Break out the brooms, Bulldog faithful, because last weekend ended in a sweep. In their last weekend of non-conference play, the No. 7 men’s hockey team (17-10-1, 9-6-1 NCHC) earned six points in a pair of wins at AMSOIL Arena over Northern Michigan . Not only did the usual suspects, like Alex Iafallo and Adam Krause, strike against the Wildcats, but the Bulldogs saw production from some unlikely places over the weekend as well.
Take, for instance, the Bulldogs’ first goal of the weekend. Junior defenseman Willie Corrin scored his first collegiate goal, almost on accident, as he threw the puck in deep on a penalty kill, hoping it wouldn’t get blocked and sent back his direction.
“Curious George is no longer on my back,” Corrin said. “It feels great. I was just trying to not get it blocked, but I benefited by it going in.”
Corrin scored one of two short-handed goals on the weekend, as teammate Justin Crandall scored a second on the breakaway the following night.
He wasn’t the only surprise last weekend as freshman center Jared Thomas shot up to the first line after playing on the fourth line Friday night. He scored a goal in both games, pleasing his coach and teammates.
“It was nice to see some different guys score,” Head Coach Scott Sandelin said Saturday. “I thought a lot of guys stepped up, played in some different spots, like Jared. We moved him up to the first line tonight and he had a good weekend.”
Thomas took the place of Dominic Toninato, who sat out Saturday with an upper body injury. In the face of injury and the schedule they face going forward, that scoring depth is something Sandelin said would be an asset to his team.
“One of the best compliments I got was that from lines one through four, you can’t really tell the difference when they’re going like that,” Sandelin said.
That scoring depth carried through the weekend as Sandelin spoke highly of his fourth line after Friday’s matchup.
“I mean, your top lines are going to play minutes and get put in different situations, but anytime you can get a weekend like we did out of (that line)— you call it our fourth line, but last night it looked like our best line — that’s a good sign,” Sandelin said.
And with four of the Bulldogs’ conference rivals landing alongside them in the National Poll’s top 10, the Bulldogs will need to pull out all the stops if they want to continue their winning ways.
Up next, UMD hosts St. Cloud State for a series at AMSOIL Arena, and after that they’ll see Miami, Omaha and Western Michigan, all before the start of the NCHC playoffs.
-Thomas scored a pair of goals over the weekend, enough to land him NCHC Rookie of the Week honors.
-Senior captain Adam Krause joined Thomas on the list of NCHC honorees as his four-point night on Saturday was enough to earn him Offensive Player of the Week. The goal and three assists would mark a career high for Krause in points, breaking his previous record of two in a single game.
BY NICOLE BRODZIK