Duluth, MN – Perhaps the Huskies had no business carrying Saturday’s game into overtime. But, there they were knocking on the door of a weekend sweep after a three-goal rally in the second period to tie the game at 3-3. On the verge of a disastrous weekend, the home squad’s Kyle Osterberg scored 2:33 into the overtime session to salvage a weekend split for the #3 ranked Bulldogs.
Both teams took advantage of man-advantage opportunities in this game with the Bulldogs striking first in period one after a tripping penalty on SCSU’s Ben Storm. Karson Kuhlman netted his fifth goal of the season at 4:04 of the opening frame for a 1-0 UMD lead. The Bulldogs who were obviously playing with increased urgency added to their lead at 9:48 of the period on Avery Peterson’s second goal of the season. Peterson who was parked in front of the SCSU goal placed a weak backhanded shot under SCSU starter Jeff Smith for a 2-0 lead. An otherwise even period of hockey, the Bulldogs were outshot 9 to 8 in period one yet led 2-0.
UMD added to their lead at 4:25 of the second period on a backhand shot from the right circle by Dan Molenaar that beat Smith high. The goal meant the end of the night for Smith who allowed three goals on twelve shots and he was replaced by Zach Driscoll. The change may have jump-started the Huskies who responded slightly over a minute later at 5:44 with a goal by Blake Winiecki ( Newell) his 10th of the year. Winiecki took a bad angle shot from the corner wall that somehow beat Hunter Miska short side to draw the Huskies to within two goals. Undisciplined play by the Bulldogs led to additional damage by the Huskies before the end of the period. After coincidental penalties were assessed to Will Borgen and Jared Thomas for roughing, an additional two minutes was tacked on for goaltender interference to Thomas. SCSU capitalized shortly before the power play expired with Patrick Newell’s third goal of the year with assists to Jack Poehling and Niklas Nevalainen to make it a 3-2 game. Next, a slashing call on Dominic Toninato at 11:11 and a five-minute major to Brenden Kotyk for a check from behind at 11:42 led to another SCSU 6 x 4 power play goal by Jimmy Schuldt (Ahcan | Eyssimont) at 12:33. Ahcan fed Schuldt at the blue line who drilled a shot past Miska to tie the game at 3-3. SCSU outshot UMD 11 to 6 in what had to be a frustrating second period for the Bulldogs coaching staff.
The third period presented a golden opportunity to the Bulldogs after a five-minute major was accessed to the Huskies Will Borgen at 11:33. In an unusual call, Borgen was whistled for interference and in a judgement call, the officials made it a five-minute major apparently due to the blatant nature of the hit away from the play. However, the Bulldogs couldn’t capitalize and the Huskies nearly turned the table on a short-handed drive to the net by Judd Peterson that was stopped by Miska as the penalty was expiring. In a defensive period by the Huskies they were outshot 12 to 5 but held on to carry the game to an overtime session.
But, the Bulldogs finished off the Huskies and gifted UMD coach Scott Sandelin with his 300th career win 2:33 into the overtime session. UMD defenseman Dan Molenaar took a shot from the blue line that was deflected by Kyle Osterberg for the overtime winner salvaging the weekend series with the Huskies.
UMD outshot SCSU for the game 30-26 and Bulldog netminder Hunter Miska stopped 23 of 26 SCSU shots on goal. SCSU’s tandem of Jeff Smith and Zach Driscoll stopped 26 of 30 shots in the loss. SCSU was 2 for 3 on the man-advantage while the Bulldogs were 1 for 3. 11 penalties for 36 minutes were called in the contest.
SCSU falls to 10-11-1 overall and 5-8-1 in the NCHC with the loss. The Bulldogs record improves to 13-5-4 overall and 9-4-1 in the NCHC as they maintain first place in the conference.
SCSU returns home to face the University of Denver next weekend.
Stars of the Game: Dan Molenaar (UMD) Kyle Osterberg (UMD) Patrick Newell (SCSU)