Minnesota Duluth’s first Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory of the season couldn’t have come at a better time for the Bulldogs.
They had played well in back-to-back road series, outshooting Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota in four straight games, and had nothing to show for it, going 0-3-1. UMD’s winless streak was at 0-5-2, the longest drought since 2000-01.
On Friday, the Bulldogs came from behind for the first time this season and defeated No. 12-ranked St. Cloud State 2-1 before 6,247 fans at Amsoil Arena.
Senior defenseman Wade Bergman’s first goal of the season, on UMD’s first power play of game, provided the game winner at 3:55 of the third period. It was the only goal of the last 20 minutes.
“We’ve been battling to score goals and we’ve been working so hard lately for this, to get a win. This is something we needed,” said Bergman.
UMD (3-6-2 and 1-4-2 in WCHA) trailed 1-0 late in the second period before rallying and finishing with a 29-28 shots-on-goal advantage. Goalies Aaron Crandall of UMD and Ryan Faragher of St. Cloud State did their best to keep the game even.
The Huskies (6-5 and 4-3), idle last weekend, came into the game averaging 3.6 goals a game, a full goal more than UMD. And they led 1-0 just 5:26 into the first period on freshman Kalle Kossila’s fifth goal of the season. But by the third period, St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko changed his lines looking for a spark.
“It was a bad game for us. We never got on track,” said Motzko. “We were playing good defensive hockey, but we weren’t getting anything going (offensively). We were off last week and it looked like we had turkey dinner all day (Thursday) and laid around.”
UMD’s Joe Basaraba hit a pipe in the game’s first three minutes and Tony Cameranesi had a good rush to the net early, but the Huskies then had an edge.
St. Cloud State scored on its first shot on goal as Kossila connected following a faceoff in the offensive zone. The left winger from Kauniainen, Finland, has been a good find, added as a recruit late in the summer.
Freshman center Cameranesi broke UMD’s scoring drought at 86 minutes, 19 seconds spanning two games. He got loose for a 1-on-1 meeting with Faragher, from Fort Frances, Ontario, and scored to the near side from the right circle with 3:40 left in the second period.
Cameranesi, from Plymouth, Minn., had scored the team’s most-recent goal, late in the first period of last Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss at North Dakota. He has five goals and is tied for the scoring lead among WCHA rookies.
Bergman’s goal came from the left circle as he lifted a shot high to the far side on UMD’s first power-play shift of the game just after a good scoring chance. St. Cloud State took the only four penalties of the final period.
“Our special teams won the game. We killed their three power-play chances and got one of our own,” said Crandall. “We dictated play at times 5-on-5. This should do wonders for our confidence.”
UMD had gone to overtime twice at North Dakota last weekend and settled for a 4-4 tie Friday and then lost with 24 seconds left in sudden death Saturday. The Bulldogs led 77-63 in shots for the series.
“After the last few games, our guys deserved a win,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “We managed the puck well and made smart plays. Aaron kept us in the game early, kept us within a goal, and we got better.”
St. Cloud State………………… 1-0-0—1
Minnesota Duluth……………. 0-1-1—2
First period — 1. St. Cloud State, Kalle Kossila 5 (Andrew Prochno, Nick Jensen), 5:26. Penalties — Caleb Herbert, UMD (interference), 2:29; Herbert, UMD (interference), 12:24.
Second period — 2. UMD, Tony Cameranesi 5 (Austin Farley, Mike Seidel), 16:20. Penalties — Dan DeLisle, UMD (hooking), 7:23.
Third period — 3. UMD, Wade Bergman 1 (Cameranesi, Andy Welinski), 3:55 (pp). Penalties — Jarrod Rabey, St. Cloud State (hooking), 2:50; Kossila, St. Cloud State (interference), 13:08; Nick Oliver, St. Cloud State (holding), 17:37; Nic Dowd, St. Cloud State (slashing), 18:08.
Shots on goal — St. Cloud State 11-8-9—28, UMD 6-9-14—29. Goalies — Ryan Faragher (5-5), St. Cloud State (29 shots-27 saves); Aaron Crandall (2-2-1), UMD (28 shots-27 saves). Power plays — St. Cloud State 0-of-3, UMD 1-of-4. Referees — Scott Bokal, Brian Thul. Linesmen — Nick Bradshaw, Sam Shikowsky. A — 6,247.