Archive for the ‘UMD Men's Hockey’ Category

UMD gets first hockey title

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

UMD CelebratesSAINT PAUL, Minn. – History was made Saturday night in the Xcel Energy Center as the University of Minnesota Duluth picked up its first ever National Championship in Men’s Hockey, edging the University of Michigan 3-2 in overtime. It was Kyle Schmidt’s goal 3:22 into overtime that gave the Bulldogs the win and sent the sellout crowd at the Xcel into a frenzy.

The Bulldogs improve to 1-1 in NCAA National Championship games and collect the schools third National Title on the year having already claimed the women’s hockey and Division II football National Championships.

Minnesota Duluth almost got the game started with a goal in the opening minute of action as Justin Fontaine just missed on a shot from right of the goal. A shot from Kevin Lynch was turned away by Kenny Reiter with just over 17 minutes remaining in the opening period; the shot came from the middle of the left faceoff circle. An apparent goal by Michigan was waved off at 15:40 left in the opening period as the puck squirted through Reiter; the goal was waved off initially and confirmed after a review. The officially ruling was that the whistle had blown prior to the goal. Chris Brown took a quick slap shot off the faceoff, out of the review, but Reiter stood tall keeping the Wolverines off the board with his big glove.

After a turnover at the Michigan blue line, Mike Connolly took a quick shot that was kicked away by Shawn Hunwick. On the back end of the play Ben Winnett, the goal scorer in Michigan’s win over UND, was called for interference, putting UMD on the power play. Minnesota Duluth was 3-6 on the man advantage in the semifinal win against Notre Dame. A quick wrister 38 seconds in from Jack Connolly hit the pipe as Michigan dodged an early goal. The Wolverines did a good job on the rest of the penalty kill not allowing many good scoring chances.

Jack Hendrickson got called for boarding at 9:22 putting Michigan on the power play. Michigan never got their attack going on the power play and just following the penalty, Chris Brown of the Wolverines got called for charging at 10:35 putting UMD on the power play once again.

The Bulldogs got a couple decent shots off on the power play but couldn’t fool Hunwick.

Michigan opened up the scoring at 14:42 when Matt Rust won the faceoff in the Bulldog zone and Ben Winnett took the puck and beat Reiter on his right from the slot. The Wolverines took the 1-0 lead into intermission after being outshot 12-8 in the opening period. The teams were a combined 0-3 from the power play with each team averaging just one shot each on the man advantage.

The Bulldogs didn’t take long to respond scoring at 1:49 in the second period, from Travis Oleksuk. Minnesota Duluth won the faceoff deep in the Michigan end and a deflection from a wrister was collected and beat Hunwick to his right. The Bulldogs had the first power play chance of the second period when Michigan’s Kevin Clare for hitting after the whistle at 4:10. Mike Montgomery came crashing down the left side board with the first great chance on the UMD power play but Hunwick stood his ground and did not allow a goal. The UMD power play was cut short as Brady Lamb was called for tripping at 5:41. After 29 seconds of 4-4 hockey Michigan went on the power play for 1:31. Louie Caporusso had a chance from the slot during the power play but Reiter ate up his shot.

Michigan had a great scoring chance following the power play as UMD tripped in their zone and Matt Rust almost scored from the right faceoff circle. The puck was deflected in the air and luckily there were no Wolverines in the area as UMD cleared the puck. A Wolverines turnover in their zone allowed UMD a chance on a break but the shot was saved. Mac Bennett was called for roughing putting UMD on the power play. The Bulldogs took advantage as Max Tardy scored his first goal of his career to give UMD the 2-1 lead. Tardy got a pass from Mike Seidel and took a shot from below the left faceoff circle, his initial shot was denied but he got his own rebound and put it past Hunwick.

A quick wrister from Caporusso was gloved by Reiter with about nine minutes left in the period as UMD held to their one goal advantage.

Moments later UMD went back on the power play, their fifth of the game, as Brown was called for obstruction interference at 12:06. Just as the power play was about to end Michigan picked up their sixth penalty as Kevin Clare was called for tripping at 14:08.

Mike Connolly almost put the Bulldogs up 3-1 as his shot from the just below the left faceoff circle was deflected by Hunwick and got stuck above the net. A double minor on Brown (UMD) and Hunwick (Michigan) were called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Caporusso served the penalty for Hunwick. At 15:12, Jack Connolly got called for slashing as the game moved to 4-on-4 hockey for fifty seconds. The Wolverines went on their third power play of the game, after the Clare penalty expired.

UMD killed off the penalty without much problem.

