There was no need for seventh-ranked Minnesota Duluth to overcome an early deficit Saturday as the Bulldogs scored twice in the opening 10 minutes en route to a 6-3 nonconference victory over former WCHA rival Northern Michigan in front of 7,073 fans at Amsoil Arena.
Sophomore wing Alex Iafallo, junior wing Charlie Sampair and senior wing Adam Krause scored in the first period to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 cushion going into the second period where freshman forward Karson Kuhlman and senior wing Justin Crandall piled on to extend the lead to three goals by the second intermission.
Iafallo, Sampair and Krause all beat Wildcats backup goaltender Michael Doan - starting in place of injured sophomore starter Mathias Dahlstrom for the second straight night - high glove side in the first period. Iafallo recorded his seventh goal of the season 3:35 into the game and Sampair scored his first of the season and third of his collegiate career just before the seven-minute mark.
Krause, the captain from Hermantown, caught the Wildcats on a change late in the first period to negate a goal by senior Reed Seckel minutes earlier. He finished the night with a goal and three assists for a career-high four points. His previous high was two.
Kuhlman, who went 11 games without a goal recently, now has goals in back-to-back series after converting on a wraparound midway through the second period to put the Bulldogs back up by two following a goal by Northern Michigan captain Jake Baker seven minutes into the second.
Crandall gave UMD its second short-handed goal of the weekend and seventh of the year in the final minute of the second period to put the Wildcats down by three.
Freshman center Jared Thomas, who was playing on the Bulldogs' top line in place of injured sophomore center Dominic Toninato, put UMD up 6-2 early in the third by beating third-string goaltender Derek Dun. It was the second goal of the weekend for the former Hermantown star after previously scoring two goals all season.
UMD junior goaltender Matt McNeely, making his fourth start of the season in place of freshman Kasimir Kaskisuo, stopped 15 of 18 shots.