IceBreaker: UMD, Michigan Tech Advance
Bulldogs Take 8th Straight from Gophers
CHN Staff Report
There was a time when playing Minnesota meant Minnesota Duluth was something of an underdog. Those days ended some time ago, and Friday's nightcap at the IceBreaker Invitational only cemented the new reality in the rivlary — UMD owns Minnesota.
The Bulldogs defeated Minnesota, 4-3, in overtime to advance to Saturday's championship game against Michigan Tech. Parker Mackay's goal 1:45 into overtime gave the Bulldogs the win.
UMD has now won eight consecutive games against Minnesota. The Gophers last win over the Bulldogs came on Oct. 10, 2014, in the form of a 4-3 win in that edition of the IceBreaker in South Bend, Ind. It was also UMD's 14th consecutive overtime game without a loss. The Bulldogs have won seven and tied seven games in that span.
"This was a good gut-check for us," UMD coach Scott Sandelin said. "I thought our guys responded very well and showed character in battling back. We were a hard team to play against tonight."
Despite dominating play for most of the game, UMD found themselves trailing after two before Riley Tufte equalized 23 seconds into the third period. Minnesota's Jack Ramsey put the Gophers back on top just 2:46 later. That lead wouldn't hold either. Joey Anderson, whose brother Mikey scored the Bulldogs first goal, tied the game just 40 seconds after Ramsey's strike.
Minnesota goaltender Eric Schierhorn stopped 40 shots in the loss. UMD carried play for most of the game, outshooting the Gophers, 44-21, overall.
Michigan Tech 6, Union 3
In the opening game of the 2017 IceBreaker Invitational, Michigan Tech picked up its first win of the season — downing Union, 4-1. The victory marks the first for newly appointed head coach Joe Shawhan who replaced Mel Pearson in May.
"I'm just excited we were able to pull that game out," Shawhan said. "It gives us an opportunity to get closer to what we want to do, which is have a chance to advance at the end of the year and keep playing when other teams aren't."
Perhaps the biggest debut for Michigan Tech was that of goaltender Packy Munson. The transfer made 27 saves for the win in his first game since a Hockey East quarterfinal loss to Boston College on March 13, 2016, when he was a freshman at Vermont.
Munson transferred to Denver following his rookie campaign but opted to transfer once again when Tanner Jaillet returned to Denver for his senior season.
Four different Huskies scored in the game. Goals from Dane Birks and Mark Auk in a 2:42 span in the first period turned a 1-1 game into a 3-1 MTU lead. Joel L'Esperance's marker at 6:15 of the second put the Huskies in control.
Trailing by three, Union made a game of it in the final period. Munson, however, stopped 11 of 13 shots to seal the win for the Huskies.
Union's loss is its second in a row to start the 2017-18 season. The Dutchmen dropped a 4-1 decision to Boston University last weekend. They'll take on Minnesota in the consolation game of the IceBreaker Saturday afternoon.
Michigan Tech will play for an early-season trophy Saturday evening against UMD.