HOUGHTON, Mich. — Minnesota Duluth has played Michigan Tech more than any other team the past 30 years, 114 times, and the schools are expected to continue to schedule each other even though they’ll be in different conferences starting in 2013-14.
There have been four meetings per season in all but four years since 1982-83. Next season the Bulldogs and Huskies will have one series, in October in Duluth.
On Saturday night, Michigan Tech was looking to break out of a recent streak in the series that’s favored UMD, while the Bulldogs were looking for their first sweep of the season.
The teams settled for a 4-4 overtime tie before 3,170 fans in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s game at John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
The Bulldogs (4-7-3 and 2-5-3 in WCHA) led 2-0 early and 4-2 with nine minutes to play before relinquishing the lead. The Huskies (4-7-1 and 3-6-1) tied the game with 50 seconds to play, with an extra attacker, on a goal by defenseman Steven Seigo.
“You have to feel you left a point (in the standings). We would like to have finished the deal,” said UMD defenseman Wade Bergman, who had two assists. “But overall, we were happy with how we played. We put our nose to the grindstone and played well for two nights. Michigan Tech could’ve folded, but they kept pushing and gave us a run for our money.”
UMD won 7-3 Friday and is 8-2-2 the last 12 games in the series and the Bulldogs are 6-0-1 the last seven games in Michigan Tech’s rink. UMD led 37-26 in shots on goal, including 5-0 in the five-minute overtime.
Goals 1:45 apart late in the first period gave UMD a 2-0 lead. On UMD’s first power play of the game, senior winger Mike Seidel jammed in a shot from the crease with 6:14 left for his 10th goal of the season and 40th of his career. Freshman Austin Farley, who had earlier his a crossbar, finished a 2-on-1 rush with a low shot with 4:29 to go.
In the waning seconds of the opening period Michigan Tech’s David Johnstone was denied by Aaron Crandall on a clear breakaway. Yet Johnstone made up for that with a quick shot from the slot at 6:49 of the second period to get the Huskies within 2-1. It was the only goal of the period and came after the Bulldogs thought they had a goal at 2:38, on a power play, but that shot hit the cross bar and the right pipe, and didn’t cross the goal line.
“We didn’t play badly by any means,” said Seidel. “It was a solid game against a team that’s tough to play. We’re going in the right direction.”
Senior goalie Kevin Genoe was particularly sharp in the second period with 17 saves as UMD had a 17-5 shots on goal edge. The Bulldogs also killed 86 seconds of a Michigan Tech 5-on-3 power play in the period.
The third period produced five goals, three by Michigan Tech. After the Huskies tied it 2-2. UMD freshman Tony Cameranesi scored on a power play and Caleb Herbert added his second goal in two games by tipping an Andy Welinski drive with 8:49 left in regulation. Blake Pietala made it 4-3 with 6:02 left and Seigo, from a faceoff, drove a shot from the right circle to the far side to get to 4-4.
“This was a good tie for us especially given that we were down by two goals in the third period. It was a good comeback,” said Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson. “This is such a good rivalry with UMD, that we certainly want to keep playing every year, if we can.”
Cameranesi and Austin Farley are tied for the scoring lead among among WCHA freshmen for all games with 15 points. UMD’s power play, No. 1 in efficiency in the league at 24.2 percent, came through with four man-advantage goals in the series.
“I liked how we played for most of the weekend. I liked our start (Saturday), I liked our overtime, and really, we didn’t have many lapses in either game,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “It was a good bounce back (from a 5-1 loss last weekend to St. Cloud State).”
The Bulldogs UMD face Bemidji State this Friday and Saturday at Amsoil Arena in the final home games of 2012. UMD opens 2013 at home against Michigan Tech on Jan. 11-12.
Next season, UMD begins play in the new eight-team National Collegiate Hockey Conference, while Michigan Tech remains in the restructured nine-team WCHA.
First period — 1. UMD, Mike Seidel 10 (Wade Bergman, Tony Cameranesi), 13:46 (pp); 2. UMD, Austin Farley 7 (Andy Welinski), 15:31. Penalties — Derik Johnson, UMD (interference), 3:10; Blake Hietala, Michigan Tech (checking from behind), 12:34; Max Tardy, UMD (slashing), 18:49; Hietala, Michigan Tech (slashing), 18:49.
Second period — 3. Michigan Tech, David Johnstone 3 (Riley Sweeney, Ryan Furne), 6:49. Penalties — Jujhar Khaira, Michigan Tech (holding), 2:08; Brad Stebner, Michigan Tech (double-minor roughing), 8:05; Dan DeLisle, UMD (double-minor roughing), 8:05; Khaira, Michigan Tech (tripping), 8:20; Max Tardy, UMD (too many men on ice), 11:19; Johnson, UMD (hooking), 11:53.
Third period — 4. Michigan Tech, Khaira 3 (Alex Petan, Ryan Furne), 4:43; 5. UMD, Tony Cameranesi 6 (Wade Bergman, Andy Welinski), 5:45 (pp); 6. UMD, Caleb Herbert 2 (Welinski, Justin Crandall), 11:10; 7. Michigan Tech, Blake Pietila 8 (petan, Khaira), 13:58; 8. Michigan Tech, Steven Seigo 3 (Petan), 19:10. Penalties — Adam Krause, UMD (interference), 4:03; B. Pietila, Michigan Tech (boarding), 5:10.
Overtime — No scoring. Penalties — B. Pietila, Michigan Tech (roughing), 4:43.
Shots on goal — UMD 10-17-5-5–37, Michigan Tech 12-5-9-0–26. Goalies — Aaron Crandall (2-3-2), UMD (26 shots-22 saves); Kevin Genoe (3-2-1), Michigan Tech (37 shots-33 saves). Power plays — UMD 2-of-5, Michigan Tech 1-of-4. Referees — Bret Klosowski, Craig Welker. Assistant referees — Ed Moberg, Dan Joupperi. A — 3,170 .