A banner raising and Parents Night made for a ceremonial start to the Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey season Friday night before a crowd of 3,869 at the DECC.
Returning scoring leader Justin Fontaine then scored power-play goals 80 seconds apart midway through the first period on the way to a 4-3 win over Lake Superior State of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Sophomore goalie Brady Hjelle of International Falls earned the win.
The game also represents the Superior Cup, which has UMD and Michigan Tech exchanging opponents from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association over the next three days. Northern Michigan is at the DECC at 7:07 p.m. Sunday, while Lake Superior State travels to Houghton, Mich.
Matt Greer, a UMD co-captain last season, helped with the raising of the WCHA Final Five championship banner. The Broadmoor Trophy, which goes to the Final Five winner, was also presented.
The Bulldogs connected on two of their first three power plays, following in last season’s hot streak, as Fontaine hit at 8:53 and 10:13. Fontaine was UMD’s No. 2 scorer last season with 15 goals and 33 assists for 48 points in 43 games.
The game’s first five goals came from special teams. The Lakers, 11-20-8 in 2008-09, got within 2-1 on a Chad Nehring power-play goal before Jack Connolly connected 1:55 later on a shorthanded rush with Fontaine with 1:46 left in the first period.
The team’s exchanged second-period goals as UMD led 4-2, including a 5-on-5 score from junior winger Rob Bordson. Lake Superior State’s Rick Schofield had the only goal of the third period. UMD led in shots on goal 33-28.
Lake Superior State……..1-1-1–3
First period – 1. UMD, Justin Fontaine 1 (Jack Connolly, Drew Akins), 8:53 (pp); 2. UMD, Fontaine 2 (J. Connolly, Dylan Olsen), 10:13 (pp); 3. LSSU, Chad Nehring 1 (Simon Gysbers, Zac MacVoy), 16:19 (pp); 4. UMD, J. Connolly 1 (Fontaine, Scott Kishel), 18:14 (sh). Penalties – Zac MacVoy, LSSU (hooking), 1:54; Dan Barczuk, LSSU (tripping), 8:29; Will Acton, LSSU (holding), 9:13; Barczuk, LSSU (tripping), 12:18; Kishel, UMD (hooking), 14:19; Brady Lamb, UMD (boarding), 16:19.
Second period – 5. LSSU, Fred Cassiani 1 (Matt Cowie), 3:10 (pp); 6. UMD, Rob Bordson 1 (Travis Oleksuk), 8:59. Penalties – Kishel, UMD (holding), 1:35; Drew Olson, UMD (tripping), 4:23.
Third period – 7. LSSU, Rick Schofield 1 (MacVoy, Nick McParland), 10:33. Penalties – Fulton, UMD (checking from behind), 4:15; Kishel, UMD 9tripping), 12:34; Gysbers, LSSU (cross-checking), 14:47; Schofield, LSSU (tripping), 17:46.
Shots on goal – Lake Superior 8-12-8–28, UMD 9-13-11–33. Goalies – Brian Mahoney-Wilson (0-1), Lake Superior (33 shots-29 saves); Brady Hjelle (1-0), UMD (28 shots-25 saves). Power plays – Lake Superior 2-of-5, UMD 2-of-6. Referees – Brad Albers, Tom Stearns. Assistants – Jerome Krieger, Jeff Schultz. A – 3,869.