Jeff Rohrkemper tied the game at 2 all at 17:46 after an initial shot from was blocked. Rohrkemper scored his third goal of the season as he beat Reiter on a quick wrister from inside the hash marks. Assists from Derek DeBlois and Greg Pateryn were awarded on the Rohrkemper goal. In the last minute of play in the second Kyle Schmidt snuck down the left side boards and fired a shot on Hunwick, who was ready, denying the go ahead goal for the Bulldogs.

The second period saw three goals scored as Minnesota Duluth outshot Michigan 15-9 in the second period. Through two periods UMD was 1-6 on the power play and Michigan was 0-3. Michigan was in the penalty box for ten minutes in the second period alone.

J. T. Brown had a breakaway from UMD in the opening two minutes of the third period but Hunwick denied him as he drove hard to the net and crashed in to boards behind the goal. The Wolverines Mac Bennett went to the box for holding at 2:23 as Minnesota Duluth went on their seventh power play of the game. Michigan continued to hold UMD in check, as the penalty kill kept the score at two all.

The Wolverines got their chance to go on the power play at 9:19 as Brady Lamb was called for hitting after the whistle. It was the second full power play for Michigan in the game, but it only lasted seven seconds as J. T. Brown was taken down my Michigan’s Jon Merrill was called for holding at 5:27. M. Connolly had a chance from the slot twice during the 4-on-4 hockey but the first chance went high and Hunwick came up with a huge save on the second chance.

Minnesota Duluth drew another Michigan penalty as Kevin Lynch went to the box for boarding at 11:32. UMD went into the power play 1-8 on their previous chances. M. Connolly had a back hand chance in the slot during the power play but was denied. The puck got past Hunwick but was cleared off the goal line as the game stayed 2-2.

The biggest save of the power play came not by Hunwick but Reiter, who denied a 2 on 1 short handed chance by Michigan. Reiter slid to his left to deny Caporusso on the wrister. The rest of the period saw each team have a few chances but nothing as good as the Connolly or Caporusso chance.

UMD outshot Michigan 9-6 in the third period.  The game moved to overtime for the 14th time in history, but just the second since 2003.

It was the second time in UMD history they went to overtime in a National Championship and the fourth time in Michigan history.

Justin Faulk nearly gave UMD the title in the opening minute of action in overtime as he went around three Michigan defensemen and tried to beat Hunwick on his right. Hunwick stayed on the near post as the game stayed deadlocked at two. Kyle Schmidt gave Minnesota Duluth its first ever NCAA National Champions with his eleventh goal of the year as he scored a goal in the slot 3:28 into overtime. Schmidt got a pass from behind the net from Oleksuk and beat Hunwick on his left.

Photo by Bryan Singer                                                           Photo Gallery

UMD powers its way into Frozen 4 Finals

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Both the Fighting Irish (25-14-5) and the Bulldogs (25-10-6) were ready for action as the puck dropped inside the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul on Thursday evening. The opening period featured five goals; UMD’s Justin Faulk had three points in the opening period alone on three assists, tying a career high. Minnesota Duluth fought off a late Irish charge and held on to get the win 4-3, it was the first time since 1979 that a NCAA Frozen Four game ended 4-3 in regulation.


The game featured 11 penalties and three power play goals all scored by UMD. The Bulldogs are now 8-23 on the power play in the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame scored their NCAA leading 13 shorthanded goals, tying with Boston College.


Notre Dame struck quickly, with a goal just 49 seconds in. It was Jeff Costello who got the scoring started on a wrister from just inside the left faceoff circle. It was his 12th goal of the year and first goal of the NCAA Tournament for him. His last goal came against Lake Superior State on March 13, the Irish’s opponent in the second round of the CCHA conference playoffs. Jeff Costello and Ryan Guentzel picked up assists on the Irish goal. Minnesota Duluth capitalized on a power play less than a minute and a half later to knot the game at one. J.T. Brown capitalized on a penalty by Notre Dame’s David Gerths. Brown scored from right above the crease after receiving a pass from teammate Justin Fontaine. It marked the 11th straight game in which Fontaine has recorded a point. Justin Faulk also got an assist on the goal. It was Brown’s 16th goal of the season and his first goal of the NCAA Tournament.


