as UMD outshot the Friars 10-4 in the second and 18-13 overall over the final two periods.

“They were jumping and getting in and not really giving us a lot of room,” Sandelin said. “What we talked after the first was, ‘We got to play more north,’ and I thought we did a better job of that. We got our speed going, got some pucks in and generated a couple goals.

“Obviously, they got the power play goal early, but I liked how our guys stayed with it and we got a big goal from Noah to win.”

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Minnesota Duluth players celebrate a Noah Cates goal during the third period of the final game of the Icebreaker Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Box score

Providence 0-1-1—2

Minnesota Duluth 0-2-1—3

First period

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1. PC, Patrick Moynihan (Guillamume Richard, Chase Yoder), 14:30.

Second period

2. UMD, Jesse Jacques (Kobe Roth, Owen Gallatin), 1:28

3. UMD, Dominic James (Quinn Olson, Blake Biondi), 10:11

Third period

4. PC, Brett Berard (Nick Poisson, Parker Ford), 0:30 (pp)

5. UMD, Noah Cates (Tanner Laderoute, Wyatt Kaiser), 3:20

Saves — Jaxson Stauber, PC, 23; Ryan Fanti, UMD, 26.

Power plays — PC 0-2; UMD 1-4. Penalties — PC 2-4; UMD 4-8.

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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