Top-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato unloaded on eighth-ranked Minnesota Duluth in the second period on Friday en route to a 4-1 nonconference victory before a crowd of 5,494 at Amsoil Arena.
Junior wing Kobe Roth scored the Bulldogs lone goal on a power play in the third period to spoil the shutout of Mavericks sophomore goaltender Dryden McKay, who finished with 27 saves.
That only cut the margin to three, however. It was a response by the Bulldogs that was too little, and way, way too late.
“It was like men amongst boys for awhile,” Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said. “I thought our first period was alright and after that in the second period, they took over the game. And we didn’t help the cause.”
A trio of senior forwards — Marc Michaelis, Parker Tuomie and Josh French — scored for the Mavs in the second to break the scoreless tie and put the Bulldogs down 3-0 going into the third period.
Freshman forward Ryan Sandelin, the son of Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin and one of four Hermantown natives on the ice Friday, set up the backbreaking third goal of the period by unleashing a blast on Bulldogs senior goaltender Hunter Shepard, who was without his stick. Shepard made the initial save, but the rebound bounced right to the previously goalless French on the opposite side of the crease.
“They were the better team, they won more battles than us,” UMD junior defenseman Louie Roehl said. “We lost structure in the defensive zone too many times and that cost us against a good team like this. We got to tighten it up a little bit and win those battles.”
Michaelis got the first goal of the night and his seventh of the season by taking a pass from behind Shepard and knocking it in at the near post four and a half minutes into the second. Tuomie then made it 2-0 on a controversial power play that saw sophomore wing Tanner Laderoute — who was later ejected in the third for checking from behind — sent to the penalty box after not touching Maverick freshman wing Nathan Smith.
Smith picked up a goal for himself during a two-Mavs advantage in the third to make it 4-0 while Bulldogs junior defensemen Dylan Samberg and Scott Perunovich both sat in the box for penalties that weren’t controversial.
“We lost a lot of energy after that first goal, which can’t be the case,” said UMD senior center Jade Miller. “That’s when we got to pick ourselves up and push a little harder. We didn’t do that tonight.
“Our intensity level wasn’t high enough. We lost a lot of battles all over the rink and it showed in the final score.”
A blizzard warning is in effect for Duluth from 6 a.m. Saturday until noon Sunday, but Saturday’s rematch between the Mavs and Bulldogs will go on as scheduled at 7:07 p.m. at Amsoil Arena with the Mavericks and NCHC officiating crew already in Duluth and staying close to the arena. The DECC will be housing critical staff at nearby hotels as well. Concession stands and other services could be limited based on the crowd and staff available.
According to UMD athletic director Josh Berlo, an alternative date for Saturday’s series finale is not readily available.
“Ticket holders are encouraged to follow any municipal travel advisories and those unable to attend may contact the Bulldog ticket office for a possible credit toward a future 2019-20 regular season game,” Berlo said in a statement.
Bulldogs senior defenseman and co-captain Nick Wolff was knocked out of Friday’s game early via an awkward shoulder-to-shoulder hit along the end boards. He went back to the Bulldogs locker room and returned to the game twice, though briefly each time, before heading back to the locker room a third time and staying there. No penalty was called on the play, but the hit was reviewed and deemed to not be a major.
UMD junior wing Nick Swaney, who was ruled doubtful during the week, was indeed out of the lineup Friday after getting checked from behind a week ago against Colorado College.
Junior defenseman Dylan Samberg returned to the Bulldogs blue line rotation on Friday after missing the last eight games. Samberg was one of four Hermantown natives to hit the ice Friday along with UMD sophomore forwards Cole Koepke and Jesse Jacques and Minnesota State’s Sandelin. Another former Hawk, MSU sophomore defenseman Wyatt Aamodt, was a healthy scratch.
Minnesota State 0-3-1—4
Minnesota Duluth 0-0-1—1
First period — No scoring.
Second period — 1. MSU, Marc Michaelis 7 (Parker Tuomie, Charlie Gerard), 4:30; 2. MSU, Parker Tuomie 6 (Michaelis, Conor Mackey), 9:39 (pp); 3. MSU, Josh French 1 (Ryan Sandelin, Mackey), 14:13
Third period — 4. Nathan Smith 4 (Jared Jaremko, Ian Scheid), 3:35; 5. UMD, Kobe Roth 5 (Tanner Laderoute, Jackson Cates), 9:20 (pp)
Shots on goal — MSU 13-11-6—30; UMD 10-7-1—28. Goalies — Dryden McKay, MSU (28 shots-27 saves); Hunter Shepard, UMD (30-26). Power plays — MSU 2-of-6; UMD 1-of-3. Penalties — MSU 4-8; UMD 7-25. Referees — Cameron Voss, Timm Walsh. Linesmen — Brandon Schmitt, Tony Aronson. Att. — 5,494.