It was a five-point weekend for the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, who beat the Colorado College Tigers in an overtime shootout on Friday after an official 2-2 NCAA tie, followed by a 2-1 finish On Saturday night at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minnesota.
On Friday night, Colorado College fought harder than a team with three wins on the season, taking the Bulldogs into overtime behind the glove of netminder Josh Thorimbert.
Thorimbert made an unbelievable 50 saves throughout the game, including a 22-save second period after the Bulldogs found themselves hungry after a scoreless first period.
Alex Krushelnyski lit the lamp in the first period to give Colorado College the 1-0 lead. At that point the Bulldogs were 1-5-1 when trailing an opponent after the first period, and while the Tigers have yet to win a game on the road, they exhibited a level of talent that should not display a record that includes only three wins.
UMD responded with two goals in the second period by Andy Welinski (Anaheim Ducks) and Caleb Herbert (Washington Capitals) to give the Bulldogs the advantage heading into the locker room before the third period.
Archie Skalbeck scored in the third period to tie the Bulldogs at twos, pushing the game into overtime. A scoreless and short OT ended the game in an official 2-2 tie, but per NCHC policy, a shootout for the extra point was started.
Of the six skaters to shoot, only Herbert found the back of the net, giving the Bulldogs the shootout victory. Aaron Crandall responded by doing "The Bernie" at UMD's Penalty Box Student Section as a celebration.
Friday's Scoring Summary
1st Period - CC (11:55) Alex Krushelnyski from Alex Roos
2nd Period - UMD (4:16) PP Andy Welinski from Willie Raskob and Justin Crandall
2nd Period - UMD (13:01) Caleb Herbert from Cal Decowski and Joe Basaraba
3rd Period - CC (9:05) Archie Skalbeck from Jaccob Slavin
Friday's Goaltending Summary
Aaron Crandall (UMD): 11-20-14-5 = 50 (2 GA) - T
Josh Thorimbert (CC): 8-2-9-1 = 20 (2 GA) - T
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On Saturday, Colorado College proved once again that their record doesn't necessarily correlate with their team's talent.
"I liked our third period," said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. "Our (penalty) killers did a good job like they've done all year and Cranny (Aaron Crandall) was solid for us. We got a couple goals that we made stand out."
Bulldog Kyle Osterberg scored in the first period during a 5-minute power play with 29 seconds left before the period ended, which brought a scoreless, but intense second period.
UMD's Cal Decowski buried a shot in the third period to give the Bulldogs the 2-0 lead, but a power play goal by CC's Ian Young cut the Bulldogs' lead in half, 2-1.
Saturday's game ended in favor of the Bulldogs, 2-1, despite being outshot 32-26, a margin in which the Bulldogs usually lead.
"I liked our team tonight," said CC head coach Scott Owens. "The passion was flowing, especially early. We've been struggling on Saturday nights and whether we won, lost, or tied we just wanted a better second game and I think we got that tonight."
Minnesota Duluth will travel to St. Cloud State next weekend to take on the Huskies - a battle for first place in the NCHC, while Colorado College hosts Western Michigan.
1st Period - UMD (19:31) PP Kyle Osterberg from Willie Raskob and Austyn Young
3rd Period - UMD (7:39) Cal Decowski from Joe Basaraba and Caleb Herbert
3rd Period - CC (14:31) PP Ian Young from Archie Skalbeck
Aaron Crandall (UMD): 10-14-7 = 31 (1 GA)
Josh Thorimbert (CC): 11-8-5 = 24 (2 GA)
Weekend Faceoff Facts
- The Bulldogs outshot the Tigers 78 to 54 throughout the weekend, although Colorado College fired more shots on Saturday, 32-26.
- Colorado College couldn't find it's power play this weekend against a tough UMD penalty kill, scoring just one goal on 11 attempts (9.1%), while Minnesota Duluth scored two goals throughout six man advantages (33.3%)
- Both teams had trouble staying out of the penalty box. The Bulldogs and Tigers combined for 16 penalties and 61 total minutes in the box.
- Colorado College's Jaccob Slavin and Aaron Harstad, along with Minnesota Duluth's Willie Corrin sported the best plus/minus by the weekend's finish at +2 throughout both games.
- Bulldog junior Caleb Herbert extended his scoring streak to five games, scoring 8 points over that period with 2 goals and 6 assists.
- Colorado College has lost a total of six games this season by one goal, and have taking 8 teams into overtime periods despite playing one of the toughest schedules in all of college hockey.
- Aaron Crandall leads all NCHC goaltenders in save percentage in 2014 with .931. The senior is 6-1-3 over that span, which is three more wins than the next netminder on the list.
- Friday series opener marked the 177th encounter between the former Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams in a rivalry that started on Jan. 4, 1961. CC owns an 86-84-8 all-time edge in the previous 178 clashes after this weekend.
- The Bulldogs are still in search of their first shorthanded goal at AMSOIL Arena, which opened its doors for business on Dec. 30, 2011 and has hosted 61 UMD games thus far.
- Going back to a 5-4 home loss to Minnesota on Oct. 15, 2011, the Bulldogs are unbeaten in the 41 games that they've struck for four or more goals (36-0-5) That includes a 7-0-1 record in 2013-14.
- Going into the weekend, in terms of strength of schedule, the Bulldogs ranked first in the country, while Colorado College was third.
- UMD hasn't lost a game in regulation since being bested by Western Michigan on Dec. 13, 2012, going 6-1-2 over that stretch with the lone setback coming against the University of Denver (3-2) in overtime on Jan. 17.
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