College hockey: Gophers complete sweep of Bulldogs
In a series that's nearly 60 years old, Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota couldn't be much closer than they've been the last two seasons. The teams went 1-1-2 in four games in 2010-11 with UMD holding an edge in goals scored 12-11. The Bulldogs fini...
In a series that's nearly 60 years old, Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota couldn't be much closer than they've been the last two seasons.
The teams went 1-1-2 in four games in 2010-11 with UMD holding an edge in goals scored 12-11. The Bulldogs finished fourth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and the Gophers fifth.
Two league preseason polls for 2011-2 ranked UMD fifth and Minnesota sixth.
But the unbeaten Gophers used an amazingly accurate shooting touch tonight to sweep the league-opening series 5-4 before 6,784 fans, the largest crowd in the short history of Amsoil Arena. They saw another battle-to-the-finish following a 5-4 Minnesota overtime win Friday.
Minnesota (4-0 overall, 2-0 WCHA) trailed 2-0 just eight minutes into the game then rocked the Bulldogs (1-3, 0-2) with four straight goals on just six shots. It was Minnesota's first sweep of its in-state rival since Nov. 3-4, 2006.
Both teams looked to emerge with momentum entering nonconference series next weekend with Hockey East opponents. The Gophers found it and are 4-0 for the first time since 2001-02.
Sophomore winger Nate Condon, who got Friday's overtime winning goal, scored twice --including on a shot he didn't touch.
Shots on goal for the first period said UMD had control, yet the score was 2-2. The Bulldogs had the game's first two goals as goal-scoring leader Travis Oleksuk connected from the left circle just 44 seconds into the game and Jack Connolly stuffed in a J.T. Brown rebound in a 5-on-3 power play. UMD would hold a 10-2 shots on goal lead when Minnesota converted on its first power-play chance as winger Jake Hansen drove a shot from the high slot with 7:55 left in the first.
An inability to control the puck hurt the Bulldogs with 3:41 to go in the period. Condon drove a shot off the offensive end boards, and when UMD goalie Kenny Reiter couldn't control the puck, his defenseman, freshman Chris Casto, accidently cleared into the Bulldog net.
Shots on goal for the first 20 minutes favored UMD 18-4.
Sophomore center Nick Bjugstad needed just 70 seconds of the second period to get around a UMD defender, take a shot and score unassisted. Condon made Minnesota 2-of-2 on power plays with 7:50 left in the second period, on a screen from the left circle.
UMD led 30-10 in shots on goal for two periods.
The Bulldogs rallied with goals 3:17 apart late in the third period --freshman Caleb Herbert with 8:22 left and sophomore J.T. Brown with 5:05 left. Reiter was pulled for an extra attacker with 80 seconds remaining, and while that tactic worked for Minnesota the night before, the Bulldogs couldn't get the equalizer. Minnesota goalie Kent Patterson made 91 saves in the series.
Minnesota came into the game as the highest-scoring team in Division I with 6.67 goals and have now outscored opponents 25-8.
UMD had lost three straight games.
In the last 12 games in the series, the teams are 5-5-2. The series began in 1952 with the Gophers ahead 131-72-15.
UMD goes on the road for the first time this weekend to Providence College. Minnesota is home against Vermont.
Minnesota Duluth................ 2-0-2--4
First period -- 1. UMD, Travis Oleksuk 4 (Brady Lamb), :44; 2. UMD, Jack Connolly 1 (T.J. Brown, Scott Kishel), 7:11 (5x3 pp); 3. Minnesota, Jake Hansen 2 (Erik Haula, Nick Bjugstad), 12:05 (pp); 4. Minnesota, Nate Condon 2, 16:19. Penalties -- Justin Holl, Minnesota (holding), 6:19; Haula, Minnesota (hooking), 6:48; David Grun, UMD (charging), 11:09; Justin Crandall, UMD (roughing), 12:48; Seth Helgeson, Minnesota (cross-checking), 12:48.
Second period -- 5. Minnesota, Bjugstad 3, 1:10; 6. Minnesota, Condon 3 (Taylor Matson, Ben Marshall), 12:10 (pp). Penalties -- Mike Seidel, UMD (charging), 11:25; Nick Larson, Minnesota (tripping), 12:50; Mark Alt, Minnesota (interference), 19:02.
Third period -- 7. Minnesota, Kyle Rau 4 (Nate Schmidt, Bjugstad), 10:02 (pp); 8. UMD, Caleb Herbert 2 (J. Crandall), 11:38; 9. UMD, Brown 2, 14:55. Penalties -- Seth Ambroz, Minnesota (too many men on ice), 3:51; Seth HelgesonJ. Crandall, UMD (interference), 9:19
Shots on goal -- Minnesota 4-6-5--15, UMD 18-12-19--49. Goalies -- Kent Patterson (4-0), Minnesota (49 shots-45 saves); Kenny Reiter (1-2), UMD (15 shots-10 saves). Power plays -- Minnesota 3-of-3, UMD 1-of-6. Referees -- Derek Shepherd, Marco Hunt. Linesmen -- Jeff Schultz, Tony Czech. A -- 6,784.