UMD and Minnesota end in a tie after revealing championship banner
The banner for the Bulldogs National Championship run was unveiled in front of a roaring sellout crowd of 7,362 during the season opener on Saturday versus the University of Minnesota, with a host of UMD hockey legends congratulating the teams on it’s championship.
“I thought it was a good hockey game,” Head Coach Scott Sandelin said. “It was a fun crowd, would like to have that all the time.”
Both teams had control for parts of the game but none could gain the upper hand with the final score ending 1-1 in overtime.
The Bulldogs and Gophers came out with a lot of energy and aggressiveness in the first minutes of the game. The defense was dominant on both sides all night.
Until 12:07 into the first period, freshman Sampo Ranta of Finland put the Gophers on the board with a laser wrist shot just over the outstretched right leg of junior goalie Hunter Shepard.
Defense controlled the game, especially the penalty kills. In the first two periods both teams could barely get shots on goal during the power plays. Each had three power play opportunities in the first two periods. Combined they had 11 total shots with only four coming on goal with two each. During the Gophers first power play in the second period, the Bulldogs continued where they left off on their penalty kill by shutting them out and not letting them getting any shots on goal.
Both teams defenses played great. They stymied each others offense by not allowing each team to get comfortable.
It looked like the Bulldogs could get anything on offense until 3:38 into the third period when senior Peter Krieger scored the first goal of the season for the Bulldogs. Krieger got an open net off a rebound from Kobe Roth’s shot.
The Bulldogs could not generate any offense when they were at full strength. They looked a bit tentative by taking some illedvised shots or by not letting it rip when there was an open shot.
“We had chances that we need to bear down on,” Sandelin said. “Overall I thought both teams had good moments.”
The Bulldogs were on a power play in the third period, with Dylan Samberg skating down the left wing looking to score when Gophers junior Tyler Nanne ran into him, putting the Bulldogs on a five on three power play for just only 15 seconds.
The Bulldogs squandered their opportunity on both power plays. Junior Riley Tufte had a great look but hesitated to take the shot which could have been one of their best looks of the game.
Shepard was the player of the game finishing with 27 saves and a couple of fantastic saves. Shepard had one during the second period where he stopped a three on two break by lunging across the net to save the shot.
“Situations happen in a game,” Shepard said about his saves in the second period. “I prepare like I always do. A couple of breakdowns in the second [period]. It’s going to happen in the first game of the year.”
Minnesota junior goalie Mat Robson matched Shepard with 31 saves of his own. Robson snagged everything that just about came his way.
“I thought their goalie played well,” Sandelin said. “I thought our goalie played well. I wasn’t shocked because they’re both good goalies.”
With rivalry games, there’s always going to be some chippiness. Midway through the second period, there was some pushing and shoving after a Jade Miller shot attempt. Both teams were accessed penalties after the skirmish.
During overtime, the Bulldogs controlled the puck for most of the period, out-shooting Minnesota eight to two, but ultimately could not finish the game.
The Bulldogs play the Gophers again Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. in Minneapolis, before heading to Michigan to take on the Michigan Tech Huskies on Oct. 12.