Thumbs up, thumbs down, three stars: Bulldogs penalty kill sparks come-from-behind win at Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- In a rematch of the 2018 NCAA title game, the defending champions prevailed as No. 3 Minnesota Duluth rallied in the third period for a 3-2 victory over Notre Dame at Compton Family Ice Center.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - In a rematch of the 2018 NCAA title game, the defending champions prevailed as No. 3 Minnesota Duluth rallied in the third period for a 3-2 victory over Notre Dame at Compton Family Ice Center.
Sophomore wing Nick Swaney scored the game-tying goal with 7:23 to go in the game and sophomore defenseman Dylan Samberg put the Bulldogs ahead with 2:55 to play.
A full game recap can be found here.
No thumbs down from News Tribune college hockey writer Matt Wellens on Friday, just a couple thumbs up, plus his three stars of the night.
Thumbs up to the Bulldogs penalty kill
On their first penalty kill of the evening the Bulldogs gave up an easy backdoor goal to Notre Dame, tying the game at 1-1.
On their second power play of the night, the Bulldogs produced a two-on-one shorthanded breakaway that tied the game at 2-2.
How's that for an adjustment?
"They made a great play on that first power play they had," Swaney said. "They were looking for that backdoor play. In between periods we talked about it, what we had to change. We simplified things and got back to what we knew."
The Bulldogs penalty kill had to step up again less than two minutes after Swaney tied the game when junior defenseman and assistant captain Nick Wolff received a minor penalty for kneeing. He was then handed a 10-minute misconduct for arguing the call.
The Bulldogs surrendered a pair of shots on the final Irish advantage, but finished off the kill. Just under a minute later, UMD was ahead thanks to a Samberg shot.
"I thought our guys did a great job killing penalties," Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said. "We got a big goal from Dylan to win it."
Thumbs up to the Koepke-Richards-Mackay line
The Bulldogs outshot the Irish 39-23 on Friday, and while that stat doesn't accurately portray the number of scoring chances UMD had in the win - there were not a ton - it does accurately portray how dominant the Bulldogs were at puck possession Friday.
Minus the two penalty kills, the Bulldogs owned the puck for the final 20 minutes. The Irish had two good scoring chances late, with UMD goaltender Hunter Shepard gloving one and then the puck bounced up and over the UMD net in the closing seconds.
Back to possession, though, Sandelin will tell you that all starts with his second* line of freshman wing Cole Koepke, sophomore center Justin Richards and senior wing Parker Mackay (*I say second because they are second on the line chart). Those three not only owned the puck Friday, they've been owning puck possession all season.
"I thought Richy and Parker and Cole did a really good job maintaining O-zone offensive pressure," Sandelin said.
"They've been doing that the whole year. That's how they've created their goals. If they don't score, they are making teams play defense. They all work hard, they seem to have great chemistry."
Matt's Three Stars
3. Bulldogs sophomore wing Nick Swaney: His tying goal via a shorthanded breakaway really swung the momentum back in the Bulldogs favor Friday. He also assisted Samberg on the game-winner.
2. Bulldogs sophomore center Justin Richards: Yes, Swaney had the game-tying goal, but Richards had the smarts to dish that puck back to his teammate on an unplanned give-and-go. It was a heck of a heads-up play.
1. Bulldogs sophomore defenseman Dylan Samberg: The game-winner for Samberg on Friday was the first game-winner of his college career, and maybe his first since high school. I say maybe because Samberg isn't sure he ever got a game-winner in high school. He thinks he maybe had one .