UMD's outburst helps beat Western Michigan
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Facing the Western Michigan Broncos, No. 6-ranked Minnesota Duluth hoped for a horse race Friday at Lawson Ice Arena, and a horse race is what happened.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Facing the Western Michigan Broncos, No. 6-ranked Minnesota Duluth hoped for a horse race Friday at Lawson Ice Arena, and a horse race is what happened.
The Bulldogs outscored Western Michigan 3-2 during a key two minutes late in the second period and went on to win 6-3, increasing their chance of hosting a first-round NCHC men’s hockey playoff series at Amsoil Arena next weekend.
The fifth-place Bulldogs (20-12-13 overall, 12-8-3 NCHC, 39 points) wrap up the regular season against the Broncos (12-16-5, 5-13-5-4) at 6 p.m. today in Kalamazoo and stand just one point back of fourth-place Nebraska-Omaha. The Mavericks fell from third into the final home-ice playoff spot after losing a shootout at home to last-place Colorado College.
Denver and Miami are tied for second place at 41 points, just two ahead of UMD.
“We play great at home, but if it doesn’t happen, I think that we’re a very good road team as tonight has shown,” UMD freshman wing Karson Kuhlman said. “We want another win. It would be great to cap off the season with that.”
Bedlam broke out in the second with the Bulldogs and Broncos combining for seven goals, including five in a two-minute span during the final five minutes of the period.
Senior wing Justin Crandall, freshman wing Karson Kuhlman and junior defenseman Andy Welinski scored go-ahead goals for the Bulldogs during the two minutes of mayhem that began at the 16:18 mark.
Broncos junior center Sam Mellor tied the game for 47 seconds at 2-2 following Crandall’s goal and Frederik Tiffels, a freshman wing, knotted the game at 3-3 for 19 seconds before Welinski ripped the game-winner from just below the blue line.
“I haven’t seen that in a long, long time,” UMD coach Scott Sandelin said about what he called the “crazy” second-period scoring run. “You don’t usually see five goals in two minutes, but it was nice to get out of that period with a lead.”
The fast-paced, up-and-down-style of play was exactly what the Bulldogs said they were looking for going into this weekend’s series after losing in regulation and in a shootout in January during a slower, physical series at home to the Broncos.
They wouldn’t mind seeing another two-minute horse race tonight with home-ice at stake, but this time, UMD wants it to feature fewer turnovers and no goals allowed.
“We didn’t want to play race-horse hockey like that, but that’s what happened,” said UMD junior wing Austin Farley, who finished with two assists. “Good work by the guys sticking with it and outskating them.”
Junior defenseman Willie Corrin gave UMD a 1-0 lead 4½ minutes into the second, but the Broncos tied the game three minutes later with a power-play goal by sophomore center Sheldon Dries.
Crandall’s goal that sparked the scoring spree came on a power play after sophomore defenseman Willie Raskob toe-dragged a Broncos defenseman before dishing to Crandall, who had a wide-open net to shoot at on the opposite side of the crease from Raskob.
UMD’s leading goal scorer, sophomore center Dominic Toninato, scored twice in the third period on Friday for his first goals since Dec. 13 - he did miss five straight games in February due to injury. The first was a snipe to the far, top corner while the second goal was an empty-net, end-to-end, buzzer-beater.
“I liked our intensity, our pace of the game,” Sandelin said. “I like how we finished the game.”
Minnesota Duluth.... 0-4-2-6
Western Michigan... 0-3-0-3
First period - No scoring. Penalties - Willem Nong-Lambert, WMU (interference), 8:26; Mike McKee, WMU (holding), 13:45.
Second period - 1. UMD, Willie Corrin 3 (Austin Farley and Tony Cameranesi), 4:36; 2. WMU, Sheldon Dries 13 (Colton Hargrove, Kenney Morrison), 7:35 (pp); 3. UMD, Justin Crandall 12 (Willie Raskob, Cameranesi), 16:18 (pp); 4. WMU, Sam Mellor 1 (Matt Stewart, Frederik Tiffels), 16:59; 5. UMD, Karson Kuhlman 8 ( Farley, Corrin), 17:46; 6. WMU, Tiffels 9 (Kyle Novack), 17:59; 7. UMD, Andy Welinski 8 (Jared Thomas, Crandall), 18:18. Penalties - Carson Soucy, UMD (interferences), 2:14; Corrin, UMD (holding), 7:18; Soucy, UMD (elbowing), 8:06; Morrison, WMU (interference), 15:13.
Third period - 8. UMD, Dominic Toninato 15 (Kuhlman and Soucy), 12:12; 9. UMD, Toninato 16, 19:59. Penalties - Crandall, UMD (tripping), 5:41; Scott Moldenhauer, WMU (roughing), 11:12; Adam Krause, UMD (roughing), 11:12; Neal Goff, WMU (hooking), 17:09.
Shots on goal - UMD 11-10-10-31; WMU 9-8-11-28. Goalies - Kasimir Kaskisuo (28 shots-25 saves); Frank Slubowski (30-25). Power plays - UMD 1-of-4; WMU 1-of-4. Referees - Nick Krebsbach, Todd Anderson. Linesmen - John Philo, Justin Petterle. A - 2,767.