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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ST. CLOUD—Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin warned his team to stay out of the penalty box this weekend at St. Cloud State. He passed the warning on to the media earlier this week, and spouted it again Saturday, Nov. 4, after his team was swept. "My thing was don't give them that many power plays," Sandelin said. "It's pretty simple."
DULUTH, Minn.—It's no secret Minnesota Duluth sophomore wing Riley Tufte covets a place on the 2018 U.S. Junior National Team and Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin is well aware of Tufte's aspirations. That's why Sandelin sat Tufte down for a chat at the start of the season. "I told him, 'If you start to worry about that stuff through the first half, you're not going to play very well,' " Sandelin said. "He's done a good job blocking that out."
ORONO, Maine — The two things that plagued Minnesota Duluth early in the season — penalty killing and goaltending — shined on the eve of NCHC play. Bulldogs sophomore goaltender Hunter Shepard recorded his first collegiate shutout Saturday night and backstopped the penalty kill to a perfect weekend, making 26 saves in a 2-0 nonconference victory over Maine for the weekend sweep at Alfond Arena. The Bulldogs (4-2) begin conference play, traveling to second-ranked St. Cloud State next weekend before returning home to host Western Michigan on Nov. 10-11.
DULUTH — Not only did Minnesota Duluth defenseman Nick Wolff get to play amongst four seniors on the back end a year ago, he spent his freshman season partnered with a seasoned veteran defenseman in Dan Molenaar. A year later, the 21-year-old Wolff finds himself as the most experienced Bulldog on the blue line after playing 37 games as a rookie. Surrounding him now can be anywhere from 3-4 freshmen defensemen per night with one of those rookies, 19-year-old Scott Perunovich of Hibbing, being his defensive partner.
DULUTH, Minn.—As much as Minnesota Duluth senior center Jared Thomas wanted to focus on the positives of last Friday's 5-5 overtime tie with Merrimack, the veteran couldn't look past the elephant in the room that night — penalties. "Every game we've lost we've shot ourselves in the foot," Thomas said after Friday's game in which UMD led 4-2 late. "We're learning, but at some point you got to take those opportunities and not give them away like that. "After tonight, we certainly have to address it."
DULUTH — Growing up, Jared Thomas and Jared Kolquist of Hermantown were regulars at Minnesota Duluth hockey games at Amsoil Arena, sitting in the same section every time. This weekend the former Hawks teammates, who played in three Class A state championship games together from 2010-12, were rivals as Thomas' UMD Bulldogs recorded a tie and win over Kolquist's Merrimack Warriors in a nonconference series at Amsoil Arena.
DULUTH—If Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota were rink-ratting on the pond Saturday, Oct. 21, playing a game of posts, the Bulldogs would have run away with a victory. They weren't. It was a WCHA women's hockey contest that saw the seventh-ranked Gophers score on a pair of third-period goals to complete the sweep of the eighth-ranked Bulldogs, 2-1, Saturday in front of 1,259 at Amsoil Arena.
DULUTH—A pair of Hermantown (Minn.) High School Hawks had big nights Friday, Oct. 20, at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. Minnesota Duluth freshman defenseman Dylan Samberg, a 2017 graduate, set up three Bulldogs goals while Merrimack senior defenseman and captain Jared Kolquist, a 2012 grad, recorded a goal and three assists in a nonconference 5-5 overtime tie played before a crowd of 5,152. Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 7:37 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, back at Amsoil Arena.
DULUTH -- Bemidji State goaltender Michael Bitzer made a career-high 45 saves to shut out Minnesota Duluth on Saturday night. But the Beavers couldn’t find the back of the net either, resulting in a 0-0 tie between the former WCHA rivals in front of 5,615 at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. The Beavers, by virtue of Friday’s 5-2 win in Bemidji, regained control of the Blue Ox Trophy,
DULUTH — Prior to the season, Minnesota Duluth's veteran leaders said the toughest thing to get across to the program's 10 freshmen would be the importance of every shift and every game at the NCAA level. The season-opening Ice Breaker Tournament may have made the veterans' point. The Bulldogs followed up Friday's dramatic 4-3 semifinal victory over Minnesota with a 4-3 loss to Michigan Tech in Saturday's tournament championship at Amsoil Arena.