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Steeves scores twice as Bulldogs finish season-opening sweep of Arizona State

Freshman wing Ben Steeves scored his first two goals as a Bulldog 57 seconds apart in the second period to break a 1-1 tie against the Sun Devils.

College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Ben Steeves (6) celebrates after scoring his second goal against Arizona State at Amsoil Arena on Sunday.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — Minnesota Duluth freshman wing Ben Steeves is just two games into his college career, and the boisterous Bulldogs student section at Amsoil Arena has already developed a signature cheer for when he takes the puck to the net.

“STEEEEEEEEVES!”

Steeves deservedly earned the honor after scoring his first two collegiate goals 57 seconds apart late in the second period on Sunday to lead the fifth-ranked Bulldogs to a commanding 4-1 victory over Arizona State, completing a season-opening weekend sweep at Amsoil Arena that began with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win on Saturday.

“It feels great,” said Steeves of the two goals and the win. He admitted to not catching the chanting of his name, but plenty of others from his classmates. “After that (first) goal, it was our first lead in the series. We kind of settled down a little bit

“It was really great going into the third with a lead. We played with poise. We played a great solid third period defensively. It definitely led to some momentum in the third.”

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A high-scoring player a year ago in the United States Hockey League’s Sioux City Musketeers with 45 goals and 70 assists, Steeves’ two goals broke up a 1-1 game.

His first goal was on the power play while the second came after a steal, spin and backhanded pass by sophomore center Carter Loney. Steeves then moved from his right to his left atop the crease to create an open shot.

College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth players celebrate after forward Luke Mylymok (21) scored a goal Sunday.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

“You got some guys who like to shoot and score,” Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said. “Great shot, obviously the second goal was a great move, a nice pass by Loney and nice finish. It's always nice to see nice goals, but those are big goals. It gave us the two-goal lead and a little momentum going into the third period.”

Arizona State took a 1-0 lead — for the second day in a row — two-plus minutes into the second period off a rebound goal by fifth-year senior wing Demetrios Koumontzis of Edina. UMD tied the game less than four minutes later when junior wing Luke Mylymok flew off the bench to finish a feed from freshman center Cole Spicer.

Steeves, Loney and sophomore defenseman Owen Gallatin each finished the game with two points. Gallatin set up Steeves on the power play in the second and picked up a power-play goal for himself in the third period.

College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth defenseman Owen Gallatin (20) pushes into Arizona State forward Ty Jackson (14) while chasing the puck.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

UMD, which converted on just 17.9% of its power-play chances a year ago, finished 2-for-3 on the power play Sunday and 3-for-6 in the series.

Sandelin said it was nice to see both of his power-play units convert with goals this weekend, though there is still work to do on the power play, starting with getting more pucks on net.

“I don't care what time of the year it is, but certainly now, you go around our league and you're going to see a lot of power plays that like to get pucks to the net,” Sandelin said. “That's how you score. It’s not going to be on perfect plays.”

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Scott Sandelin said Wednesday the absences are due to a combination of injuries and illnesses, but the coach expects to have enough players available this weekend against the Tigers.

Senior goaltender Matthew Thiessen, a transfer from Maine, finished with 29 saves on 30 shots for the Bulldogs one night after junior Zach Stejskal of Cohasset stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced.

The Bulldogs now take a weekend off before resuming nonconference play on Oct. 14-15 in Mankato against Minnesota State.

“The process wasn't as clean and as beautiful, but the outcome was,” UMD senior captain Tanner Laderoute said. “Coming away with two wins is huge, especially early on in the season. We have so much room to grow, which is the best thing. We made mistakes. We have stuff to iron out. We’re really young and have a lot to learn. We are just off our floor right now. Our ceiling is so high. We're going to learn a lot and I think we're right on track.”

College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Tanner Laderoute (13) shoots the puck at Amsoil Arena on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Matt’s Three Stars

3. UMD sophomore defenseman Owen Gallatin — A player Sandelin said is smart, with good poise, Gallatin had a goal and an assist Sunday, with both coming on the power play.

2. UMD sophomore center Carter Loney — Loney had two assists, including a memorable steal, spin and backhanded dish in the second to set up Steeves and a 3-1 lead.

1. UMD freshman wing Ben Steeves — UMD’s only lead on Saturday was at the very end when fifth-year senior defenseman Derek Daschke scored the overtime game-winner. Steeves not only gave UMD its first lead of the weekend 14:23 into the second period, he made sure UMD also had a cushion going into the third with his second goal 57 seconds later.

Box Score

Arizona State 0-1-0—1
Minnesota State 0-3-1—4
First period
No scoring.
Second period
1. ASU, Demetrius Koumontzis (Chris Grando, Ethan Szmagaj), 2:17
2. UMD, Luke Mylymok (Cole Spicer, Tanner Laderoute), 6:08
3. UMD, Ben Steeves (Owen Gallatin, Wyatt Kaiser), 14:23 (pp)
4. UMD, Steeves (Carter Loney), 15:20
Third period 
5. UMD, Owen Gallatin (Loney, Luke Loheit), 11:29 (pp)
Saves — TJ Semptimphelter, ASU, 39; Matthew Thiessen, UMD, 29.
Power play — ASU 0-3; UMD 2-3. Penalty kill — ASU 7-30; UMD 5-10.

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College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Jesse Jacques (8) takes possession of the puck against Arizona State forward Demetrios Koumontzis (23).
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Quinn Olson (15) passes the puck against Arizona State forward Josh Doan (91).
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Forward Dominic James (17) skates with the puck against Arizona State defenseman Ty Murchison (5).
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Cole Spicer (11) takes the puck against Arizona State's Robert Mastrosimone (94).
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Isaac Howard (3) skates with the puck against Arizona State at Amsoil Arena on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Luke Mylymok (21) beats Arizona State defenseman Blake Dangos (4) to the puck in the corner at Amsoil Arena on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Luke Mylymok (21) scores a goal against Arizona State goaltender TJ Semptimphelter (35) at Amsoil Arena on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Luke Mylymok (21) controls the puck against Arizona Stateat Amsoil Arena on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Blake Biondi (7) shoots the puck on goal against Arizona State goaltender TJ Semptimphelter (35) at Amsoil Arena on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Dominic James (17) skates away from Arizona State forward Chris Grando (13) at Amsoil Arena on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
College hockey players play game in indoor arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Luke Mylymok (21) and Minnesota Duluth forward Carter Loney (33) block a shot on goal from Arizona State at Amsoil Arena on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Related Topics: MINNESOTA DULUTH BULLDOGS
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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