Minnesota Duluth sophomore wing Jackson Cates secured family bragging rights Friday night in Minneapolis by picking up a goal and an assist in a 5-2 victory over Minnesota, who his uncle Jay played three seasons for from 1985-88.
On Saturday before a crowd of 6,655 at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, the elder Cates brother secured those bragging rights for the foreseeable future, scoring on an empty net to clinch a 2-0 Bulldogs victory and sweep of the Golden Gophers.
UMD senior goaltender Hunter Shepard made 21 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th of his career. Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said the netminder from Cohasset was the difference in the game Saturday.
“Let’s not kid ourselves, our goalie was pretty good,” said Sandelin, whose Bulldogs improved to 10-2-1 against the Gopher over the last six seasons. “We were playing with fire for awhile and Shep bailed us out. That’s where you need your goaltender to win a game for you. Tonight he did that.”
Freshman forward Quinn Olson gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead six minutes into Saturday’s game on a double-jeopardy play as the Gophers also received a slashing minor on the play.
Olson, who 24 hours prior picked up his first collegiate point via an assist, had missed three of the Bulldogs first four games with a cracked rib and chipped vertebrate. The Boston Bruins draft pick scored his first collegiate goal Saturday by volleying a bouncing puck from his backhand to forehand.
Sophomore center Jesse Jacques began the attack, picking up an assist on the play along with freshman wing Brandon Puricelli.
“Jesse made a good play to Purcelli and Purcelli slid it over to me. All I had to do was tap it in,” Olson said. “It was just a little bit in front of me and I was able to tap it through the five hole.”
In addition to being the first goal for Olson, that was the first point of the season for Jacques, who became the 13th Bulldog to find the scoresheet this weekend against the Gophers.
On Friday alone, three Bulldogs picked up their first goal of the season, five got their first point of the year and three freshman registered their first collegiate point ever.
The Bulldogs came into the weekend with a 1-3 record and just seven goals in their first four games. Those seven goals had come from five players, and just 10 Bulldogs had found the scoresheet during the opening two weeks of the regular season.
“It’s a good building block for our team, something to build off of here” Shepard said of the sweep. “Hopefully, we can string a few together.”
Sophomore wing Tanner Laderoute, sophomore defenseman Hunter Lellig and freshman forward Brady Meyer all missed Saturday’s game to injury. All three will have extra time to recover with the Bulldogs off next week before opening NCHC play Nov. 8-9 against Denver at Amsoil Arena.
Minnesota Duluth 1-0-1—2
First period — 1. UMD, Quinn Olson 1 (Jesse Jacques, Brandon Puricelli), 6:04. Penalties — Justin Richards, UMD (tripping), 0:43; Ryan Johnson, MIN (slashing), 6:04; Blake McLaughlin, MIN (tripping), 9:13.
Second period — No scoring. Penalties — Bench minor, MIN (too many players on the ice), 1:29; Noah Cates, UMD (slashing), 1:32; Nick Wolff, UMD (cross checking), 14:44; Sammy Walker, MIN (hooking), 14:53.
Third period — 2. UMD, Jackson Cates 3 (Kobe Roth), 19:22 (en). Penalties — McLaughlin, MIN (tripping), 5:10.
Shots on goal — MIN 9-5-7—21; UMD 6-10-7—23. Goalies — Jared Moe, MIN (22 shots-21 saves); Hunter Shepard, UMD (21-21). Power plays — MIN 0-of-2; UMD 0-of-4. Penalties — MIN 5-10; UMD 3-6. Referees — Tom Sterns, Sterling Egan. Linesmen — Brandon Schmitt, Elliott Bucholz. Att. — 6,655.