The game settled down for a bit after the second goal of the game but it was Notre Dame taking their second lead of the game at the 9:46 mark to start a furious period of scoring. Scoring the goal for the Irish was T.J. Tyan; it was his 23rd goal of the season, second most on the team. Tyan’s goal came from a friendly bounce off the boards as a Ryan Guentzel slap shot from just inside the blue line went left of the goal and was picked up by Tyan who beat the UMD goalie on his left. Justin Faulk picked up his second assist of the period on the

goal as well. The Bulldogs responded quickly scoring less than a minute later as Justin Faulk found Kyle Schmidt streaking down the nearside boards. Schmidt took the pass and beat ND’ goalie above his right pad. Joe Basaraba also picked up an assist on the goal.


Notre Dame took their third penalty of the first period at the 13:10 mark as T.J. Tyan was caught for tripping. Having already scored on one power play in the first period, UMD looked poised to take their first lead of the game during the man advantage. It took only 21 seconds into the power play for the Bulldogs to score as Mike Connolly scored his 28th goal of the season. Connolly received the puck in the slot from Fontaine and beat the goalie on above his right shoulder. Faulk got his third point of the period picking up an assist as well.


Minnesota Duluth’s M. Connolly took a penalty at the 5:34 mark of the first period giving Notre Dame their first power play of the game. The Irish tied to match UMD’s power play prowess as they got a great chance from the slot 20 seconds in. Reiter came up with the glove save to keep Notre Dame from tying up the game. It was the best scoring chance in the power play for Notre Dame, as the rest of the man advantage saw UMD block the Irish shot attempts over and over. It

could have easily been 4-2 as Notre Dame turned the puck over inside their blue line but Mike Johnson came up with an initial save and the scramble in front of the net did not pan out in a goal. The Notre Dame defensemen did a good job protecting the goal line and finally cleared the puck out. Johnson stopped a wrap around attempt moments later to keep the score at 3-2.


The biggest save of the period came in the final minute of play as Reiter ate up a slap shot from the slot. Notre Dame out shot UMD 15-11 in the first period but it was the Bulldogs who held the 3-2 advantage on the scoreboard. UMD was 2-3 on the power play in the first period.


The power play continued to be the story of the game in the second period as UMD made it 3-4 on the man advantage. Jack Connolly put UMD up by two with his 18th goal of the year at the 5:51 mark. J. Connolly received a pass from J. T. Brown, which found its way through traffic in front of the net and landed on his stick inside the right faceoff circle. With the Notre Dame goalie covering the middle of the net the left side of the net was wide open and J. Connolly did miss his shot. Fontaine also picked up an assist on the goal; it was Fontaine’s third point of the game. The rest of the period was fairly quiet as the defense from both teams settled in. The second period featured five penalties, UMD went 1-2 on the power play and ND went 0-3. The Bulldogs outshot the Irish 8-4 in the second period. Through two periods of play ND’s Johnson had 15 saves and UMD’s Kenny Reiter had 17.


It was only fitting that less than a minute into the third period Notre Dame found itself down a man as UMD went on their sixth power play of the game. This time the result was a little more fortunate for Notre Dame, as they found a way to not only stop UMD but closed within one goal scoring on a shorthanded slap shot by Calle Ridderwall. Ridderwall came streaking down the right side boards and fired from the left side faceoff circle. Picking up assists on the goal were Ben Ryan and Sean Lorenz.


Notre Dame kept coming as they peppered the net with wristers and weak slap shots, trying to urge the score to four all. UMD did a great job blocking many shots and closing down the shooting lanes. The Irish nearly tied it at the 16:16 mark, when a deflected puck came out in front of the UMD net. Reiter covered the puck to avoid any damage. Minnesota Duluth killed a penalty with less than ten minutes left in the period and then turned away a scramble in front of the net with just over six minutes left.


Minnesota Duluth withstood a final Notre Dame burst in the final two minutes. The Irish pulled their goalie with 1:08 left in the third period trying to increase the pressure. Notre Dame did not get any big chances in the final minute of play as the UMD defense held the Irish in check.


UMD moves on to play the winner of North Dakota and Michigan in the NCAA Championship Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Notre Dame went 0-5 on the power play but did score a shorthanded goal, Minnesota Duluth was great on the power play finishing the game 3-6. The Bulldogs will try to pick up the schools second National Championship of the year, after taking home the NCAA Division II football title. It will be the second National Championship appearance for the Bulldogs in hockey. UMD fell 4-3 in four overtimes in their only other trip to the NCAA Final in 1984.


Duluth, St Cloud Skate to 3-3 tie

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Duluth/St.Cloud State

By Tommy Treloar

The University of Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey team had to dig, scrap and work hard to get just one point from the visiting St. Cloud State Huskies in a WCHA battle in Duluth Saturday  night.

