HOUGHTON, Mich. — On Monday, Minnesota Duluth’s players were asked to watch video of a lackluster four-goal loss to St. Cloud State. The rest of the week brought fatiguing practices at Amsoil Arena and a number of lineup changes.
The result? A resounding 7-3 Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s victory over Michigan Tech in front of 2,859 fans Friday night at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
Sophomore winger Adam Krause of Hermantown had his first collegiate goal. Winger Caleb Herbert, the team’s top returning scorer, finally got his first goal of the season. Freshman winger Austin Farley scored the game’s first two goals in the opening five minutes.
The Bulldogs scored 5-on-5, 4-on-4, shorthanded and on power plays. They scored their most goals on the road in four years. They snuffed all five opposing power plays.
“We weren’t happy the whole week thinking about St. Cloud (and a 5-1 home loss last Saturday),” said Farley, who has six goals. “It was a tough week, but we battled hard at practice. Even though we were going against a teammate, we battled. We were anxious before the game, to get out there, and then we played 60 minutes. All of our lines played well.”
After scoring just thee goals total in a split last weekend with the Huskies of St. Cloud State, UMD reeled off four goals in less than 10 minutes against the Huskies of Michigan Tech for a 4-0 first-period lead. Michigan Tech (4-7 and 3-6 in WCHA) was playing just its second series in 26 days and first game since Nov. 17. By midway through the opening period, starting goalie Kevin Genoe was pulled and the Huskies were reeling.
Yet, they rallied to get within 4-3 with 15 minutes to play before UMD (4-7-2 and 2-5-2) blunted that effort with three goals in three minutes late in the third period. Two came on power plays.
“We took advantage of (Michigan Tech) mistakes, we buried pucks and we had different guys score. We got a good road win,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “We were very good in the third period when we had to be good.”
Farley scored goals three minutes apart, connecting from the right circle on the game’s first shot on goal at 1:29 and then from the bottom of the left circle at 4:36. When senior Genoe fanned on a pass attempt during a power play, Krause grabbed the puck and stuffed it in the net shorthanded. Genoe threw his stick on Krause’s attempt, good for an interference minor, and was removed at that point by coach Mel Pearson at 9:08. Freshman Pheonix Copley went the rest of the way.
Forty-eight seconds later, sniper Mike Seidel recorded his team-leading ninth goal of the season in a 4-on-4 shift on the first shot Copley saw.
“UMD has had trouble scoring goals and maybe didn’t have much confidence, and scoring those four goals gave them confidence,” said Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson, whose team had swept at Bemidji State in its last series. “We were really on our heels. We didn’t skate very well. We have to help our goalies and they have to help themselves.”
The Huskies slowly worked their way into the game. Tanner Kero scored 4-on-4 with 1:53 left in the opening period, breaking Matt McNeely’s shutout bid. Michigan Tech had the only goal of the second period as sophomore winger Blake Hietala, a Houghton native, recorded his first career point with a goal from the crease with 6:47 left. David Johnstone finished off some furious pressure at 4:21 of the third period and Michigan Tech trailed 4-3. But the Huskies took three of the next four penalties.
Herbert received an excellent back-door pass from Seidel and put the puck between a defenders legs, and past Copley, for what Pearson called a back-breaking goal. It came on a power play with 8:56 to play. Just 1:51 later Joe Basaraba connected on a power play. And 1:19 after that Justin Crandall scored on a goal that was originally credited to Farley.
“Those tough practices brought us back together. We started moving our feet and put forth a better effort,” said Herbert, who also had two assists. “I was just relieved to score a goal. I took a deep breath afterward. The monkey is off my back.”
It was the most goals by UMD since a 7-3 home victory over Minnesota State-Mankato on Nov. 19, 2011. It was the most goals on the road since a 7-4 victory at Colorado College on Dec. 6, 2008 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Bulldogs have won six straight games at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena and are 8-2-1 the last 11 games in the series. Last Jan. 27 at Amsoil Arena, UMD took a 4-0 first-period lead over Michigan Tech only to settle for a 4-4 overtime tie. The next night, Michigan Tech won 5-0. The Bulldogs stopped that streak of nine straight Huskies goals in a big way.
First period — 1. UMD, Austin Farley 5 (Caleb Herbert, Justin Crandall), 1:29; 2. UMD, Farley 6 (Wade Bergman, Derik Johnson), 4:36; 3. UMD, Adam Krause 1, 9:08 (sh); 4. UMD, Mike Seidel 9 (Drew Olson, Tony Cameranesi), 9:52 (4×4); 5. Michigan Tech, Tanner Kero 3 (Steven Seigo, David Johnstone), 18:07 (4×4). Penalties — Herbert, UMD (cross-checking), 8:55; Kevin Genoe, Michigan Tech (interference), 9:08; Jujhar Khaira, Michigan Tech (too many men on ice), 14:21; Blake Pietila, Michigan Tech (roughing), 17:46; Johnson, UMD (high sticking), 17:46.
Second period — 6. Michigan Tech, Blake Hietala 1 (Jacob Johnstone, Jimmy Davis), 13:13. Penalties — Khaira, Michigan Tech (elbowing), :14; Krause, UMD (tripping), 3:16; Cody Danberg, UMD (tripping), 16:05; Khaira, Michigan Tech (roughing), 19:57.
Third period — 7. Michigan Tech, David Johnstone 2 (Tanner Kero, Ryan Furne), 4:21; 8. UMD, Herbert 1 (Seidel, Cameranesi), 11:04 (pp); 9. UMD, Joe Basaraba 4 (Justin Crandall, Drew Olson), 12:55 (pp); 10. UMD, J. Crandall 3 (Farley, Herbert), 14:15. Penalties — Chad Pietila, Michigan Tech (cross-checking), 5:06; Keegan Flaherty, UMD (tripping), 8:07; Milos Gordic, Michigan Tech (slashing), 9:33; Khaira, Michigan Tech (high-sticking), 11:35; Matt McNeely, UMD (roughing), 16:46.
Shots on goal — UMD 17-7-11–35, Michigan Tech 10-10-10–30. Goalies — Matt McNeely (2-4-1), UMD (30 shots-27 saves); Kevin Genoe (3-1), Michigan Tech (11 shots-8 saves); Pheonix Copley (1-5), Michigan Tech (24 shots-20 saves). Power plays — UMD 2-of-7, Michigan Tech 0-of-5. Referees — Bret Klosowski, Craig Welker. Assistant referees — Ed Moberg, Dan Joupperi. A — 2,859.