Minnesota Duluth falls by a goal at Minnesota State-Mankato
MANKATO, Minn. — After going 6-for-11 on the power play last weekend against North Dakota at Amsoil Arena, the Minnesota Duluth power play fell silent on Tuesday.
The ninth-ranked Bulldogs finished a woeful 0-for-4 on the man advantage in front of 3,907 at Verizon Wireless Center, and were held to a season-low 15 shots on goal in a 1-0 clunker at seventh-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato to wrap up the 2017-18 nonconference schedule.
The loss was UMD's first of the 2018 calendar year and snapped a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) that came into the night ranked third in the nation.
"That was two good teams going at it. Mankato is a good hockey team and they made one more play," said coach Scott Sandelin, whose Bulldogs now take a five-game NCHC winning streak into Friday and Saturday's league games against St. Cloud State at Amsoil Arena. "Both power plays didn't score. Theirs is tops in the country and ours has been hot.
"I didn't think we shot the puck enough, I can tell you that. They defended well. They had good sticks. Both teams played well defensively."
Tuesday was the fifth time this season UMD was shut out, with the last goose egg coming Dec. 1 at home to Denver — also a 1-0 loss. During its seven game unbeaten streak, UMD averaged 4.86 goals per game, thanks in part to a power play that was converting at a 51.9 percent success rate, going 14-of-27.
Sandelin said Tuesday's lack of success on the power play wasn't the end of the world. Minnesota State did a good job getting in shot lanes and as a result, the Bulldogs forced things, he said.
Junior center Peter Krieger — whose power play unit scored five times against the Fighting Hawks, and added a sixth goal seconds after an advantage expired — said the 'Dogs are still a confident team on special teams, they just couldn't get through a Mavericks penalty kill that was packing bodies in front of the net.
"The last five, six, seven games we've been pretty successful on the power play, and you're not going to score every night. Ideally you'd like to get at least one," Krieger said. "We thought we were getting some momentum, but the offense wasn't really there today for whatever reason.
"It's ideal to get a goal or two, but sometimes it doesn't happen."
The Mavericks picked up the night's lone goal with just over two and a half minutes to play in the second period. Marc Michaelis, racing down the left side on the rush, fed his fellow sophomore German winger Parker Tuomie, who was coming up the middle, for a one-timer that beat Bulldogs sophomore goaltender Hunter Shepard.
Up until that goal, Shepard had turned away everything the Mavericks had thrown his way, including a flurry at the end of the first and a solo breakaway by MSU senior wing Zeb Knutson, who got behind the UMD penalty kill on a Mavs' power play.
Shepard would fend off another Mavericks breakaway in the opening minutes of the third period. Making his 21st consecutive start, the native of Cohasset stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced.
"Tonight we didn't score enough for him because he played a great game," Sandelin said of Shepard.
Tuesday's game was UMD's first trip to Mankato since Oct. 18, 2014. The Bulldogs were scheduled to arrive on Monday night so they could hold their customary morning skate at Verizon Wireless Center, but were unable leave Duluth until Tuesday because of the winter storm that dropped between 12-13 inches of snow on the Twin Cities and Mankato.
UMD ended up holding its morning skate at Amsoil Arena before heading south, but no one was using the late start to the trip as an excuse for a slow start — no shots on goal by UMD in the opening nine minutes.
Sophomore wing Riley Tufte, who spent some parts of his senior year of high school with the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League, said Tuesday's game brought some of the players back to their junior hockey days of dropping in and departing a town in less than 24 hours.
Things will be back to normal this weekend against the Huskies.
"It is a little weird playing on a Tuesday, this is my first time," Tufte said. "It was a little odd, but we're looking forward to playing St. Cloud this weekend. We just have to look forward now."
• Tuesday's game was the second-half of a two-game nonconference regular season series with the Mavericks. UMD won the first half Thanksgiving weekend in Duluth 3-1.
• The Bulldogs played Tuesday's game 24 hours after learning about the death of former captain Andrew Carroll, who played at UMD from 2005-09. The team wore "AC" decals on their helmets and Tufte — who has known Carroll for some time and trained with him this summer — had Carroll's initials on his stick Tuesday. "Andrew meant the world to me," Tufte said after the game. "He was the greatest guy on and off the ice. He just had the best attitude ever. We lost a good one."
Minn. Duluth 0-0-0—0
Minn. State 0-1-0—1
First period — No scoring. Penalties — CJ Suess, MSU (elbowing), 9:42; Ian Scheid, MSU (cross checking), 16:02; Dylan Samberg, UMD (cross checking), 18:27.
Second period — 1. MSU, Parker Tuomie 7 (Marc Michaelis, Daniel Brickley), 17:24. Penalties — Joey Anderson, UMD (boarding), 6:13; Riley Tufte, UMD (slashing), 8:38; Connor Mackey, MSU (slashing), 13:28.
Third period — No scoring. Penalties — Scott Perunovich, UMD (roughing), 4:57; Zeb Knutson, MSU (holding), 8:31; Reggie Lutz, MSU (holding), 8:31; Jade Miller, UMD (holding), 8:31; Joey Anderson, UMD (interference), 12:52.
Shots on goal — UMD 5-6-4—15; MSU 9-10-5—24. Goalies — Hunter Shepard, UMD (24 shots-23 saves); Connor LaCouvee, MSU (15-15). Power plays — UMD 0-of-4; MSU 0-of-5. Referees — Mike Forys, Tony Czech. Linesmen — Matt Tyree, Kevin Cassidy. Att. — 3,907.