Minnesota Duluth opened the 2019-20 season on Saturday at Amsoil Arena with a 5-3 exhibition loss to Alberta.

Justin Richards, Dylan Samberg and Nick Swaney scored for the Bulldogs, who played all three goaltenders for a period each.

A full game recap can be found here.

Below are Saturday’s thumbs up, thumbs down and three stars from News Tribune college hockey reporter Matt Wellens

Thumbs up to Richards getting to wear an ‘A’

Late last week, junior center Justin Richards was informed he’d been chosen as an assistant captain by his coaches and teammates. It was an honor, he said.

“There's a handful of guys in there that could be in the same position,” Richards said. “The fact that the guys voted for it and the coaches believed in me to be able to represent this team and this program, it’s a huge honor.”

Richards joins co-captains Nick Wolff and Hunter Shepard, a duo that coach Scott Sandelin has described as “awesome, because they're completely opposite.”

Richards kind of falls in between the two co-captains, I’d say. He’s very much in the mold of the past two captains, Karson Kuhlman and Parker Mackay, and is now in line to wear a ‘C’ next season should he not turn pro.

“Hard work, discipline in what he’s doing, he’s another guys that needs to lead by example,” Sandelin said.

Thumbs down to the penalties

The Bulldogs took six penalties for 12 minutes on Saturday. The first three were all for high sticking.

The penalties that displeased Sandelin the most were the three in the opening 10 minutes of the third period. UMD pulled within one via a goal by Swaney 33 seconds in, then Jackson Cates was called for slashing, Tanner Laderoute for tripping and Jade Miller for goaltender interference.

Miller’s penalty at 9:14 of the third resulted in a power play goal for the Bears, putting UMD back down by two.

“You can't keep giving teams opportunities because that's exactly what happens,” Sandelin said. “So you go from building momentum off an early goal to chasing the game. That’s what we did pretty much the rest of the way after they got the fifth goal.”

Matt’s Three Stars

3. UMD junior defenseman Scott Perunovich: Two assists for UMD helping set up Samberg’s goal and Swaney’s.

2. UMD junior defenseman Dylan Samberg: Liked how he was playing defensively, then he scored on a one-timer off a give-and-go with Perunovich.

1. Alberta wing Lucas Nickles: He was part of all three Golden Bears goals in the second that put UMD down 4-2. Nickles finished with a goal and three assists.