Around the WCHA: Tigers swept in Bemidji; Pioneers stun Gophers

Bemidji State 4, Colorado College 1

BEMIDJI — The host Beavers swept the Tigers with four unanswered goals ans an injury-depleted Tigers squad struggled through a poor second period when Bemidji State scored twice to pull ahead for good.

The Tigers are now 0-3-1 at the Sanford Center and in a battle over the final six league games to preserve home playoff ice after starting the weekend in third with a chance at moving up to second.

Andrew Hamburg scored his goal of the season with less than a minute remaining in the first period, banging in a rebound off a shot by Jaden Schwartz, who has recorded at least a point in 20 of 22 games this season.

“The locker room isn’t a very good place right now,” CC assistant Joe Bonnett said in a postgame radio interview. “We’re scrapping and clawing for every point. We just couldn’t get anything going.

“We’re limping a bit. We need to get back to Colorado Springs and get ready for Nebraska Omaha. Some guys have to step up, no question.”

Seven Tigers were unable to play, including the Nos. 3-5 leading scorers (Nick Dineen, Mike Boivin and Scott Winkler), wing Dakota Eveland, defenseman Eamonn McDermott, goalie Josh Thorimbert and forward Michael Morin (likely out for season).

No. 14 Denver 4, No. 1/2 Minnesota 3 OT

DENVER — Nick Shore scored with 1:26 left in regulation to force overtime and later scored only 17 seconds into the extra period to and complete the rally stun the visiting Gopher. The third-place Pioneers swept league-leading Minnesota and now have a three-point lead over CC and Nebraska Omaha, which are tied for fourth.

No 3 Minnesota Duluth 5, No. 15 North Dakota 4

DULUTH — Jack Connolly registered two goals and three assists and Travis Oleksuk added a goal and two assists as Minnesota Duluth defeated North Dakota, 5-4, on Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena.

Nebraska Omaha 4, Michigan Tech 0

HOUGHTON, Mich. – Freshman netminder Ryan Massa earned his first collegiate shutout with 35 saves and sophomore forward Matt White scored twice to lead Nebraska Omaha to a 4-0 win against Michigan Tech on Saturday afternoon at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Sunday reading: Tech ends Duluth’s home win streak

Josh Robinson made 29 saves en route to becoming the first goaltender to blank UMD since the University of North Dakota's Jean-Philippe Lamoureux recorded a 2-0 triumph on March 1, 2008 in Duluth.

Compiled from wcha.com and school web sites

Michigan Tech 5, No. 1 Minnesota Duluth 0

DULUTH, Minn. – Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson told the Houghton Mining Gazette earlier this week that the Huskies were looking to “shock the world, at least the college hockey world.”

Mission accomplished. The visiting Huskies scored nine unanswered over the final four periods of the weekend road series to walk out of Duluth with a stunnng three points.

After striking for the game’s final four goals to force a tie in Friday’s Western Collegiate Hockey series opener, Michigan Tech did all the scoring in a 5-0 victory over top-ranked Minnesota Duluth Saturday night. A sellout crowd of 6,776 was on hand at AMSOIL Arena as the Huskies (12-12-2 overall and 9-7-2 in the WCHA) handed the Bulldogs (17-5-4; 11-4-3) their first shutout loss in 105 league games.

In a complete reversal of the first period Friday night, Michigan Tech jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the defending NCAA champions. UMD was unable to sustain pressure on offense and came up empty on both of its power play chances while having its a nine-game home unbeaten streak snapped.

Senior goaltender Kenny Reiter made his 21st consecutive WCHA start in goal – dating back to last season – but was lifted prior to the start of the second period after stopping 10 of 14 shots. Sophomore Aaron Crandall made 17 saves and allowed just one goal (by Tanner Kero 40 seconds into the third period) in relief of Reiter.

“When you don’t put forth the effort and get outworked for 60 minutes, that’s unacceptable,” Bulldog head coach Scott Sandelin said. “They were hungrier, they won every battle and we didn’t put up the fight.”

