Bulldogs throttle No. 15 North Dakota, shut them out 5-0.
The Bulldogs have won eight of their previous nine contests versus the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. The sellout crowd was amped for this game, roaring for most parts of the game.
North Dakota had a great scoring opportunity midway through the first period. They went on the power play after sophomore Justin Richards got called for tripping. The Fighting Hawks even had a 3-on-5 for fifteen seconds, when Dylan Samberg was also called for tripping.
The Bulldogs own one of the top penalty kills in the conference and it showed, not allowing a goal after being on the penalty kill four times in the game.
In the final minute of the period, sophomore Kobe Roth scored his third goal of the season off the power play. North Dakota goalie, sophomore Peter Thome, was called for a delay of game for knocking the after the Bulldogs were in their zone.
“It’s nice to see him rewarded with a couple [of goals],” head coach Scott Sandelin said. “He’s played well for us, sometimes the guys even when they play well, they might not score but it’s nice to see him.”
There was a scramble in front of the net and the Roth poked the puck free and backhanded it in the net. The officials went to review the play and upheld the goal.
The Bulldogs quickly extended their lead not even a minute into the second period off captain Parker Mackay’s seventh goal of the season. Freshman Cole Koepke found Mackay with a turnaround pass and Mackay put the puck right past Thome.
Things got chippy in the second period, when a fight broke out between both teams. UMD junior Nick Wolff and North Dakota junior Dixon Bowen were both given game misconducts and were kicked out of the game, while four others went to the box for their participation.
“[Nick] Wolffy comes in there for the teammate,” Mickey Anderson said, “that always strikes life in the guys. Seeing the guy stick up for another teammate like that.”
The Bulldogs dominated from that point on. Scoring three more goals in the period, all of them coming on fairly wide open shots, coming off great passes.
The third period went to script for the Bulldogs. They played conservatively on offense, but let their stifling defense carry them to the end.
“I like where we’re going,” Sandelin said, “I thought our guys had a good week and they were excited to play coming off the bye week.”
It was a big night for Hunter Shepard as the shutout gave him the most in program history and extended the second highest winning percentage among goalies in NCHC. Shepard is more concerned with the team’s success rather than his personal success.
“I’m just happy we won the games to be honest,” Shepard said. “I’ve been blessed to be on a team that plays such good defense last year.”
The Bulldogs will be looking for the sweep tomorrow versus North Dakota at AMSOil.