Northland Sports Online

Bulldog Men Earn Split





After a disappointing opening night at AMSOIL Arena on Friday, the No. 1-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey program played a complete game to earn a 2-1 victory against UMass Lowell on Saturday night.

Moments after the River Hawks tied the game early in the third period, junior forward Nick Swaney deflected a shot from junior defender Scott Perunovich into the back of the net for the eventual game-winner for No. 1 UMD (1-1-0).

As with the series opener, the two teams played defensively in the first period, with shots just 9-6 in favor of the Bulldogs. UMD appeared to get the scoring started just before the midpoint of the period when a shot by junior Kobe Roth crossed the line, but only after the play was whistled dead. The deadlock continued through a pair of power play opportunities for UMass Lowell (R.V., 3-1-0), including an extended 5-on-3 advantage of 1:20 that the Bulldogs killed off.

UMD continued its streak of strong play with a man disadvantage early in the second when Justin Richards made good on a short-handed breakaway to give the Bulldogs a lead at 5:19 of the period. The junior’s first score of the season also marked the first short-handed tally of his career, with assists from sophomore Cole Koepke and senior Nick Wolff. UMD rang a pair of shots off the pipe during their own power play opportunity later in the period, but the River Hawks kept them off the board through the remainder of the frame.

The Bulldogs continued to find themselves in the penalty box in the third, again killing off a significant 5-on-3 advantage for Lowell. The River Hawks began the period with nearly 3:21 of uninterrupted power play time, eventually knotting the game at 1-1 when Andre Lee scored just after the latter penalty expired, at 3:27. UMD provided a quick answer on the other side with Swaney’s deflection at 4:58 giving the Bulldogs the final edge.

Hunter Shepard continued his program-record streak with 83 consecutive games started between the pipes, and inched closer to UMD’s goaltending victories record, now just five shy at 55 … the senior netminder finished with 22 saves, while his counterpart from Lowell, Tyler Wall, made 36 stops … neither team proved successful on the power play, as the Bulldogs held the River Hawks to an 0-for-8 night with the man advantage while UMD finished 0-for-6.

No. 1 UMD hits the road for the first time this season next week as the team heads to Madison to take on Wisconsin (1-1-0). Opening face-off between the Bulldogs and Badgers is set for 7 p.m. and the entire series can be seen on Fox Sports Wisconsin and Fox Sports North Plus, as well as heard on 610 KDAL AM.



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