ST. CLOUD - For the second consecutive game, a video review of the game-winning goal didn’t go Minnesota Duluth’s way.
Even after the Bulldogs asked the officials to check the tape again.
Top-ranked St. Cloud State finished off a weekend NCHC sweep of third-ranked UMD on Saturday with a 4-3 victory to cap the regular season for both squads, who will be the top two seeds when the conference quarterfinals get underway next weekend.
The second-place Bulldogs will host seventh-place Nebraska-Omaha next weekend in a best-of-three series that will begin Friday at Amsoil Arena while last-place Miami travels to St. Cloud State, which celebrated its seniors and third Penrose Cup in program history after Saturday’s win.
“I’d rather be losing now than down the road here,” said UMD junior wing Riley Tufte, who put UMD ahead 2-0 in the second with his second-power play goal of the weekend. “Hopefully those are our last two times losing. We just have to go on a tear here. We can, we have the team to do it.”
Huskies freshman wing Sam Hentges scored the game-winner with 1:11 remaining in regulation, poking the puck across the goal line as UMD junior goaltender Hunter Shepard was knocked to the ice.
Hentges’ goal was reviewed twice for goaltender interference and upheld both times. The officials went to the replay monitor the first time themselves and then returned for a second look after Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin challenged the goal.
The reason the officials gave for no goaltender interference was because Tufte bumped Hentges into Shepard, Sandelin said.
The Bulldogs lost Friday’s game in St. Cloud 4-3 in overtime after video review upheld a game-winning power-play goal that was kicked in by Huskies freshman defenseman Nick Perbix. The goal was upheld because it wasn’t kicked in with a distinct motion, per a league statement.
“We were close, but remember that feeling. You have to play good hockey, really good hockey over 60 minutes,” Sandelin said. “I felt we did that (Friday) night, unfortunately we didn’t get a bounce. It was much better last night over 60 than it was (Saturday). You get up 2-0 on teams, you got to find ways to not let them get back in games. That’s happened twice against this team.”
UMD jumped to a two-goal lead Saturday via a pair of power-play goals, but the Huskies were able to tie the game at 2-2 midway through the second with two power-play goals of their own.
Bulldogs freshman center Jackson Cates scored on the first power play of the night nine minutes in. Tufte converted on the Bulldogs’ second advantage just under two minutes into the second, picking up his eighth goal of the season and seventh on power plays by keeping the puck all to himself on a three-on-one rush in transition.
St. Cloud State pulled within one just under four minutes into the second when freshman center Nolan Walker deflected through a shot by junior wing Jack Ahcan on a power play. Sophomore wing Easton Brodzinski tied the game midway through the second on the Huskies’ third power play of the night, which managed to trap the UMD penalty kill on the ice for 92 seconds until Brodzinski scored.
Ahcan gave the Huskies a 3-2 lead 7:59 into the third period by putting away his own rebound, but Bulldogs junior fourth-line center Jade Miller tied the game with 3:34 to go by putting the puck in off some iron. It was his third goal and sixth point in the last five games.
“I don’t know if it went in bar down or post in. I just heard a ‘ting’ and felt pretty excited about that to get us some momentum,” said Miller, who has points in five straight games. “I think we were kind of dead in that period. We found some new life afterwards and took it to them. We almost buried one or two.
“It’s one of those games, one of those teams where we have to learn to close them out. They are never going to stop fighting. We need to take some lessons from them and add those to our game as well.”Minn. Duluth 1-1-1-3
St. Cloud St. 0-2-2-4
First period - 1. UMD, Jackson Cates 6 (Mikey Anderson, Dylan Samberg), 9:01 (pp). Penalties - Blake Lizotte, SCSU (holding), 7:07; Scott Perunovich, UMD (hooking), 15:21.
Second period - 2. UMD, Riley Tufte 8, 1:54 (pp); 3. SCSU, Nolan Walker 7 (Jack Ahcan, Nick Perbix), 3:52 (pp); 4. SCSU, Easton Brodzinski 12 (Ryan Poehling, Jimmy Schuldt), 10:23. Penalties - Jon Lizotte, SCSU (slashing), 0:33; Matt Anderson, UMD (slashing), 2:23; Perunovich, UMD (high sticking), 6:22; Brodzinski, SCSU (roughing), 6:22; Perunovich, UMD (interference), 8:50; Perbix, SCSU (roughing), 13:03; Jon Lizotte, SCSU (cross checking), 18:45.
Third period - 5. SCSU, Ahcan 4 (R. Poehling, Schuldt), 7:59; 6. UMD, Jade Miller 3 (M. Anderson, Samberg), 16:26; 7. SCSU, Sam Hentges 9 (Brodzinski, Schuldt), 18:49. Penalties - None.
Shots on goal - UMD 8-6-11-25; SCSU 6-11-8-25. Goalies - Hunter Shepard, UMD (25 shots-21 saves); Jeff Smith, SCSU (25-22). Power plays - UMD 2-of-4; SCSU 2-of-3. Referees - Ryan Hersey, Joe Sullivan. Linesmen - Justin Hills, Jeff Schultz. Att. - 5,550.