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.—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.
DULUTH, Minn.—It took him a fair amount of time, but Karson Kuhlman eventually went back to watch Minnesota Duluth's loss to Denver in the 2017 NCAA men's hockey title game. Kuhlman, the Esko native and Bulldogs 2017-18 senior captain, said he watched the game once. His teammate and fellow senior forward, Jared Thomas of Hermantown, was a little braver. He watched the game a week later, but not all of it.
DULUTH, Minn.—A key nonconference win over eighth-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato wasn't the only thing Minnesota Duluth accomplished last Saturday at Amsoil Arena. The Bulldogs also got two important offensive pieces up to speed after they missed six games due to upper-body injuries. Freshman Nick Swaney picked up a goal and sophomore Joey Anderson set up a score in the young forwards' first game back since they went down Oct. 28 at Maine.
DULUTH — Minnesota Duluth sophomore goaltender Hunter Shepard made 33 saves and backstopped a key penalty kill late in the game that allowed the Bulldogs to close out a 3-1 nonconference victory over Minnesota State-Mankato on Saturday at Amsoil Arena.
DULUTH, Minn. — Making a successful jump from the junior or high school level to the NCAA Division I ranks requires more than just making adjustments on the ice. There are plenty of challenges a young player can face off the ice, too, such as academics, living on his own for the first time and, in the case of Hibbing native Scott Perunovich, air travel.
DULUTH — Minnesota Duluth is getting two key offensive weapons back this week for Saturday, Nov. 25's nonconference game against Minnesota State-Mankato. Top-line wingers Joey Anderson and Nick Swaney are both good to go for the 7:07 p.m. game at Amsoil Arena, according to coach Scott Sandelin. Anderson, a sophomore, and Swaney, a freshman, have both missed the last three weeks with upper-body injuries and their return should give the team a boost, at least depth-wise, Sandelin said.
DULUTH, Minn. — Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin didn't want to use injuries as an excuse for his team's 3-2 loss Saturday, Nov. 18, to Miami in Oxford, Ohio. But the coach also couldn't ignore the maladies' effect on his lineup, which on Saturday was short a forward.