Bulldogs have St. Cloud State's number again, hold on for 4-3 win
UMD scores twice in the third period to beat the Huskies for the fifth-straight time.
ST. CLOUD — For the Minnesota Duluth men's hockey team, maybe it just needs to face St. Cloud State more often.
The Bulldogs got two goals from Quinn Olson, goals from Carter Loney and Cole Spicer and 34 saves from Zach Stejkstal to beat No. 6 St. Cloud State 4-3 in an NCHC game on Friday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The two teams play the last game of the regular season at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Brooks Center.
"I think tonight was a huge win for us and our momentum," said Olson, a senior wing from Calgary, Alberta. "We've got to stay level-headed and bring it into (Saturday) and see what happens."
It is the third win of the season for the Bulldogs (10-13 NCHC, 15-17-1 overall) over the Huskies (11-9-3, 19-11-3). UMD has defeated SCSU five straight times and in six of the teams' last seven meetings.
"I thought our guys played a real strong game," said UMD coach Scott Sandelin, whose team has a two-point lead over North Dakota for fifth place in the standings. "We got off to a two-goal lead and, against this team, it's never safe. I thought we were playing really well and they got a bounce that gave them their first goal and gave them a little bit of momentum and then they tied it.
"I thought Carter Loney's goal was big-time, a great individual effort. (Cole) Spicer's goal was a great play. Isaac (Howard) gave him a great pass and it ended up being the game-winner."
With the loss, SCSU is in fourth place in the conference standings, three points behind both Western Michigan (14-8-1, 22-12-1) and Nebraska Omaha (13-8-2, 18-12-3) going into the last game of the regular season. The Mavericks took a 5-4 overtime loss on Friday at North Dakota, while Western Michigan pounded Miami 5-0.
"I loved our battle level, loved our compete level — especially after getting down," SCSU coach Brett Larson said. "It was 2-0 after the first and we thought we had a pretty good first period. A couple of their chances went in.
"I loved our guys' response in the second. We only gave up five shots in the third and created a ton of chances. I have no problem with the guys' compete or fight tonight. I thought that was the best part of our game, actually."
Olson scored the first two goals of the game and the Bulldogs led 2-0 after the first period.
It was 2-2 going into the third after the Huskies got two goals from senior Kyler Kupka in the second period.
The Bulldogs took a 3-2 lead at 3:32 of the third period when Loney stole the puck from SCSU defenseman Cooper Wylie in the neutral zone, went in and scored on a breakaway.
On a rush, UMD got a goal from Spicer on a nice passing play from Isaac Howard and Jack Smith at 9:27 to take a 4-2 lead.
The Huskies got an extra-attacker goal by Mason Salquist at 19:35 of the third period to cut the deficit to 4-3. SCSU had one last gasp when it had an offensive zone faceoff with 2 seconds left. The puck went back to Jami Krannila, but his slap shot went off the heal of his stick and into the corner to end the game.
UMD 4, No. 6 SCSU 3
First period scoring — 1. UMD, Quinn Olson 6 (Dominic James 14, Wyatt Kaiser 13) 10:10 (pp); 2. UMD, Olson 7S (Kaiser 14, Darian Gotz 3) 19:37.
Second period scoring — 3. SCSU, Kyler Kupka 8 (Aidan Spellacy 4) 8:38; 4. SCSU, Kupka 9 (Adam Ingram 14, Cooper Wylie 2) 10:52 (pp).
Third period scoring — 5. UMD, Carter Loney 2 (unassisted) 3:32; 6. UMD, Cole Spicer 3 (Isaac Howard 10, Jack Smith 3) 9:27; 7. SCSU, Mason Salquist 3 (Josh Luedtke 9, Jami Krannila 18) 19:35 (ea).
Goalie saves — UMD, Zach Stejkstal 9-9-16—34 (3 GA). SCSU, Jaxon Castor 7-10-4—21 (4 GA).
Penalties-minutes — UMD 6-12; SCSU 3-9.
Power-play goals, opportunities (shots) — UMD 1-2 (3 shots); SCSU 1-5 (11 shots).