College men's hockey: Cates bros get initial bragging rights as Bulldogs beat Gophers at Mariucci

UMD takes series opener 5-2 Friday; rematch coming Saturday at Amsoil Arena in Duluth

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Minnesota Duluth forward Jackson Cates (20) celebrates his goal in the second period at Mariucci Arena Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (Tyler Schank /

MINNEAPOLIS — While Minnesota Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin may not have cared very much about the rival Minnesota Golden Gophers being on the schedule this week — the coach said he was more worried about his team after a 1-3 start — the opponent mattered very much to Bulldogs’ Cates brothers.

Not only did Jackson and younger brother Noah grow up 25 miles from the University of Minnesota campus in Stillwater, their uncle Jay played three seasons for the Gophers from 1985-88.

Family bragging rights were on the line in the Cates family Friday at Mariucci Arena, and Jackson very much did his part to secure them at least for one night by picking up his second goal of the season in a 5-2 victory for the No. 8 Bulldogs over the No. 20 Gophers in the first half of the home-and-home series.

Game 2 is at 7:07 p.m. Saturday at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.


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Minnesota Duluth forward Jackson Cates (20) skates with the puck in the second period at Mariucci Arena Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (Tyler Schank /

“That’s a good team win after our a tough weekend last weekend,” Jackson Cates said, referencing the two losses at Wisconsin. “Hopefully we can get the train rolling and keep it going tomorrow night.

“It’s a good rivalry. It always gets the blood going when you play the Gophers.”

Jackson Cates, a sophomore wing like Noah, gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead in the second period, scoring on the power play thanks to som tic-tac-toe passing by junior defenseman Scott Perunovich and younger brother Noah.

Jackson Cates had four Grade A scoring chances before he finally found the back of the net. He was denied by Gophers junior goaltender Jack LaFontaine three times in the first and then didn’t quite connect on a feed from sophomore wing Cole Koepke early in the second.

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Minnesota Duluth forwards Jesse Jacques (18) and Brandon Puricelli (22) celebrate Puricelli's goal on Minnesota goaltender Jack LaFontaine (45) in the second period at Mariucci Arena Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (Tyler Schank /

“You just have to keep telling yourself the next one will go in and fortunately it did,” Jackson Cates said. “Just have to keep shooting the puck.


“It felt nice to finally get one in. Scotty made a nice play across. We had a good zone entry on the power play and fortunately I was able to bury it.”

Jackson Cates’ goal was one of three Perunovich was involved in on Friday.

Junior wing Kobe Roth, who came into the weekend second on UMD in shots on goal at 15, got his first goal of the season seven and a half minutes into the first period to put the Bulldogs on top 1-0. Roth easily got around Gophers freshman defenseman Ryan Johnson to redirect a pass by Perunovich right past LaFontaine.

Perunovich later got a goal for himself — the second of the season for the Hibbing native — on the power play with under five minutes to play in regulation.

The play that caught Sandelin’s attention, though, was the pass by Perunovich and finish by Jackson Cates.

“Just that pass he made to Jackson, how many guys can make that play?” Sandelin asked. “As great as the pass was, the finish was even better. Jackson was due after the first period.


“We needed everybody (tonight). We asked some guys to step up and tonight we had guys step up.”

The Bulldogs came into the night with seven goals in their first four games. Those seven goals had come from five players, and just 10 Bulldogs had found the scoresheet during the opening two weeks of the regular season.

Photo gallery: UMD at Minnesota Photos by Tyler Schank /

On Friday alone, three Bulldogs picked up their first goal of the season, five got their first point of the year and three freshman registered their first collegiate point ever.

Brandon Puricelli picked up his first collegiate goal in the second by tipping through a shot down the middle that came off the stick of senior defenseman and co-captain Nick Wolff. Freshman wing Quinn Olson also assisted on the play for his first collegiate point.

UMD junior wing Koby Bender scored his first of the season 69 seconds after Gophers co-captain Sammy Walker made it a 3-2 game midway through the third. Bender finished a scrambling backhanded pass by Jade Miller, who picked up his first point of the season. Freshman wing Luke Loheit was also credited with an assist on the play for his first collegiate point.

“Bender gets a goal, (Puricelli) gets a goal, it’s fun to see,” Perunovich said. “We love to play the game and that’s what we love to see.

“If we have all lines scoring, that’s going to give us more confidence as well. It definitely gives the freshmen confidence.”


Bulldog Bites

Olson returned to the Bulldogs lineup Friday for the first time since going hard into the boards off a check midway through the regular season opener against UMass-Lowell on Oct. 11. The 2019 third-round Boston Bruins draft pick missed the last three games with an upper body injury, but returned to practice this week.

  • Sophomore wing Tanner Laderoute, freshmen wing Brady Meyer and sophomore defenseman Hunter Lellig were all scratched from Friday’s game.

Laderoute suffered a left leg injury last Friday in Madison against Wisconsin after crashing hard into the end boards. He had to be helped off the ice and to the locker room, but has been seen walking and skating since the injury. Sandelin listed him as “day-to-day” earlier in the week.
According to KDAL’s Bruce Ciskie, Lellig could be out long term after suffering a lower body injury during practice this week. Meyer is day-to-day like Laderoute.

Minnesota Duluth 1-2-2—5

Minnesota 0-1-1—2

First period — 1. UMD, Kobe Roth 1 (Scott Perunovich, Jackson Cates), 7:31. Penalties — Brannon McManus, MIN (cross checking), 9:12; Cole Koepke, UMD (tripping), 16:54.

Second period — 2. UMD, Nick Wolff 1 (Quinn Olson, Brandon Puricelli), 7:24; 3. UMD, J. Cates 2 (Perunovich, Noah Cates), 14:53 (pp); 4. MIN, Ben Meyers 1 (Sammy Walker, Jackson LaCombe), 19:49. Penalties — Olson, UMD (hooking), 12:34; Walker, MIN (holding), 13:19.

Third period — 5. MIN, Walker 4 (Meyers, Blake McLaughlin), 8:36; 6. UMD, Koby Bender (Jade Miller, Luke Loheit), 9:45; 7. UMD, Perunovich 2 (Nick Swaney, Dylan Samberg), 15:11 (pp). Penalties — Louie Roehl, UMD (slashing), 12:47; Scott Reedy, UMD (high sticking), 12:47; Blake McLaughlin, MIN (hooking), 13:55 .


Shots on goal — UMD 12-8-5—25; MIN 8-5-7—20. Goalies — Hunter Shepard, UMD (20 shots-18 saves); Jack LaFontaine, MIN (24-19); Justen Close, MIN (1-1). Power plays — UMD 2-of-3; MIN 0-of-2. Penalties — UMD 3-6; MIN 0-2. Referees — Brett DesRosiers, Brian Aaron. Linesmen — Nicholas Bradshaw, Johnathan Morrison. Att. — 9,407.

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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