It was the Bulldogs who came out with more intensity on Saturday night, exhausting the #2 ranked Notre Dame Irish in a 4-1 victory.
Notre Dame started freshman netminder Chad Katunar, the same goalie that took over for Steven Summerhays after he took a major penalty and game misconduct the night before, and the Bulldogs took complete advantage of his inexperience.
At 14:24 of the first period, Joe Basaraba started Minnesota Duluth's short-lived scoring spree. Caleb Herbert followed with another goal just nine seconds later and Dominic Toninato would give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead before the first period buzzer sounded.
Summerhays took his place between the pipes to start the second period, which gave the Fighting Irish a little more stability defensively, but Kyle Osterberg was able to add another tally to cap-off UMD's scoring midway through the second, putting the Bulldogs up 4-0.
Austin Wuthrich managed to score a powerplay goal in the third period, ruining Bulldog goaltender Aaron Crandall's chance at his fifth career shutout, but that was it for the Fighting Irish as the final buzzer sounded and Minnesota Duluth sent Notre Dame packing with their first loss on the season.
Aaron Crandall earned Saturday's start after playing very well the night before in Friday's loss, and obviously did a pretty good job in round two as well. A quick, consistent, offensive start and solid goaltending was what the Bulldogs needed to do in order to beat the Irish, and they did just that.
The loss for wasn't the only first for Notre Dame on the season, as they had previously outshot every team until Saturday night, where the Bulldogs finished with 30 shots to ND's 21.
Minnesota Duluth will take to the road, not playing back at home for another five weeks. Next weekend, the Bulldogs will travel to Columbus, Ohio to battle the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Notre Dame begins conference play next weekend as they travel to Vermont. The beginning of Notre Dame's conference play has been highly anticipated since the conference realignments.
1st Period - UMD (14:24) Joe Basaraba from Tony Cameranesi
1st Period - UMD (14:33) Caleb Herbert from Kyle Osterberg
1st Period - UMD (17:49) Dominic Toninato from Alex Iafallo and Carson Soucy
2nd Period - UMD (10:35) Kyle Osterberg from Caleb Herbert and Willie Raskob
3rd Period - ND (13:22) Austin Wuthrich from T.J. Tynan and Vince Hinostroza
- Minnesota Duluth held Notre Dame to just 3 shots in the first period and 5 shots in the third period.
- The Irish haven't been shutout in 55 straight games.
- Minnesota Duluth went 0 for 6 on the powerplay, while Notre Dame went 1 for 7.
- Senior captain Adam Krause of UMD led all Bulldogs with a rating of +3 at the end of the night.
- Washington Capitals prospect Caleb Herbert, Minnesota Wild prospect Carson Soucy, and freshman forward Kyle Osterberg all finished the weekend with multiple points for Minnesota Duluth.
- Columbus Blue Jackets prospect T.J. Tynan led Notre Dame with 3 points on the weekend, followed by New York Islanders prospect Robbie Russo and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Vince Hinostroza with 2 points.
- After a series in Columbus, Ohio with the Buckeyes next weekend, the Bulldogs will have a weekend off, followed by a trip to Grand Forks to play North Dakota, and lastly Minneapolis to square off against in-state rival, Minnesota before hosting St. Cloud State at Amsoil Arena on December 6th and 7th.
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Matt Christians covers Minnesota Duluth and the NCHC for SB Nation and College Hockey News. You can also give him a follow on Twitter -> Follow @matt_christians