Matt Wellens / Forum News Service
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Duluth needed a late goal to force overtime against St. Cloud State in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship game on Saturday night -- first time in the six-year history of the tournament. The Bulldogs made their late rally count, as Nick Swaney netted the game-winning goal in double overtime to send UMD to a 3-2 win with 12:31 to go in the title game at Xcel Energy Center. Bulldogs senior wing Billy Exell had scored a shorthanded goal with less than five minutes to play in the third period to force the first overtime.
When second-seeded Minnesota Duluth and fourth-seeded Denver meet in the second semifinal of the NCHC Frozen Faceoff on Friday, March 22, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, it won’t only be for a spot in Saturday’s league championship. Both the Bulldogs (23-11-2) and Pioneers (21-10-5) are fighting to be a No. 1 seed in one of next weekend’s four NCAA regional tournaments. St. Cloud State -- which takes on Colorado College in the first semifinal at 4:08 p.m. Friday -- has locked up the No. 1 overall seed in the West Regional in Fargo. UMD and Denver meet at 7:38 p.m.
DULUTH -- Minnesota Duluth’s Scott Perunovich is nominated for the NCHC’s top offensive defenseman award after the Hibbing native totaled 27 points to rank second in scoring on the Bulldogs and third among NCHC blueliners. And while Perunovich is the only Bulldog nominated for the award, he’s not the only sophomore defenseman at UMD that can create offense.
DULUTH — After a rough end to the regular season, the University of Minnesota Duluth’s once-vaunted penalty kill is back on track going into this weekend’s National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The second-seeded Bulldogs take on fourth-seeded Denver at 7:38 p.m. on Friday, March 22, in the league semifinals with top-seeded St. Cloud State facing sixth-seeded Colorado College in the early game at 4:08 p.m.
DULUTH — Minnesota Duluth is heading to its fourth consecutive NCHC Frozen Faceoff next weekend after finishing off a series sweep of Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday with a 4-1 victory in the second game of a best-of-three quarterfinal series. Freshman center Jackson Cates, sophomore wing Kobe Roth, freshman wing Cole Koepke and senior center Peter Krieger scored in the final game of the 2018-19 season at Amsoil Arena. Junior goaltender Hunter Shepard made 18 saves before a crowd of 4,318.
DULUTH -- According to Minnesota Duluth sophomore wing Nick Swaney, “a goal is a goal.” That couldn’t have been further from the truth Friday, March 15, at Amsoil Arena, however, as the goal Swaney scored came with 6:18 remaining in overtime to give the second-seeded Bulldogs a 2-1 win over seventh-seeded Nebraska-Omaha in Game 1 of a best-of-three NCHC quarterfinal series.
DULUTH — Despite their placement on the line chart each night, Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin isn’t a fan of Kobe Roth, Jade Miller and Billy Exell being called the Bulldogs’ fourth line. So the coach was asked last Saturday, March 9, what he calls that trio of forwards. What should everyone call them? “We’ll call them 26’s line,” Sandelin said, before coming up with something better. “Miller Line.”
DULUTH -- Minnesota Duluth’s penalty kill may have faltered at the end of the regular season, but on the opposite end of the rink, its power play flourished. So while this weekend’s best-of-three NCHC quarterfinal series at Amsoil Arena may pit the second-best team in the league, UMD, against the second-worst, Nebraska-Omaha, it also will feature two of the top power-play units in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey.
DULUTH - It’s going to be difficult for Duluth native Brett Larson to forget his first NCHC regular-season championship as head coach of St. Cloud State. The same can be said for his players despite it being the second consecutive title for most of them. The Huskies clinched the program’s third NCHC title two weeks ago in Omaha, Neb., and on the way home their bus became stuck between two giant snow drifts while trying to snake its way around the closed snow-covered highways of southern Minnesota.
DULUTH - One of the most consistent aspects of the Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey team this season has been its defensive pairings. Outside of the World Juniors, you can always count on seeing Nick Wolff and Scott Perunovich, Dylan Samberg and Mikey Anderson, and Matt Anderson and Louie Roehl together on the blue line. Those duos go back to last year’s national championship run.