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UMD men's hockey: Bulldogs can't recover from slow start, lose 5-1 at Omaha

Bulldogs power play goes 1-for-7, with Noah Cates scoring the lone goal on a major power play in the third period.

UMD Men's hockey faces Omaha at Baxter Arena
Minnesota Duluth forward Tanner Laderoute (13) is sent airborne by Omaha forward Joey Abate (45) near the Mavericks bench on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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OMAHA, Nebraska — After scoring a pair of first period goals Friday to beat Nebraska Omaha in the series opener , Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin said getting off to a good start again in the series finale Saturday would be important.

Instead of scoring two in the first period, the Bulldogs surrendered a pair of goals in the opening 20 minutes to the Mavericks en route to a 5-1 NCHC loss on Saturday at Baxter Arena. It’s a defeat that once again deprived the Bulldogs of their first conference sweep of the season.

“Definitely something we need to figure out here coming down the stretch. It’s huge to step on throats a little bit come Saturday,” UMD senior wing Tanner Laderoute said. “We just need to find some consistency. We can’t lay an egg on Friday and play amazing on Saturday, and play amazing on Friday and lay an egg on Saturday. So we have to find some consistency and that’s going to start on Monday at practice and just having a solid, good week coming up here.”

Mavs senior wing Tyler Weiss scored 7:39 into Saturday’s game by sneaking past the Bulldogs for a breakaway and scoring off his own rebound. Omaha sophomore wing Matt Mueller also scored off a rebound, his coming on the power play with under two minutes to play in the first.

Omaha appeared to ice the puck into the UMD zone on the power play goal that made it 2-0, but the referees let the play continue. Sophomore defenseman Wyatt Kaiser turned the puck over trying to clear, and Omaha scored.

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Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said he asked about challenging the goal, but icing is not reviewable. It was a momentum-changing moment, he said.

“I thought the missed icing call changed the game,” Sandelin said. “I thought it changed the game because I thought we were climbing back in it and getting back even. I thought it was back and forth and nobody had the advantage after their start. They get the second goal off the missed icing call, and you can’t make those mistakes. You can’t. I thought that changed the game. From them on, we were chasing the game.”

Omaha added two more goals in the second period from junior defenseman Brandon Scanlin and senior wing Taylor Ward, with Ward’s coming on the power play to put the Mavs up 4-0 going into the third.

The Mavericks, who were 1-for-6 on the power play on Friday, started 2-for-2 on man advantages before finishing 2-for-3. The Bulldogs, 1-for-3 on the power play Friday, went 1-for-7 on Saturday.

UMD failed to score on its first five power plays before senior wing, captain and future Olympian Noah Cates struck 2:49 into a major penalty in the third period. The five-minute power play came after Mavs’ captain Kevin Conley was ejected for a check from behind on Bulldogs sophomore wing Blake Biondi , who was OK after the hit.

UMD Men's hockey faces Omaha at Baxter Arena
Omaha forward Ty Mueller (19) scores on Minnesota Duluth goaltender Ryan Fanti (39) and Minnesota Duluth defenseman Louie Roehl (6) on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

“They did a good job pressuring us, kind of like what we did yesterday,” Cates said of the power play. “It was tough getting in the zone, getting set, getting good looks at the net. It’s not always going to be pretty putting it to the net, but like that one (that Cates scored), it was just a little rebound and I put it home.

“We got to figure (the power play) out. It’s a huge part of our game and a big part of today’s game — the power play and penalty kill. We talk about it a lot, but we just got to clean it up.”

UMD is back home next weekend to host Western Michigan at 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Amsoil Arena.

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The Broncos are coming off a home sweep of North Dakota that knocked the Fighting Hawks from the top of the NCHC. Denver, which hosts UMD on Feb. 11-12, took over first place following a sweep of Colorado College. The Broncos and Hawks sit tied for second and UMD is fourth — three points back of the tie for second and six back of the Pioneers.

UMD Men's hockey faces Omaha at Baxter Arena
Minnesota Duluth defenseman Louie Roehl (6) reacts after Omaha scored a second period goal on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Minnesota Duluth 0-0-1—1

Omaha 2-2-1—5

First period

1. UNO, Tyler Wiess (Nolan Krenzen, Ty Mueller), 7:39

2. UNO, Matt Miller (Jonny Tychonick), 18:18 (pp)

Second period

3. UNO, Brandon Scanlin (Wiess, Victor Mancini), 8:28

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4. UNO, Taylor Ward (Scanlin, Brannon McManus), 13:26 (pp)

Third period

5. UMD, Noah Cates (Casey Gilling, Quinn Olson), 10:56 (pp)

6. UNO, Chayse Primeau, 15:21 (en)

Saves — Ryan Fanti, UMD, 20; Isaiah Saville, UNO, 27

Power play — UMD 1-7; UNO 2-3. Penalties — UMD 3-6; UNO 7-25.

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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