Michigan Tech, which also got first-period goals from Brett Olson, Blake Pietala, David Johnstone and Jacob Johnstone, went 2-for-4 on the power play while UMD had just two opportunities with the man advantage. The Huskies came into the night having gone unbeaten against the Bulldogs in their last eight matchups (0-7-1).

UMD will hit the road for a two-game WCHA set next weekend at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

No. 15 Denver 6, Alaska Anchorage 3

ANCHORAGE — Freshman defenseman Joey LaLeggia scored one of four first-period goals for Denver as the Pioneers earned a weekend sweep at Alaska Anchorage with a 6-3 win on Saturday night at Sullivan Arena. Making his season debut in net for the Pioneers was All-WCHA Rookie Team goalie Sam Brittain, who missed 25 games with a knee injury. Brittain (1-0-0) furnished the win with 24 saves,

No. 3 Minnesota 3, St. Cloud State 2

ST. CLOUD — Minnesota gained the victory with a late third period goal by Sam Warning with 1:19 left. In his 21st appearance of the season, SCSU goalie Ryan Faragher helped the Huskies stay in the battle to the end with 43 saves to his credit. This total included 17 saves in the third period. The 43 saves was Faragher’s second best effort of the year for saves in a game.

On the night, Minnesota outshot the Huskies 46-12. On the power play, SCSU was 0-of-3 and Minnesota was 2-of-4. The Huskies continue their 2011-12 season with a road trip to Madison, Wis. for a pair of WCHA games against Wisconsin on Feb. 3-4.

No. 18 North Dakota 4, Wisconsin 2

GRAND FORKS — Junior forward Danny Kristo and sophomore forward Brock Nelson tallied a goal and an assist each to help North Dakota earn a weekend sweep of Wisconsin with a 4-2 victory on Saturday at Engelstad Arena.

Minnesota State 5, Bemidji State 2

BEMIDJI — Michael Dorr had two goals and an assist while Zach Lehrke and Eriah Hayes added a goal and an assist each to lead Minnesota State to a 5-2 win against Bemidji State on Saturday at Sanford Center. Goalie Andrew Walsh, who was inserted into Saturday’s line up due to an injury to senior Dan Bakala, was tagged with the loss surrendering four Maverick markers in 59:27. He was credited with 20 saves. He is 6-4-1 on the season.

BSU continues to hold a 46-37-13 advantage over Minnesota State in the all-time series and are 30-14-5 when hosting the Mavericks. However, MSU has won eight of the last 10 meetings between the teams. Bemidji State (12-12-2; 6-10-2 WCHA) returns to the road next weekend (Feb. 3-4) to battle Nebraska-Omaha, which along with Colorado College, was idle this weekend..

CURRENT STANDINGS

WCHA Games
Overall
GP
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
W
L
T
GF
GA
Minnesota
20
15
5
0
30
66
38
19
9
1
108
59
Minnesota Duluth
18
11
4
3
25
70
46
17
5
4
99
65
Denver
18
10
5
3
23
66
55
15
8
3
95
72
Colorado College
18
11
7
0
22
69
57
14
9
1
84
68
North Dakota
20
11
9
0
22
56
54
15
10
2
82
75
Nebraska Omaha
18
9
6
3
21
57
56
12
10
4
79
76
Michigan Tech
18
9
7
2
20
62
53
12
12
2
79
75
St. Cloud State
20
7
10
3
17
57
57
10
14
4
83
82
Wisconsin
20
7
11
2
16
56
64
12
12
2
81
77
Bemidji State
18
6
10
2
14
45
61
12
12
2
70
73
Minnesota State
20
5
14
1
11
52
74
9
18
1
76
94
Alaska Anchorage
20
3
16
1
7
42
83
6
16
2
59
92

Around the WCHA: Mankato downs UNO; CC stays alone in third

A tight league race got even tighter with 11th-place Mankato’s win over fourth-place Nebraska Omaha keeping the red Mavs a point behind third-place Colorado College with 10 games remaining for most WCHA teams. Five points separate third-place CC and St. Cloud State, which is tied with Michigan Tech for seventh.

