MADISON, Wis. — Third-ranked Minnesota Duluth lost 6-2 to No. 17 Wisconsin on Friday at the Kohl Center in what was the first meeting between the Bulldogs and Badgers since they both left the WCHA in 2013.
UMD had two defensemen ejected in the first period, but came out of the period tied 2-2 thanks to a pair of power plays goals.
From there, it was all Badgers, who got two goals each from freshmen forwards Owen Lindmark and Cole Caufield.
Below are Friday’s thumbs up, thumbs down and three stars from News Tribune college hockey reporter Matt Wellens
Thumbs down to Bulldogs’ discipline
Two Bulldogs defensemen took two major penalties in the first period Friday, with junior Scott Perunovich being ejected 2:32 in for facemasking and sophomore Hunter Lellig getting tossed 16:03 in for checking from behind.
Both penalties were devastating, as the Bulldogs not only had to play the rest of the night with five blue liners — good thing Scott Sandelin dressed seven — but they also lost one of their best players in Perunovich.
But penalties were not the only area in which UMD was undisciplined on Friday, as Sandelin detailed after the game.
The coach had a laundry list that included soft plays, turnovers, a lack of sustained offensive zone time and long shifts.
Yeah, the penalties were bad ones, but the Bulldogs did a lot of other things wrong on Friday, and that’s why they lost the way they did.
“Soft plays, turnovers — teams are going to capitalize on that and they did,” Sandelin said. “Those things are those things we have to get out of our game quickly.
“We got to start having more sustained offensive zone time. I thought our shift lengths got long. There's a lot of things I can sit and point to, but we just didn't play the right way the rest of the game or half the game. We ended up getting what we deserved.”
Thumbs up to UMD special teams
Despite taking two majors in the opening period and removing a pair of penalty killers from the game, UMD had a strong night on special teams.
The Bulldogs killed off four of the Badgers’ five power plays. The lone Wisconsin power play goal came on a 5-on-3 advantage during the Lellig major after junior defenseman Louie Roehl covered the puck in the crease.
Meanwhile, the power play went 2-for-4, though it would give up a shorthanded goal in the third as things got away from UMD.
The Badgers finished 50 percent last weekend against Boston College and Merrimack, going 5-for-10 on the man advantage. Wisconsin’s power play didn’t look like a 50-percent unit Friday night. You could even argue the Bulldogs were the better team during the Badgers’ advantages. UMD’s penalty kill outshot the Badgers power play 7-5 Friday.
“Special teams was fine, but our 5-on-5 play was not very good,” Sandelin said.
Matt’s Three Stars
3. Badgers junior wing Linus Weissbach: He scored the game-tying goal on the 5-on-3 power play in the first, and also finished with two assists.
2. Badgers freshman wing Cole Caufield: He increased his season total to six, scoring 53 seconds in on Friday.
1. Badgers freshman wing Owen Lindmark: Two goals as well for Lindmark, including the game-winner in the second and a shorty in the third.