Steeves scores twice, but Olson saves the day in 3-2 OT win for Bulldogs
Ben Steeves picked up his fifth and sixth goals of the season while Quinn Olson scored in overtime to give UMD the win over Omaha at Amsoil Arena.
DULUTH — For the second night in a row Saturday, Minnesota Duluth took a 2-1 advantage into the third period against Omaha at Amsoil Arena.
On Friday, the lead didn’t hold as the Mavericks scored a pair of power play goals to pull off a 3-2 victory . The lead didn’t exactly hold on Saturday, either, as Omaha scored an extra-attacker goal with 91 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and force overtime.
Senior winger Quinn Olson came to the rescue in the end, though. The Boston Bruins prospect went coast-to-coast to score the game-winning goal in 3-on-3 OT to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 victory over the Mavericks in the series finale.
It was the first goal of the season for Olson, who got an assist on the game-winner from senior goaltender Matthew Thiessen — the second of his college career.
“Matty Thiessen, he played it off in the corner. I grabbed it and saw some room to skate,” said Olson, who opted to take the puck himself into the offensive zone instead of passing in the neutral zone to sophomore center Carter Loney. “Coach has been preaching at me to shoot the puck, so I went down that left side and shot.”
Freshman wing and leading goalscorer Ben Steeves staked UMD to its 2-1 lead, tallying his fifth and sixth goals of the season.
Steeves’ first goal of the night came via a loose puck that was initially tossed on net by sophomore defenseman Owen Gallatin. The second goal came on the power play with less than three minutes to go before the second intermission.
“It feels really good,” said Steeves about his six goals in 10 games so far. “Common theme is getting to the net, and that’s my mentality. I don’t want to change that. I always want to be shooting pucks. That’s what’s been working for me, shooting pucks.”
UMD (6-6 overall, 2-2 NCHC) led 1-0 after the first period thanks to Steeves, but the Mavericks (5-5-2, 1-2-1) knotted things at 1-1 six-plus minutes into the second when a shot by fifth-year senior center Jake Pivonka trickled off and past Thiessen.
The game-tying goal for Omaha — which gave the Mavs four out of six points in the NCHC series this weekend — late in the third has a similar feel as junior wing Matt Miller got a backhander to bounce through the five-hole of Thiessen.
“We're really happy with our win, but we're also unsatisfied for sure giving them a point there,” Steeves said. “But they play strong, they play tough and they also get pucks to the net. We're definitely looking forward to playing them again," he said.
The teams play two games in Omaha in January 2023.
Thiessen, whose only other assist in college came when he was a sophomore at Maine, finished with 21 saves on Saturday as he made his third consecutive start. Omaha senior goaltender Jake Kucharski finished with 39 saves.
The Bulldogs were without top-line sophomore center Dominic James (upper body) and freshman defenseman Aidan Dubinsky (lower body) on Saturday. Both missed the game due to injuries.
UMD coach Scott Sandelin said it was nice to see players like Steeves and Loney — as well as freshmen center Cole Spicer and the freshman fourth line centered by Jack Smith — step up on Saturday with key players like James and Dubinsky out of the lineup.
As a whole, the weekend was a good 120 minutes of hockey, and a good step in the right direction, despite getting just two of the series’ six points.
“I thought it was a good team effort for both games,” Sandelin said. “They were two good hockey games, tight games. I felt with the (scoring) chances, if we keep working, getting those, we’re going to get more than two.”
Matt’s Three Stars
3. UNO junior wing Matt Miller — His game-tying goal late with the Mavs’ goalie pulled earned his team a point and series win in Duluth.
2. UMD senior wing Quinn Olson — His overtime game-winner provided his Bulldogs a feel-good ending after a frustrating game Friday got away from UMD.
1. UMD freshman wing Ben Steeves — The Bulldogs were looking to their newcomers to provide the program an offensive boost, as goals were hard to come by a year ago. So far Steeves has done that with six in 10 games.
Minnesota Duluth 1-1-0-1—3
1. UMD, Ben Steeves (Owen Gallatin, Derek Dashcke), 6:01
2. UNO, Jake Pivonka (Jack Randl, Kirby Proctor), 6:07
3. UMD, Steeves (Daschke, Carter Loney), 17:40 (pp)
4. UNO, Matt Miller (Ty Mueller, Jack Randl), 18:29 (EA)
5. UMD, Quinn Olson (Matthew Thiessen), 1:49
Saves — Jake Kucharski, UNO, 39; Matthew Thiessen, UMD, 21.
Power play — UNO 0-4; UMD 1-3. Penalties — UNO 3-6; UMD 4-8.