Postgame: Penalty kill comes to the rescue in second period of UMD win
HOUGHTON, Mich. -- Third-ranked Minnesota Duluth opened its nonconference series against No. 19 Michigan Tech with a 2-1 victory on Friday before a crowd of 3,432 at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Mich.
HOUGHTON, Mich. - Third-ranked Minnesota Duluth opened its nonconference series against No. 19 Michigan Tech with a 2-1 victory on Friday before a crowd of 3,432 at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Mich.
Senior captain Parker Mackay and sophomore wing Kobe Roth picked up their first goals of the season and junior goaltender Hunter Shepard stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced.
A full game recap can be found here .
Below are the night’s thumbs up and thumbs down from News Tribune college hockey writer Matt Wellens, plus his three stars of the night.
Thumbs up to the UMD penalty kill
The Bulldogs finished a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill on Friday with the special teams units shining in the second period.
A phantom hooking call against senior wing Billy Exell and a checking from behind major - plus a game misconduct - on sophomore defenseman Dylan Samberg resulted in Michigan Tech getting a five-minute power play that included a 53- second 5-on-3 advantage.
The Bulldogs killed it off to maintain a 1-0 lead. What could have been a huge shift of momentum in Tech’s favor, proved to be nothing.
It was a big change from last Sunday when UMD was unable to kill a five-minute Minnesota power play, one the Gophers used to turn a 2-0 first period lead into a 3-0 advantage.
“We pressured more, especially in the neutral zone,” Shepard said of the improvements on the penalty kill. “We wasted off a lot of time just making them work the puck around in their own end. We got good pressure on them, closed stuff off at the blue lines and forced them to dump pucks. We were retrieving stuff well and clearing on the first chance and not giving them much zone time.
“It’s a cliche but it’s the simple stuff - blocking shots and guys willing to do things that it takes to win games.”
Thumbs down to the Bulldogs puck possession
Coach Scott Sandelin was not pleased with all the turnovers his team coughed up Friday, with one leading to a breakaway that resulted in the phantom hook on Exell.
Here were the coach’s thoughts on the subject after the game.
“In the second period, we turned way too many pucks over,” Sandelin said. “I thought we were way too loose with the puck. We didn’t manage the puck very well at all and we’re fortunate it didn’t cost us. We’ve played three games and two of the three games our puck management hasn’t been very good. If it doesn’t get any better, we’ll be in trouble.”
Matt’s Three Stars
3. Bulldogs sophomore wing Kobe Roth: The Warroad product picked up his first goal of the season, giving UMD a 1-0 lead in the second period.
2. Bulldogs senior wing Parker Mackay: His goal midway through the second period putting UMD ahead 2-0 proved to be the difference Friday.
1. Bulldogs junior goaltender Hunter Shepard: UMD survived a number of Husky breakaways Friday thanks to the play of Shepard. He finished with 32 saves.