UMD men's hockey: Fanti earns third straight shutout, but Bulldogs tie Tigers 0-0
UMD senior captain Noah Cates scores the lone goal of the night in a shootout to give UMD two points in the NCHC standings and five total on the weekend against CC.
After Minnesota Duluth beat Colorado College 5-0 on Friday while striking three times on the power play, goals were hard to come by Saturday at Amsoil Arena.
It was nigh impossible, in fact, for both teams to find the back of the net as the Bulldogs and Tigers battled to a 0-0 overtime tie to wrap up the NCHC series. UMD picked up the bonus league point thanks to a 1-0 win in a three-round shootout after senior captain Noah Cates was the only skater to put a puck in the back of the net all night.
Cates said the Tigers bounced back from Friday’s drubbing with a simplified, disciplined game plan that limited the Bulldogs’ time in the offensive zone and took away the odd-man rushes that led to the five goals Friday.
“Obviously they frustrated us, but we have to stick with our game,” Cates said. “I don’t think we did quite as well of a job as we wanted to sticking with it, staying at the net, getting pucks and bodies to the net. We’re happy we got two points, but I think we could have gotten three if we stuck with it a little more, were a little harder in front of their net.”
The result — giving UMD five out of six league points this weekend — was the second 0-0 tie in Amsoil Arena’s history, joining a nil-nil nonconference draw between the Bulldogs and Bemidji State on Oct. 14, 2017. The Beavers won that night in a shootout after Nick Deery made 27 saves for UMD and Michael Bitzer stopped 45 for BSU.
UMD junior goaltender Ryan Fanti finished with 26 saves — plus three in the shootout — while Tigers junior Matt Vernon — who came on in relief Friday night — made 30 saves.
It was the third consecutive shutout for Fanti, who hasn’t given up a goal in 185 minutes, 32 seconds. The Thunder Bay native said this one was a little more intense than the first two, which came via 3-0 and 5-0 wins.
“The puck was rolling a lot in the neutral zone tonight and I thought at any given chance — either way — it could have bounced over a stick one more time," Fanti said. "That creates an odd-man rush — either us or them — and it’s one shot and a different game.”
After going 3-for-5 on the power play Friday, UMD finished 0-for-3 on Saturday. The penalty kill was again perfect, going 4-for-4 against the Tigers despite having to kill off a 1:14 two-man disadvantage in the second period.
Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said it was a hard game in which his team never got any traction, and a much better night by Colorado College.
“They played much better. We knew they were going to play hard. We have to do the same thing,” Sandelin said. “Everybody in this league plays hard. Hopefully we learn. You’re going to be in games where things aren’t maybe going the way you want them to go and you’ve got to grind through.
“We didn’t win, but we got two points, and those were big. It wasn’t a great weekend from the standpoint of winning Friday and having a chance to get six points. But we got five and we got to get back to work.”
The Bulldogs made a number of tweaks to their lineup on Saturday, starting at forward with freshman center Carter Loney moving up to the second line between senior wings Kobe Roth and Tanner Laderoute. Senior center Jesse Jacques of Hermantown took Loney’s spot on the fourth line between wingers Ben Almquist and Jarrett Lee.
These changes came in addition to the move made Friday night when Laderoute and fifth-year senior Koby Bender flipped spots on the first and second lines.
Defensively, the Bulldogs also had to make a change with sophomore Connor Kelley out of the lineup due to an upper body injury. Sophomore Darian Gotz of Hermantown, who had been UMD’s seventh defenseman to start this season, took Kelley’s spot while senior Jake Rosenbaum got into the lineup for the first time in 2021-22.
Colorado College 0-0-0-0—0
Minnesota Duluth 0-0-0-0—0
UMD wins shootout 1-0.
Saves — Matt Vernon, CC, 30; Ryan Fanti, UMD, 26.
Power plays — CC 0-4; UMD 0-3. Penalties — CC 4-8; UMD 5-10.