Down 3-0 the Bulldogs looked like a team about to get swept at home in the two game series. Sophomore center Jake Hendrickson tied the game with an unassisted goal midway through the third period setting up an overtime battle that ended in a 3-3 tie. On Friday night the Huskies buried the Bulldogs 8-2.  The Friday night defeat left UMD coach Scott Sandelin at a loss for words,”I don’t recall ever being a part of a game like that” said Sandelin.

The Huskies where a pre-season pick to be strong in the WCHA but struggled early on, “We didn’t get off to the best start” said SCSU head coach Bob Motzko, “but as of Christmas we have been playing really well.

Freshmen forward J.T. Brown had two goals on the weekend for the Bulldogs as his play is just getting better,”we know we must step it up a notch” said Brown, “but we will be there in the end.”

Gopher Hockey team loses to Connelly, UMD Saturday

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

By Tom Treloar

“They had been apart for a while but tonight we decided it was time to put that line back together”. Those where the words from University of Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey coach Scott Sandelin after he and his staff made the decision to reunite the line of Jack Connolly, Justin Fontaine and Mike Connolly. The result was a 6-4 for win over the visiting University of Minnesota Gophers; Along with a tie on Friday, the Bulldogs take three out of four points on the weekend.

Mike ConnellyThe story on Saturday night was the play of Connolly , Connolly and Fontaine. The top line racked up 12 points for the three forwards while Mike Connolly tied a UMD scoring record with 5 goals.”Justin is the sniper and Jack is the play maker and I guess I just get in front of the net and pick up what I can” said a humble Mike Connolly. On Connolly’s fourth goal in the second period,  he broke up the right side and beat Gopher goaltender Kent Patterson on the far side on what looked like an impossible angle.

“I got a nice pass  from Mike Montgomery  and just tried to get a shot on net” said Connolly.

As the Bulldog’s head down the stretch in the tight contested WCHA, coach Sandelin knows it is going to take team effort to be there in the end, “we have to get point every weekend to be there in the end”.

Gophers, UMD tie Sunday night

Monday, December 13th, 2010

gophers vs UMD hockeyFor the second consecutive game, Minnesota held the powerful Minnesota-Duluth offense to only two goals and will head into winter break after taking three of four points from the second-ranked Bulldogs after a 2-2 tie on Sunday afternoon at Mariucci Arena. For the first time all season, the Gophers salvaged a point after trailing heading into the final period. Minnesota goaltender Kent Patterson made 41 saves on the night, including 36 in the final 40 minutes of regulation.

The Gophers opened the scoring late in the first period when Jake Hansen tipped a Justin Holl slapshot from the point over UMD goalie Aaron Crandall and into the top corner with 2:34 remaining in the period. The goal was scored with one second remaining on an interference penalty taken by Trent Palm.

The Bulldogs answered quickly, however, scoring less than two minutes later. With under a minute to play in the period, Jack Connolly took a pass from Justin Faulk and put a shot over the left shoulder of Patterson to even the game at 1-1.

Minnesota outshot Minnesota-Duluth 15-6 in the first period, but the next period was a different story.

The Bulldogs controlled the play in the second stanza, reeling off 22 shots. Thankfully for the Gophers, Patterson was up to the task in goal. The only shot that found twine was a wrister by Mike Seidel, who beat Patterson with short-side shot on the tail end of a 2-on-1 just past the midway point in the period.

UMD carried and 2-1 lead into the final 20 minutes, but the Gophers, who were previously 0-7-0 this season when trailing after two periods, would fight back.

After killing the final 47 seconds of a Nico Sacchetti hooking minor, Minnesota gained momentum and finally drew even.

Just past the five-minute mark of the final frame, Seth Helgeson fed freshman Nate Condon who delivered a backhanded, no-look, behind-the-back pass to Jacob Cepis in front of the Bulldog crease. In alone, Cepis deked to his right and backhanded the puck through the legs of Crandall.

After Cepis tied the game, the Gophers carried play until Max Gardiner was whistled for hitting Connolly from behind with 7:04 to go. The Gophers killed the ensuing five-minute UMD power play to maintain the tie and force overtime.

Minnesota took four shots in the five-minute extra session and didn’t allow a shot against. However, the Gophers could not find the back of the net the game ended in a tie.

The Gophers held the ninth-ranked UMD power play scoreless on six opportunities on the night and all four Minnesota lines contributed at least one goal on the weekend.

“We really needed that,” said Cepis. “Three points against a very good team is…almost a best-case scenario. It’s a confidence-builder going into Christmas.”

Minnesota gets back to action on New Year’s Eve against No. 13 Union in the first game of the Mariucci Classic.

Photo by Brad Rempel