College hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune covering the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs men's and women's teams, as well as the NCAA Division III programs at St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior.
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DULUTH, Minn.—While Minnesota Duluth's 18 skaters worked to regain their legs after a two-week layoff, sophomore goaltender Hunter Shepard held down the fort in the first period last Friday against Yale in the opening game of the Ledyard Bank Classic in Hanover, N.H. The Cohasset native made 10 saves in the opening period before junior wing Parker Mackay scored on a power play just seconds before intermission. The effort left coach Scott Sandelin wondering if his goalie even took some time off.
HANOVER, N.H. — Short one defenseman, but with fresh legs, Minnesota Duluth was able to come off a two-week layoff and stomp Yale on Friday 5-0 in the opening game of the Ledyard Bank Classic. Playing without a full defensive pairing 24 hours later proved to be a much greater challenge for the Bulldogs, who gutted out a 2-2 overtime tie with host Dartmouth on Saturday night at Thompson Arena.
HANOVER, N.H.—Despite losing five players, including three defensemen, to the World Junior Championship, the Minnesota Duluth men's hockey team breezed past Yale 5-0 on Friday, Dec. 29, in the opening game of the Ledyard Bank Classic at Dartmouth's Thompson Arena. Now the Bulldogs will have to find a way to pull out another victory under difficult circumstances when it takes on the host Big Green at 6:05 p.m. today in the Ledyard Classic finale, minus a sixth player.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.—If you grew up playing hockey in Minnesota, odds are you logged plenty of ice time outdoors. Here, outdoor hockey is just a way of life. So when the U.S. National Junior Team stepped outside Wednesday for practice, it should have been just another day of hockey for the team's 10 Minnesotans — five of which play at Minnesota Duluth.
DES MOINES, Iowa — While Bulldogs fans cheered Carson Soucy's decision in 2016 to return to Minnesota Duluth for his senior season, newly hired Iowa Wild coach Derek Lalonde was crushed. Not only was Soucy unavailable for 2016-17, but there was a chance the Minnesota Wild's 2013 fifth-round draft pick could test free agency and never sign with the organization. Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin told Lalonde not to worry. Soucy would sign with the Wild, just not yet.
DULUTH, Minn.—Minnesota Duluth announced a two-year contract extension for athletic director Josh Berlo on Wednesday that keeps him with the Bulldogs into 2023. The two-year extension is tacked on to the five-year deal Berlo signed with the university in November 2017 that pays him an annual base salary of $156,829 per year. Per the original contract, Berlo is due a $5,000 "retention base salary increase" in May 2018 and May 2020. The new deal, which expires May 1, 2023, adds another $5,000 increase in May 2022.
DULUTH, Minn.—After taking part in an exhausting first semester at Minnesota Duluth that included 19 games in 10 weeks without a bye, Hibbing native Scott Perunovich likely was looking forward to the two weeks off he and most of the Bulldogs would take for Christmas. Then the UMD freshman defenseman awoke to a text message. His country was calling. Perunovich was one of five Bulldogs who was named last week to the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship that will take place Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2018 in Buffalo, N.Y.
Talk to Cohasset native Hunter Shepard in person, and you'll find the Minnesota Duluth sophomore goaltender to be a quiet, soft-spoken guy. On the ice, however, he's kind of a loud mouth. "He's always been like that," said Shepard's former Grand Rapids and current UMD teammate Avery Peterson. "He's a quiet guy off the ice, but a gamer. He's here to compete and I think that's what comes out in games."
DULUTH, Minn. — Offensively, last weekend's series is one Minnesota Duluth would like to forget after producing just a single goal in a pair of home losses to Denver. But defensively, the Bulldogs had one of their best weekends of the season against the Pioneers, holding one of the nation's most potent offenses to just three goals in two games at Amsoil Arena. UMD's team scoring defense sits fourth in the NCHC and 16th nationally, giving up 2.53 goals per game. Earlier this season the Bulldogs held Maine to one goal on 53 shots in two games.
DULUTH — For the second time this season, Minnesota Duluth failed to pick up any points in a weekend of NCHC play. Top-ranked Denver finished off a sweep of No. 16 UMD on Saturday in front of a crowd of 5,838 at Amsoil Arena, beating the Bulldogs 2-1. The Pioneers shut out the Bulldogs 1-0 the night before. UMD coach Scott Sandelin wasn't pleased with his team's play in the opener, but felt better about Saturday night's effort despite the result.