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COLLEGE MEN'S HOCKEY: Bulldogs tame Broncos

Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin described his team's game against Western Michigan tonight as akin to a postseason contest. If the Bulldogs play as well as they did in a 5-2 National Collegiate Hockey Conference victory when the playoffs ro...

Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin described his team's game against Western Michigan tonight as akin to a postseason contest.

If the Bulldogs play as well as they did in a 5-2 National Collegiate Hockey Conference victory when the playoffs roll around, few teams will want to face them.

Kyle Osterberg and Justin Crandall scored two goals apiece and UMD pulled even with the Broncos in the NCHC standings with the win before 3,551 fans at Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich.

"It was one of those games with good intensity, like a playoff game," Sandelin said via cell phone from the Bulldogs' locker room. "There wasn't much room on the ice and there were a lot of battles, and our guys stayed with the game plan for 60 minutes."

Crandall scored twice in the third period, including an empty-netter, to give him a team-high 10 goals this season. UMD (11-9-3 overall, 6-6-1-1 NCHC) scored all three goals in the final 20 minutes to break a 2-2 tie, snap the Broncos' six-game unbeaten streak and move level with them for fifth place in the league with 20 points.

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"It was a really good road win for our team," Sandelin said. "Our guys came out and played a solid 60 minutes."

Crandall broke the tie with a slap shot from the top of the right circle at 4:18. The Broncos (12-9-4, 6-6-1-1) began the period with the majority of Carson Soucy's 5-minute checking-from-behind major still to go, but took two penalties to ruin the man-advantage.

"I had a 2-on-2 with Caleb (Herbert) and he made a nice move and left the puck for me," Crandall said. "It was a slap shot from the top of the circle and through a screen."

Osterberg netted his second of the game and ninth of the season on a rebound with 4:33 to play before Crandall scored into an open net for his fourth point of the game.

"This was a huge win," Crandall said. "This is a tough building to play in with loud, crazy fans; it was a fun atmosphere. You're never going to be upset going into the third period on the road with a tie game. I thought it showed the character of our team by battling through some adversity with that penalty."

UMD outshot Western Michigan 37-19, including 14-7 in the second period and 14-5 in the third.

"We played really well in the second and carried that over," Sandelin said.

Osterberg connected on a power play at 8:06 of the first period after Josh Pitt's 5-minute major and disqualification for contact to the head. The teams emerged tied at 1 after the penalty when Sheldon Dries skated in alone off a Willie Raskob turnover and beat goaltender Aaron Crandall at 9:09.

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The short-handed goal was the second allowed by UMD in the past week.

The Bulldogs recaptured the lead with 50 seconds to play in the second period as sophomore center Tony Cameranesi scored an unorthodox goal. Broncos goalie Lukas Hafner blocked Cameranesi's shot, it ricocheted off the glass, off Hafner's back and into the net.

"He deserved that, he's been playing really well as of late," Crandall said. "Sometimes the bounces go your way when they should."

The lead lasted less than a half-minute as Kenney Morrison capitalized 10 seconds into Soucy's major.

The teams meet again at 6:07 p.m. today.

Minnesota Duluth 1-1-3--5

Western Michigan 1-1-0--2

First period -- 1. UMD, Kyle Osterberg 8 (Caleb Herbert, Justin Crandall), 8:06 (pp); 2. WM, Sheldon Dries 2, 9:09 (sh). Penalties -- Josh Pitt, WM (goaltender interference), 2:24; Andy Welinski, UMD (holding), 3:17; Pitt, WM (5-minute contact to the head, game misconduct), 7:17.

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Second period -- 3. UMD, Tony Cameranesi 4 (Wille Raskob, J. Crandall), 19:10; 4. WM, Kenney Morrison 3 (Colton Hargrove, Justin Kovacs), 19:38 (pp). Penalties -- Herbert, UMD (high-sticking), 3:27; Max Tardy, UMD (holding), 6:39; Dries, WM (interference), 11:25; J. Crandall, UMD (roughing), 13:11; Kenney Morrison, WM (roughing), 13:11; WM bench (too many men on ice), 15:51; Carson Soucy, UMD (5-minute checking from behind, game misconduct), 19:28.

Third period -- 5. UMD, J. Crandall 9 (Herbert, Willie Corrin), 4:18 (pp); 6. UMD, Osterberg 9 (Cameranesi, Corrin), 15:27; 7. UMD, J. Crandall 10 (Osterberg), 17:27 (en). Penalties -- Chase Balisy, WM (tripping), 1:23; Morrison, WM (interference), 3:56; Herbert, UMD (interference), 6:53; Matt Stewart, WM (tripping), 9:36; Dom Toninato, UMD (high-sticking), 11:13; Sam Mellor, WM (double roughing), 18:39; Derik Johnson, UMD (roughing), 18:39.

Shots on goal -- UMD 9-14-14--37; Western Michigan 7-7-5--19. Goalies -- Aaron Crandall, UMD (19 shots, 17 saves); Lukas Hafner, WM (37-32). Power plays -- UMD 2-of-8; Western Michigan 1-of-7. Referees -- Steve Patafile, Timm Walsh. Linesmen -- Paul Carnathan, Brent Gawlik. Att. -- 3,551.

Related Topics: BULLDOG SPORTSHOCKEY
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