Here’s the Gazette’s look at the Tigers’ chance at the WCHA title. Road points at No. 1 Minnesota Duluth will be tough to come by though. Here’s the game story on the 2-1 road loss for CC at No. 4 Minnesota.

Capsules compiled from school web sites …

Minnesota State 5, Nebraska Omaha 4 OT

MANKATO — Sophomore forward Johnny McInnis scored at 3:05 of overtime to help Minnesota State earn a split of a weekend series with at 5-4 victory against Nebraska Omaha on Saturday at Verizon Wireless Center. UNO won in OT Friday.

On the game-winning goal, Joe Schiller grabbed a loose puck at center ice and fed Johnny McInnes who beat UNO’s John Faulkner with a wrist shot from the top of the circles.

The goal capped off a wild, back-and-forth game that saw UNO take three one-goal leads and then have to score with an extra attacker in the final 10 seconds to send the game to overtime.

Wisconsin 3, Alaska Anchorage 2

MADISON, Wis. — A goal by freshman Joseph LaBate with just over four minutes remaining in the game broke a 2-2 tie and lifted the Badgers (12-10-2, 7-9-2 WCHA) to a win Saturday night and a weekend sweep over Alaska Anchorage (6-14-2, 3-14-1 WCHA) at the Kohl Center.

With the game tied at two and just over four minutes left in the third period, junior Justin Schultz and LaBate took off on the rush. After LaBate got the puck from linemate Mark Zengerle inside the UW blue line, he skated through center ice, then dished off to Schultz streaking down the right wing. Schultz skated behind the goal line, then gave it back to LaBate in front for the score.

“Coach just told us to get pucks in the net and get pucks in deep and go from there,” LaBate said. “I got the puck in the center from (Mark) Zengerle, a great pass from him, and I gave it to (Justin) Schultz who was streaking down the wing and I just went to the net, he put it on my stick and I put it in.”

The goal lifted a tense crowd into celebration and a charging Badger team two games above .500 as the defense held strong for the final minutes of the contest. Wisconsin improved 7-2-1 in its last 10 contests.

No. 17 North Dakota 3, St. Cloud State 2

ST. CLOUD — The St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team suffered a tough 3-2 loss to #17 North Dakota at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, MInn. on Jan. 21. The loss moves SCSU’s record to 10-12-4, 7-8-3 WCHA, while North Dakota improved its record to 13-10-2, 9-9-0 WCHA.

Corban Knight recorded two goals an assist to pace North Dakota.

The results of the weekend in WCHA play moved the Huskies into a tie for seventh place along with Michigan Tech (17 points each), while North Dakota moved into sixth place with 18 points on the season.

No. 1 Minnesota Duluth 4, Alabama Huntsville 3

DULUTH — The No. 1 team in the nation got another three-point night from the No. 1 scorer in the nation Saturday and equally as important, got a clutch third-period goal from rookie left winger Caleb Herbert en route to a 4-3 win over the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

Minnesota Duluth wasted little time getting to work, striking first on senior center Jack Connolly’s 14th goal of the year 1:07 into the opening period. A power play tally by the Chargers at the 1:55 mark and a full-strength marker less than a minute later gave Alabama-Huntsville a brief 2-1 lead. The defending NCAA Champion Bulldogs knotted the score three minutes later on a one-time goal by sophomore right winger Joe Basaraba (with an assist to Connolly) and went into the first intermission in a 2-2 deadlock.

Connolly’s second goal of the evening put UMD back in front 2:12 into the second stanza before the Chargers tied it back up with 12:11 to go in the period. Connolly, who now has 40 points on the year, extended his personal scoring streak to 22 games, equaling the UMD single-season record set by another All-American center, Mark Pavelich in 1978-79.

