Chaotic third period leads to 5-5 draw with Merrimack College

Senior captain Karson Kuhlman races for to beat a Merrimack defender for a loose puck

Senior captain Karson Kuhlman races for to beat a Merrimack defender for a loose puck

Five goals in the final 9:48 between Merrimack College and the University of Minnesota Duluth hands the Bulldogs their second consecutive tie game bringing their season record to 1-2-2.

Charging back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period, UMD would go on to score the next three goals. Sophomore forward Joey Anderson pulled the Bulldogs within one with his power play strike to make it 2-1 Merrimack with 25 tics left in the opening period.

Freshmen forward and defenseman Nick Swaney and Mikey Anderson had the lone second period strikes for UMD. Both goals came on the power play which UMD went 3-for-5 on in tonight’s contest. Swaney’s goal was the first of his collegiate career.

The Bulldogs held a 3-2 lead heading into the final period of play. And then the fun began. At the 12:12 mark of the third period, sophomore forward Riley Tufte extended the Bulldog lead to 4-2 as he outmuscled and Warrior defender en route to his wrap around tally. The Dallas Stars first round draft pick also set up two other Bulldog goals.

Following Tufte’s insurance goal, UMD took a pair of ill-timed penalties and Merrimack made sure to capitalize on them. Scoring two power play goals just 45 seconds apart, the Warriors tied the Bulldogs 4-4 with 4:23 left in regulation. Merrimack torched UMD’s specials teams tonight as they went 4-for-6 on the power play.

74 seconds later senior forward Brett Seney knocked home a rebound out front of the UMD net to give the Warriors a 5-4 lead with 3:09 left in the third period.

Trying to mirror his first goal of the night, Tufte raced into the offensive zone and tried to bury another wrap around goal but was denied. Junior forward Peter Krieger was there on the doorstep to clean up the garbage and bury the equalizer with 1:15 left in regulation.

“I thought our guys did a great job, we got down two nothing and I actually thought we started the game good again even though we were down,” said UMD head coach Scott Sandelin. “Our guys stuck with it and battled back.”

UMD poured on 43 shots in tonight’s back and forth matchup compared to the Warriors 26. Rookie defenseman and Winnipeg Jets draft pick Dylan Samberg earns his playmaker patch with his three assist performance tonight.

The Bulldogs and the Warriors do it all over again tomorrow night for another 7:37 puck drop in the series finale from Amsoil Arena.


Photo courtesy of Brett Groehler