Bulldogs leave Frozen Faceoff winless with 4-1 loss to UND

 Photo courtesy of Russ Hons

Photo courtesy of Russ Hons

The University of Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey team came up winless in the 2018 Frozen Faceoff after today’s 4-1 loss to the University of North Dakota a year after beating them in the tournament championship.

As all good things do, UMD’s eight game win streak over the Fighting Hawks came to an end today as the Bulldogs were unable to get much of anything going on offense until the waning minutes of the game.

The score remained 2-0 until the 15:51 mark of the third period when Shane Gersich capitalized on sophomore defenseman Nick Wolff’s major kneeing penalty to make it 3-0. Rookie blueliner Mikey Anderson netted the Bulldogs first goal 46 seconds later firing through a screened Cam Johnson.

UND played a very good defensive game keeping most of the Bulldogs shots coming from the side boards, very little coming from the middle of the ice. The Fighting Hawks also made UMD’s night very difficult by playing solid defensively in the neutral zone which hindered the Bulldogs ability to break into the offensive zone for most of the night.

UMD’s power play struggles carried over from last night as they went 0-3 on the man advantage this afternoon. UND went 2-5 on the power play scoring both goals in the third period.

“We didn’t start with the puck, they’re a good faceoff team, they won a lot of draws and we started 200 feet away,” said UMD Head Coach Scott Sandelin. “We were very disjointed coming up the rink and we didn’t win enough battles to get it back.”

UND won 63 percent of faceoffs which a key reason UMD couldn’t get their power play going all afternoon. The Fighting Hawks poured on 31 shots on net to the Bulldogs 28.

“It’s really important that the guys get to experience these kinds of games it’s hard to win at this time of the year, it’s hard. Tonight, is what you are going to see if we do advance, it’s do or die,” Sandelin said.

With the loss, UMD moves even closer to the pairwise bubble as they sit at No. 13. Tomorrow at 11 a.m. the Bulldogs will learn their fate for the rest of the season and find out if they will advance to a program best, fourth consecutive National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.

SportsAustin Rush