“I’m just trying to go out there and help the guys,” said Connolly, who has recorded three or more points on seven occasions this winter. “Hopefully I can keep this streak going for a couple more games. It’s nice to share this kind of record.”

Northern Michigan 5, Michigan Tech 2

HOUGHTON — Freshman forward David Johnstone scored twice but the Michigan Tech Huskies were defeated by the Northern Michigan Wildcats, 5-2, on Saturday night at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Bemidji State, Denver IDLE

Current standings follow …

WCHA Games
Overall
GP
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
W
L
T
GF
GA
Minnesota
18
13
5
0
26
61
35
17
9
1
103
56
Minnesota Duluth
16
11
3
2
24
66
37
17
4
3
95
56
Colorado College
18
11
7
0
22
69
57
14
9
1
84
68
Nebraska Omaha
18
9
6
3
21
57
56
12
10
4
79
76
Denver
16
8
5
3
19
56
50
13
8
3
85
67
North Dakota
18
9
9
0
18
47
49
13
10
2
73
70
Michigan Tech
16
8
7
1
17
53
49
11
12
1
70
71
St. Cloud State
18
7
8
3
17
54
52
10
12
4
80
77
Wisconsin
18
7
9
2
16
51
55
12
10
2
76
68
Bemidji State
16
5
9
2
12
41
55
11
11
2
66
67
Minnesota State
18
4
13
1
9
46
70
8
17
1
70
90
Alaska Anchorage
18
3
14
1
7
37
73
6
14
2
54
82

WCHA roundup: Denver downs Union

Compiled from WCHA.com …

No. 15 Denver 3, No. 10 Union 1

DENVER – No. 15 Denver returned from the holiday break with a solid 3-1 win over No. 10 Union before a sellout crowd of 6,053 Friday night at Magness Arena.

Denver (9-7-3) started fast with first-period goals from Drew Shore, Joey LaLeggia and Shawn Ostrow and Juho Olkinuora made a career-high 42 saves in the win.

Jeremy Welsh scored for Union (9-4-5) and Colin Stevens took the loss after yielding two power-play goals in the first eight minutes of the game.

No. 2 Minnesota 5, Niagara 1

MINNEAPOLIS — Playing for the first time in 20 days, the Minnesota men’s hockey team started the second half of its season strong, defeating Niagara 5-1 at Mariucci Arena on Friday night. The victory put the second-ranked Golden Gophers in the Mariucci Classic championship game against Northeastern of Hockey East on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Without the aid of two of its top scorers, U.S. World Junior Championship team members Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau, UM never let go of a lead it took just 1:58 into the opening frame.

Senior forward Nick Larson buried a Jake Parenteau rebound just before the two-minute mark of the first period to give the Gophers a 1-0 lead.

The assist was Parenteau’s first collegiate point. It came in the 26th game of his career and the 18th game of his sophomore season.

The Gophers built on their lead just over a minute after Larson’s tally when another senior, Jake Hansen, converted on a Sam Warning rebound to make it a two-goal game.

Nebraska-Omaha 2, Quinnipiac 2

OMAHA — Sophomore forward Ryan Walters scored at 11:42 of the third period to lift the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks into a 2-2 tie against the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Friday night at the CenturyLink Center.

North Dakota 4, Harvard 4

GRAND FORKS — Freshman defenseman Nick Mattson scored two goals and freshman forward Brendan O’Donnell had a goal and an assist as North Dakota skated to a 4-4 tie against Harvard at Engelstad Arena on Friday.

Bemidji State 4, Bowling Green 1

BEMIDJI — Junior forward Aaron McLeod, senior forward Drew Fisher and junior forward Ben Kinne each scored in the second period as Bemidji State defeated Bowling Green, 4-1, on Friday at Sanford Center.

USA U-18 3, MSU-Mankato 3 (exhibition)

MANKATO — Junior forward Eriah Hayes scored a shorthanded goal at 19:09 of the third period to lift Minnesota State to a 3-3 tie against the US Under-18 Team on Friday night at Verizon Wireless Center.