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Bulldogs make shots count in win over Gophers

ST. PAUL -- For 40 minutes Saturday at Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota Duluth peppered and pounded Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox. Then in the third period, the pressure was put on pause and the shots dried up. The Bulldogs went 17 minutes and 49...

Wilcox Gophers.jpg
Minnesota Duluth forward Blake Young (right) tries to get the puck past Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox in the second period during the North Star Cup on Saturday at the Xcel Center in St. Paul. UMD won 2-1. (Craig Lassig / For the News Tribune)
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ST. PAUL - For 40 minutes Saturday at Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota Duluth peppered and pounded Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox.
Then in the third period, the pressure was put on pause and the shots dried up.
The Bulldogs went 17 minutes and 49 seconds without a shot on goal during the third period until senior captain and wing Adam Krause broke loose to not only put the first shot on the Gophers net, but score his second goal of the game to give the No. 7-ranked Bulldogs a 2-1 men’s hockey victory over No. 17 Minnesota in the North Star College Cup third-place game.
It was the Bulldogs’ third win in four games against the Gophers this season, with all four games taking place in different venues.
“They came out hard. They’re a desperate team with a dangerous amount of skill. We knew they were going to have a push. It was a little bit later than expected,” said Krause, who was assisted on both goals by sophomores Alex Iafallo and Dominic Toninato. “We stuck with it. We’re two struggling teams right now and we knew they were going to be desperate. I got a good bounce and a good pass from Al and here we are.
“The Doggies prevail on this day.”
The Bulldogs (14-9-1 overall) led 1-0 after two periods and were outshooting the Gophers 24-21 going into the final 20 minutes. Minnesota (11-9-2), which is 2-5-1 in its last eight games, tied the Bulldogs at 1-1 just 31 seconds into the third on a power play that continued from the end of the second. Sophomore center Justin Kloos’ wraparound caught junior goaltender Matt McNeely on the opposite side of the crease, giving Gophers senior Kyle Rau an empty net to score on.
Minnesota went on to finish the third period with 23 total shot attempts, 11 on goal. Meanwhile on the other end of the ice, UMD attempted just five shots with two getting blocked and another missing the net.
Krause’s backhand shot crossed the goal line with 2:11 to play in regulation while Wilcox had to wait until the 19th minute of the third to make his one save of the period before bolting to the bench to give the Gophers an extra attacker.
“The third period we were on our heels a bit but our guys found a way to get it done,” UMD coach Scott Sandelin said. “Hard work can cure a lot of things. It doesn’t mean you’re going to win, but it certainly helps you do things better.”
Krause gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead 14:04 into the first period by following through on his own wraparound attempt and pushing the rebound past the goal line. Prior to that, the Bulldogs had been tied or trailing for 245 minutes and 39 seconds with their last lead coming in the first period of the second game against North Dakota on Jan. 10.
UMD entered the night winless in its previous four games, going 0-3-1. The day before, the Bulldogs lost 4-0 in the semifinals to Bemidji State sparking a players-only meeting.
“We had to get going. We were in a little rut there and we weren’t winning and we weren’t playing Bulldog hockey,” Toninato said. “I think it was a good rebound and it definitely was a roller coaster 24 hours but we bounced back and got a huge win.”
McNeely, who finished with 31 saves Saturday, made his first start in place of freshman Kasimir Kaskisuo since Oct. 17 at home against Minnesota State-Mankato, though he did relieve Kaskisuo early into a 4-3 loss at Michigan Tech on Dec. 13.

Minnesota    0-0-1-1
Minnesota Duluth    1-0-1-2
First period - 1. UMD, Adam Krause 3 (Dominic Toninato, Alex Iafallo), 14:04. Penalties - Seth Ambroz, UM (interference), 4:38; Justin Crandall, UMD (interference), 10:23.
Second period - No scoring. Penalties - Justin Crandall, UMD (slashing), 2:44; Carson Soucy, UMD (charging), 19:53.
Third period - 2. UM, Kyle Rau 8 (Justin Kloos, Mike Reilly), 0:31 (pp); 3. UMD, Krause 4 (Iafallo, Toninato), 17:49. Penalties - None.
Shots on goal - UM 10-10-11-32; UMD 11-13-2-26. Goalies - Adam Wilcox, UM (26 shots-24 saves); Matt McNeely, UMD (32-31). Power plays - UM 1-of-3; UMD 0-of-1. Referees - Colin Kronforst and Kevin Langseth. Linesmen - Jonathan Morrison and Nick Huff.

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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