Northland Sports Online

UMD Sweeps Gophers




Senior netminder Hunter Shepard earned the 17th shutout of his career as the No. 8-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey program secured a sweep over in-state rival No. 20 Minnesota with a 2-0 win at AMSOIL Arena on Saturday night.

For the second-straight night, No. 8 UMD (3-3-0) jumped on the scoreboard early, this time with rookie Quinn Olson scoring his first collegiate goal, putting home the ice breaker after a deke in front of the net at 6:04 of the first. Fellow freshman Brandon Puricelli, and sophomore Jesse Jacques each assisted on the play. Hunter Shepard stood on his head in the period, keeping No. 20 Minnesota (3-3-0) scoreless despite the Gophers out-shooting the Bulldogs 9-6 in the period.

Each team’s offense went quietly throughout much of the second period, with the teams skating 4-on-4 twice in the frame during a rapid series of penalties. UMD pulled ahead on shots, leading 16-14 after 40 minutes, but both Shepard and Minnesota rookie Jared Moe kept the scoring at bay in the period.

The teams each had their chances offensively in the third as Koby Bender rang a shot off the pipe before Shepard made a diving cover on a second look from Ben Meyers on the other end near the midway point of the period. The Gophers pulled their goaltender in the closing minute of the game, and Jackson Cates cashed in an empty netter to put the game on ice. Kobe Roth earned his third assist of the season on the play.

Along with Olson’s first collegiate goal, the opening period score also marked the first assist in the career of Puricelli … Shepard (3-3-0) totalled 21 saves on the night for UMD, while rookie  Moe (2-1-0) made 21 stops in a start for Minnesota … the Bulldogs finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while holding the Gophers to an 0-for-3 night with the man advantage.



The No.8-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey program scored early and often to start its non-conference, home-and-home series with No. 20 Minnesota on Friday night, rolling to a 5-2 victory inside 3M Arena at Mariucci.

No. 8 UMD (2-3-0) held the offensive advantage early, and Kobe Roth would eventually make good on that with his first of the season, tipping a shot from the point past the Gophers’ Jack LaFontaine to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 edge at 7:31 of the first. Despite trading a pair of power play opportunities, neither team could make good and UMD would take its lead to the locker room after one, leading No. 20 Minnesota (3-2-0) 12-8 in shots on goal.

The Bulldogs continue to put the pressure on early in the second with another skater adding his first of the season as Brandon Puricelli’ tipped home a shot from up top to give UMD’s lead an extra cushion. The rookie’s first of the season came off assists from fellow freshman Quinn Olson and senior Nick Wolff at 7:24 of the second, nearly mirroring the Bulldogs’ first score of the day.

UMD extended its lead later in the period, making good on their second power play opportunity of the game as Jackson Cates buried his second of the season at 14:53, assisted by Perunovich and Noah Cates. The Gophers would get on the board before the intermission as Ben Meyers scored on a back-handed pass from Sammy Walker from behind the net with just 11 seconds remaining.

Walker himself caught a one-time pass near the midpoint of the third, pulling Minnesota within one as he slipped his fourth of the year by Hunter Shepard at 8:36 of the period, but UMD had a quick answer with Koby Bender scoring his first of the season, catching a pass from Jade Miller behind the night, to secure a two-goal lead just 69 seconds later. Freshman Luke Loheit also added an assist on the one-time feed.

UMD took advantage of yet another power play at 15:11 of the third when Perunovich ripped a shot from the point for his second of the year, assisted by Nick Swaney and Dylan Samberg.



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