Men's hockey claims five of the six NCHC points up for grabs last weekend over Omaha
The University of Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey team is unbeaten in their last seven games, after taking five of the six possible National Collegiate Hockey Conference points over the University of Nebraska Omaha last weekend.
After Friday night’s 2-2 tie, the Bulldogs came out firing on all cylinders. Establishing an offensive presence from the very first shift, the Bulldogs routed the Mavericks 5-0.
“I just liked the way our team played tonight,” said UMD head coach Scott Sandelin, “I thought we came out and had a little bit more intensity and I thought we did some things better, we got a lead and built off it.”
Saturday night’s contest saw goals from five different Bulldogs. Sophomore Adam Johnson got things started for UMD at the 12:28 mark of the first period flinging a puck off the backside of Omaha goaltender Evan Weninger from behind the goal line. Sophomore Neal Pionk netted the dagger for UMD finishing off a perfect tic-tac-toe passing play from Seniors Dominic Toninato and Alex Iafallo.
Stopping all 27 shots he faced, freshman goaltender Hunter Miska tied a program record with his fifth shutout of the season.
"I thought our guys did another good job of allowing me to see the puck real well tonight," Miska said, "It's a great honor to be up there with those three guys and share that record, but we just have to keep focusing and looking forward."
Tied at 2-2 on Friday night at the end of regulation, Omaha and UMD would remain scoreless after the first overtime period sketching the game down in the record books as an official tie. With either time allowing a goal in the 3-on-3 overtime period, Friday's matchup would have to be settled in a shootout for the extra NCHC point.
The Bulldogs elected to go second in the shootout which showed to be the correct Decision. Miska stonewalled Omaha’s Jake Randolph on the opening shot which was followed up by Alex Iafallo burying the extra point clinching goal.
“I thought we had a lot of chances, we have to keep getting those,” Iafallo said, “we have to start off a lot better, we didn’t start well the first period so we have to pick it up.”
The Bulldogs don't play again until February 17 and 18 against Colorado College as they have a bye week this weekend.
hoto courtesy of Alex Ganeev