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Thumbs up, thumbs down, three stars: Bulldogs penalty kill turns lemons into lemonade to beat Miami

OXFORD, Ohio -- Fifth-ranked Minnesota Duluth scored a 4-0 victory on the road Friday against Miami in NCHC play at Goggin Ice Center in Oxford, Ohio.

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OXFORD, Ohio - Fifth-ranked Minnesota Duluth scored a 4-0 victory on the road Friday against Miami in NCHC play at Goggin Ice Center in Oxford, Ohio.

Sophomore wing Nick Swaney scored a shorthanded goal late in the first period while freshmen forwards Jackson and Noah Cates and senior wing/captain Parker Mackay scored within 89 seconds of each other in the second.

Junior goaltender Hunter Shepard made 23 saves for his third shutout of the season, 11th of his college career and third-straight against the RedHawks.

A full game recap can be found here .

Below are the thumbs up and thumbs down from Friday's win by News Tribune college hockey writer Matt Wellens, plus his three stars of the night.

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Thumbs up to the UMD penalty kill

Not only is this group preventing goals from being scored, they're scoring goals themselves now.

After going 5-for-5 against Miami on Friday, the Bulldogs are now 74-of-80 on the penalty kill this season and 39-of-40 in their last 10 games. A streak of 33-straight kills came to an end last Saturday in the home loss to St. Cloud State.

Swaney's shorthanded goal - just the second of the season for UMD, and Swaney - was the cherry on top tonight. It was the spark the ignited the keg.

"To get that one before the end of the first gave us a spark," Mackay said. "It led to a lot of the things we did well in the second."

Typically I wouldn't make much of a deal about a shorthanded goal, especially one that seemed so flukey with Swaney winning a race to a puck that bounced out to open ice off the faceoff.

But that's not what happened. It was a designed play via an observation by sophomore center Justin Richards. Check out the recap for more on how that play came to be .

It makes the goal all that more incredible.

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Thumbs down early penalties by UMD

The unfortunate thing about Swaney's shorthanded goal was that it came on UMD's third penalty kill of the night and first period.

Mackay took the first UMD penalty 7:14 in and then next two were by senior center Peter Krieger. Sandelin said UMD was playing with fire in the first taking all those penalties.

"We took a couple undisciplined penalties, myself included, in the first there," Mackay said.

Matt's Three Stars

3. Bulldogs sophomore center Justin Richards: The team's leading scorer picked up two assists and used a heads-up observation to set up Swaney's shorty.

2. Bulldogs sophomore wing Nick Swaney: Swaney not only scored on a shorthanded break, he drew a tripping penalty as well to kill the Miami power play. He was actually tripped to his knees on the play and scored while jumping back up.

1. Bulldogs junior goaltender Hunter Shepard: The Cohasset native stopped all 23 shots he faced to extend his school-record for career shutouts to 11.

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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