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College men's hockey: UMD salvages split at North Dakota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A night after slipping a spot in the NCHC standings, Minnesota Duluth moved back into second place with a 3-2 victory over North Dakota on Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 11,990 at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

t022219 --- Clint Austin --- 022419.S.UMDMPUX.C12 --- Defenseman Mikey Anderson (24) of the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs and defenseman Gabe Bast (2) of the North Dakota Fighting Hawks fight during Saturday's game at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND. --- Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com
Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com Minnesota Duluth defenseman Mikey Anderson (24) and North Dakota defenseman Gabe Bast (2) tussle during Saturday's game at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D.
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. - A night after slipping a spot in the NCHC standings, Minnesota Duluth moved back into second place with a 3-2 victory over North Dakota on Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 11,990 at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Western Michigan, which held the second spot for 24 hours, was routed 8-2 at Colorado College on Saturday. That opened the door for St. Cloud State and rookie head coach Brett Larson of Duluth to clinch the regular-season championship. The former Bulldogs assistant and player led the Huskies to a 5-0 win at Nebraska-Omaha to give the school its second consecutive Penrose Cup.
“He walked into a pretty good situation, they have a pretty good team,” Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said of his protege winning a league title. “I’m not surprised. I thought they were the best team starting the year with what they had coming back.
“Congrats to them. We just have to worry about ourselves. That was pretty much a forgone conclusion for awhile, I think, with the lead in the league that they had. We’re all scrapping for the other three spots so hopefully we can get one of those.”
If not for the Huskies beating the Mavericks, UMD would have stayed alive for at least another week in the race for the Penrose Cup after getting a goal from junior center Jade Miller and two 5-on-3 power-play goals by senior center Peter Krieger.
Miller - a native of nearby Minto, N.D. - picked up his first goal of the season and first since Feb. 16, 2018, just 2:49 into the second period to put UMD ahead 2-1.
Krieger slipped a shot from the slot top shelf to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead 3:05 into the game. He then made it 3-1 with his second 5-on-3 power-play goal of the night just past the six-minute mark of the second.
Both 5-on-3 UMD power plays were due to ill-advised penalties by UND senior center Rhett Gardner - cross checking and high sticking - with the Hawks already down a man.
That’s not who Krieger was thanking after the game, though. It was 5-foot-8 Kobe Roth, the sophomore wing from Warroad, Minn., who was able to screen Hawks 6-foot-4 sophomore goalie Peter Thome both times.
“Both were absolutely great screens by Kobe Roth - one of the smallest players on the team - but it creates a distraction for the goalie, makes it hard to see. I pretty much had an open net on both of them to shoot at,” Krieger said. “On the second goal I really only shot it because Kobe was taking away his eyes in such a good fashion that I had half a net to shoot at. If he’s not there, I’m probably not taking that shot because it’s not as wide open as it was.”
North Dakota nearly tied the game in the closing minutes of the second via some special teams redemption, getting a goal from freshman wing and Grand Rapids native Gavin Hain on a delayed UMD penalty. The Bulldogs were able to kill off the Noah Cates hooking call that spanned the final two minutes, however, to remain ahead by one.
North Dakota tied the game at 1-1 in the first on a one-man advantage five minutes after Krieger’s first goal of the night when junior defenseman Colton Poolman finished off a spin-o-rama move on a backhander from his knees.
Poolman’s goal came on the Hawks first shot on goal. North Dakota finished the first with just two shots on the UMD net before getting seven in the second and seven more in the third.
The Bulldogs were held to just two shots on goal in the third, a night after North Dakota kept UMD to a mere three shots on goal in the second period of a 4-1 win.
“It was a good night for us overall. It was a big three points,” Miller said. “It was definitely a big night for us to rebound and moving forward that will be a big momentum win.”
Minn. Duluth 1-2-0-3
North Dakota 1-1-0-2
First period - 1. UMD, Peter Krieger 5 (Scott Perunovich, Noah Cates), 3:05 (pp); 2. UMD, Colton Poolman 5 (Jordan Kawaguchi, Rhett Gardner), 8:04 (pp). Penalties - N. Cates, UMD (interference), 0:27; Gabe Best, ND (cross checking), 2:13; Gardner, ND (cross checking), 2:20; Jackson Cates, UMD (hooking), 6:43; Gavin Hain, ND (roughing), 16:14; Perunovich, UMD (roughing), 16:14.
Second period - 3. UMD, Jade Miller 1 (Nick Wolff), 2:49; 4. UMD, Krieger 6 (N. Cates, Perunovich), 6:14 (pp); 5. ND, Hain 5 (Mark Senden, Cole Smith), 17:59 (ea). Penalties - Jackson Keane, ND (roughing), 4:48; Gardner, ND (high sticking), 5:17; Krieger, UMD (face off violation), 10:23; Poolman, ND (roughing), 11:53; N. Cates, UMD (hooking), 17:59.
Third period - No scoring. Penalties - No scoring.
Shots on goal - UMD 9-6-2-17; ND 2-7-7-16. Goalies - Hunter Shepard, UMD (16 shots-14 saves); Peter Thome, ND (17-14). Power plays - UMD 2-of-5; ND 1-of-4. Referees - Cameron Voss, Timm Walsh. Linesmen - Andy Dokken, Tyler Liffrig. Att. - 11,990.

Related Topics: COLLEGE HOCKEY
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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