UMD sweeps Michigan TechCOLLEGE MEN'S HOCKEY: Two-time All-American Jack Connolly stuffed in a rebound of his own breakaway attempt Saturday night with 7:56 to play and Max Tardy added a power-play score 46 seconds later as No. 4-ranked UMD defeated No. 20 Michigan Tech, 5-3, in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s game before 2,657 fans at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
By: Kevin Pates, Duluth News Tribune
HOUGHTON,Mich. — The score was tied at the end of the first two periods for two straight nights and for two straight nights Minnesota Duluth found a way to win in the final 20 minutes.
Two-time All-American Jack Connolly stuffed in a rebound of his own breakaway attempt Saturday night with 7:56 to play and Max Tardy added a power-play score 46 seconds later as No. 4-ranked UMD defeated No. 20 Michigan Tech, 5-3, in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s game before 2,657 fans at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
A pair of 5-3 victories pushed UMD’s Division I-leading unbeaten streak to 12 at 10-0-2, including seven straight wins. The Bulldogs (11-3-2 overall, 9-2-1 WCHA) and remained second in the league, one point behind Minnesota. The Bulldogs stayed unbeaten on the road at 4-0-2, while beating Michigan Tech a seventh straight time and outscoring the Huskies in the third period by a combined 5-1 in the series.
“We had a couple of character wins,” said Connolly, who has at least a point in 14 straight games. “Tech tried to be physical and get the puck to the net, and we matched them well. We had to wait it out and be patient both nights.”
Michigan Tech (8-7-1 and 5-6-1) had not been swept at home in four previous series and had leads both nights, and had 5-on-3 power plays both nights. The Bulldogs killed the 5-on-3 shifts and rallied both nights.
Kenny Reiter (11-2-2) made 24 saves. UMD led in shots on goal 42-27, including a resounding 14-5 in a two-goal third period.
“It all comes down to competing and seeing who wants it more,” said Michigan Tech sophomore winger Ryan Furne. “We played well but penalties killed us. That’s the bottom line.”
Michigan Tech was called for the game’s final three penalties, in the final eight minutes. Connolly, at even strength, got an accurate Brady Lamb pass and went straight down the slot for the winning goal. He went low to the blocker side of Josh Robinson, ranked first in the WCHA in saves percentage, who made a save. But the puck went directly to Connolly he had much of the net to shoot at with Robinson down and out. It was his 57th career goal in 141 games and third in two days.
Tardy’s first goal of the season came on a rebound of a J.T. Brown shot. Brown had a goal and two assists in the game, and five points in the series.
“Michigan Tech pushed and we pushed back. We never got down,” said Brown. “We just keep working harder and harder, and have gotten better collectively.”
The teams went toe-to-toe in a 2-2 first period with all four goals coming in a six-minute span. Furne gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead and Mike Seidel put in a Lamb rebound at the crease 2:43 later on UMD’s first power play. Michigan Tech did likewise, connecting on its first man-advantage, from defenseman Daniel Sova with 9:55 left and 101 seconds later it was 2-2. Robinson thought he had a puck covered in the crease, but it came loose and winger Keegan Flaherty took control behind the net and scored on a backhander at the right edge.
Freshman winger Adam Krause of Hermantown assisted for his first collegiate point. It was Flaherty’s second goal of the series.
“One of the characteristics that is the same as last year’s team is that we keep our composure,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “We ran into some penalty trouble in the game and I just said ‘Shut your mouth and play.’ We did that and at the end maybe Michigan Tech got frustrated for not being able to score.”
The best save of the opening period came with Reiter seated on the ice, but he managed to get a stick on a Jacob Johnstone drive from the slot with six minutes left.
The game remained tied through two periods at 3-3. The Bulldogs got their first lead as Caleb Herbert fed a wide-open Brown at the crease at 6:29 to go up 3-2. Three straight Michigan Tech power plays ultimately led to a man-advantage score by freshman David Johnstone, from the left circle to the near side with 6:12 left in the period.
The 5-on-3 Michigan Tech power play, for 43 seconds, came early in the third period. UMD had its own 5-on-3 for 1:18 in the final five minutes.
“We still have to learn how to play tight games against good teams,” said Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson. “UMD didn’t get rattled and then makes a great play by maybe the best player (Connolly) in the nation.”
UMD stays on the road this weekend at Wisconsin.
Minnesota Duluth................ 2-1-2—5
Michigan Tech.................... 2-1-0—3
First period — 1. Michigan Tech, Ryan Furne 5 (Brett Olson, Bradley Stebner), 5:36; 2. UMD, Mike Seidel 6 (Brady Lamb, J.T. Brown), 8:19 (pp); 3. Michigan Tech, Daniel Sova 1 (Jordan Baker), 10:05; 4. UMD, Keegan Flaherty 5 (Adam Krause, Derik Johnson), 11:46. Penalties — Baker, Michigan Tech (interference), 6:48; Wade Bergman, UMD (holding), 8:35; Olson, Michigan Tech (tripping), 19:15.
Second period — 5. UMD, Brown 6 (Caleb Herbert, Travis Oleksuk), 6:29; 6. Michigan Tech, David Johnstone 3 (Steven Seigo, Furne), 13:48 (pp). Penalties — Riley Sweeney, Michigan Tech (holding), 7:22; Seidel, UMD (too many men on ice), 11:03; Lamb, UMD (roughing), 13:12; Blake Pietila, Michigan Tech (holding), 13:24; Derik Johnson, UMD (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:24; Chris Casto, UMD (holding), 14:05.
Third period — 7. UMD, Jack Connolly 11 (Brady Lamb, Seidel), 12:04; 8. UMD, Max Tardy 1 (Brown, Joe Basaraba), 12:50 (pp). Penalties — David Grun, UMD (cross checking), :25; Derik Johnson, UMD (cross-checking), 1;42; Caleb Herbert, UMD (slashing), 6:58; Carl Nielsen, Michigan Tech (high sticking), 12:04; Baker, Michigan Tech (cross checking), 14:47; Aaron Pietila, Michigan Tech (holding), 15:29.
Shots on goal — UMD 15-13-14–42, Michigan Tech 13-9-5–27. Goalies —Kenny Reiter (11-2-2), UMD (27 shots-24 saves); Josh Robinson (7-5-1), Michigan Tech (42 shots-37 saves). Power plays — UMD 2-of-6, Michigan Tech 2-of-6. Referees — C.J. Beaurline, Brad Shepherd. Linesmen — Dan Juopperi, Ed Moberg. A — 2,657.