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'DOGS POWER PAST HAWKS: UMD nets three power-play goals to beat North Dakota

Minnesota Duluth's Parker Mackey (left) shakes his stick in the air after scoring a goal against North Dakota's goaltender Cam Johnson in the second period at Amsoil Arena Friday night, Jan. 19. Joining him at right is Riley Tufte. Bob King / Forum News Service1 / 3
Minnesota Duluth makes a shot on North Dakota goaltender Cam Johnson. At right are North Dakota's Christian Wolanin and UMD Billy Exell. Bob King / Forum News Service2 / 3
Minnesota Duluth's Riley Tufte fires off a shot past North Dakota's Colton Pooman during action at Amsoil Arena Friday night, Jan. 19. Bob King / Forum News Service3 / 3

DULUTH—Minnesota Duluth's penalty killers came to the rescue Friday, Jan. 19, as did its best penalty killer.

Sophomore goaltender Hunter Shepard made 33 saves and helped hold North Dakota to 1-for-8 on power plays in a 5-3 NCHC victory at Amsoil Arena.

It was UMD's seventh straight win over the Fighting Hawks, who return to Amsoil for a 7:07 p.m. rematch Saturday, Jan. 20.

"Tonight he was awesome for us. He made some absolutely sensational saves for us," UMD sophomore wing Joey Anderson said of Shepard. "When you know you got a goalie back there that can bail you out when you're in trouble, it helps us know we can just go. We can try and pressure and if they make a great play, we have Shepard there to bail us out and he did that a couple times tonight."

UMD, which is unbeaten in its last six games (5-0-1), wasn't too bad on the power play either, finishing 3-for-5 on man-advantages with Anderson, junior wing Parker Mackay and sophomore wing Riley Tufte scoring. Junior center Peter Krieger scored as an advantage expired, giving senior captain Karson Kuhlman of Esko the lone true even-strength goal of the night for the Bulldogs.

"They did the job again," Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said of his power-play units. "I'm certainly not happy with the four penalties in the third period, but (the PK) did a heck of a job. Blake Young was outstanding tonight, not only 5-on-5, but killing. He and Billy (Exell) did a good job, all of the killers."

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second period thanks to its top power-play unit.

Krieger slipped a shot under the glove arm of North Dakota senior goaltender Cam Johnson just as a Bulldogs power play expired to put UMD ahead 2-1. Mackay then made it a two-goal advantage less than three minutes later by deflecting in an Anderson shot midway through an advantage.

UMD's top power-play group notched the night's first goal 13:47 in and 1:32 into the team's first power play when Anderson sniped a puck past two Hawks penalty killers and over the stick-side shoulder of Johnson.

Senior Trevor Olson, a Duluth native, tied the game at 1-1 on a Hawks power play nearly four minutes later. It was his first goal at Amsoil Arena in five tries with North Dakota and first in the building since Feb. 25, 2012. On that day the Duluth East senior scored 26 seconds into a 4-2 victory over Elk River in a Section 7AA semifinal.

The Bulldogs and Hawks traded goals in the opening four minutes of the third period.

Freshman forward Grant Mismash scored 40 seconds into the third and nine seconds after a UMD penalty expired to pull his team within one. Sophomore defenseman Colton Poolman made it a one-goal game again 3:52 into the period when his shot was tipped by a Bulldog up and over Shepard.

In between Mishmash and Poolman's goals, Kuhlman split a pair of Hawks defenders and beat Johnson low to give UMD a 4-2 lead 1:56 into the third.

Tufte added an empty-net power play goal in the final minute for his 11th of the season.

Matt Wellens

College hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune covering the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs men's and women's teams, as well as the NCAA Division III programs at St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior.

(218) 723-5317