College men's hockey: UMD switches goalies again, falls to Notre Dame 3-1

The goaltending carousel continued for Minnesota Duluth on Saturday and, this time, it was Hunter Shepard's turn in net. The true freshman from Cohasset and Grand Rapids High School became the third starting goalie for the Bulldogs in six games. ...

Minnesota Duluth goaltender Hunter Shepard (32) deflects a shot during Saturday's game against Notre Dame at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. Notre Dame defeated Minnesota Duluth 3-1. (Clint Austin /

The goaltending carousel continued for Minnesota Duluth on Saturday and, this time, it was Hunter Shepard’s turn in net.

The true freshman from Cohasset and Grand Rapids High School became the third starting goalie for the Bulldogs in six games. He made 35 saves in his first college game as fourth-ranked UMD lost 3-1 to No. 5 Notre Dame in front of 6,014 fans at the nonconference series finale at Amsoil Arena.

“I felt pretty good out there,” Shepard said. “Obviously I have to make a stop on the third (goal) to give us a chance at the end. Besides that, I felt good. I was seeing the puck. Guys were keeping the shots, for the most part, in areas where I could see it.

“Just that spurt in the third when they got the two, I for sure want the second one back there. Overall decent, but I have to make a save there at the end to give us a chance to win.”

The Fighting Irish (3-1) scored twice in the opening six minutes of the third period to hand the Bulldogs (3-1-2) their first loss of the season. Junior defenseman Jordan Gross scored the game-winning goal 5:01 into the third and sophomore wing Dylan Malmquist beat Shepard through 55 seconds later.


Both teams scored in the second period with sophomore center Adam Johnson of Hibbing giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead with his fourth goal of the season 1:53 into the period. Notre Dame sophomore wing Andrew Oglevie tied the game at 15:22 of the second.

“We have to help (Shepard) out more,” UMD senior defenseman Carson Soucy said. “A couple of those, they weren’t his fault. They were on us not picking up guys, our mistakes. He made big saves when he needed to, we just didn’t capitalize on ours.”

True freshman Hunter Miska started the Bulldogs’ first three games, posting a 2.73 goals-against average and .877 save percentage. He earned a shutout in his first start, led UMD to a win in his second, but was replaced midway through the second period of his third start by redshirt freshman Nick Deery after allowing four goals on 15 shots.

Deery started the next two, leading UMD to a tie and win with a 1.54 GAA and .934 save percentage. But Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin felt it was time for Shepard to get a shot Saturday before the Bulldogs push pause on the regular season with an exhibition game against the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 squad scheduled for next Saturday in Duluth.

“It’s competition, it’s good, it's healthy,” Sandelin said of the three-person goaltending battle. “You know what, we’ll see if anyone can emerge from it.”

Shepard, the top goaltender in the North American Hockey League a year ago while playing in Bismarck, won the Frank Brimsek Award in 2013-14 as the top high school goaltender in Minnesota. That same season, Grand Rapids teammate and junior center Avery Peterson - ineligible until Dec. 17 because of his transfer from Nebraska-Omaha to UMD - was named Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey.

Talking to reporters at NCHC Media Day back in September, Sandelin recalled his initial recruitment of Shepard. It started with a phone call following a 60-save performance Shepard had in a 4-3 loss at Edina in December 2013.

“We had recruited him in high school during his senior year. I saw the game where he stopped (60). I was on the phone the next day,” Sandelin said in September. “I like his competitiveness. He had some other offers, but maybe being a Grand Rapids kid and having the opportunity ... He can go to other places and try and beat out established guys, which some guys like. Here’s an opportunity to come in and be a guy that’s basically battling two other guys that haven’t played. They’re all in the same boat.”


Notre Dame...............................0-1-2-3

Minnesota Duluth.................... 0-1-0-1

First period - No scoring. Penalties - Adam Johnson, UMD (hooking), 11:59; Jared Thomas, UMD (interference), 14:44; Dennis Gilbert, ND (boarding), 17:56.

Second period - 1. UMD, Johnson 4 (Joey Anderson), 1:53; 2. ND, Andrew Oglevie 3 (Dylan Malmquist, Bobby Nardella), 15:22 (pp). Penalties - Tory Dello, ND (hooking), 4:17; Jake Evans, ND (boarding), 12:38; Thomas, UMD (hooking), 14:27.

Third period - 3. ND, Jordan Gross 2 (Malmquist, Anders Bjork), 5:01; 4. ND, Malmquist 3 (Connor Hurley, Gross), 5:56. Penalties - Gross, ND (holding), 7:40.

Shots on goal - ND 13-17-8-38; UMD 13-7-8-28. Goalies - Cal Peterson, ND (28 shots-27 saves); Hunter Shepard, UMD (38-35). Power plays - ND 1-of-3; UMD 0-of-4. Referees - Geno Binda, Andy Thackaberry. Linesmen - Brandon Polich, Jeff Schultz. Att. - 6,014.

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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