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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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — For the first time this season, Minnesota Duluth found out what it felt like to get blown out of the barn. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs fell behind 4-0 early in the second period, made the game interesting late and then finally succumbed to No. 8 Western Michigan 7-4 in NCHC play Friday night at Lawson Ice Arena.
DULUTH — Only two teams in NCAA Division I men's hockey boast a longer unbeaten streak than Minnesota Duluth as the calendar turns from February to March, signaling the start of postseason play for many. Canisius, who edged Air Force by a single point for the Atlantic Hockey Association regular-season title, is riding a 15-game unbeaten streak (12-0-3). Second-ranked Harvard, who tied Union for the Eastern College Athletic Conference regular-season title, is on a 12-game run (11-0-1).
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — If second-place Minnesota Duluth is unable to close the two-point gap with NCHC-leading Denver over the next two weeks, there will be at least one positive to take from missing out on a regular-season conference title. UMD won't have to see Colorado College again in 2016-17. Just like the first three games, the last-place Tigers didn't make it easy for the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs on Saturday at World Arena as the teams fought to a 2-2 draw for the second time this season.
DULUTH — Minnesota Duluth has not only secured a spot in the NCAA Division I men's tournament with five weeks to play before Selection Sunday, the Bulldogs have all but locked up one of four No. 1 seeds as well. Yet the team is far from comfortable, specifically senior defenseman Willie Raskob. To him, the final few weeks of the 2016-17 regular season remind him of previous years when UMD needed to play its way into the field of 16.
DULUTH — Change of plans. The Bemidji State men’s hockey team had its regular season delayed a day Friday due to a power outage and deteriorating ice conditions at Duluth’s Amsoil Arena. The Beavers, who were scheduled to drop the puck against Minnesota Duluth to kick off the first leg of a home-and-home series with the Bulldogs, will now drop the puck on the 2015-16 season at 7:07 p.m. Saturday at the Sanford Center. No makeup date has been set for Friday’s game. Both UMD and BSU are working to find a date to play later in the season.
DULUTH — The Bemidji State women’s hockey team is headed back to the WCHA Final Faceoff for the first time since 2010. BSU junior wing Kaitlyn Tougas tallied the game-winning goal for the Beavers 12:08 into overtime during a two-on-one breakaway with junior center Stephanie Anderson to give the Beavers a 2-1 victory over Minnesota Duluth in Game 3 of the best-of-three series Sunday afternoon. “It was a fitting Game 3,” BSU head coach Jim Scanlan said. “I can’t say enough about my team.