Despite plenty of chances, Bulldogs come up empty on power play, fall 6-2 at Denver
After having to kill penalties early, UMD was on the power play for nine minutes in the second and third periods, putting 11 shots on goal.
DENVER — Denver, ranked third in the nation and leaders of the NCHC, got two goals from sophomore wing Jack Devine to beat Minnesota Duluth for a third time this season, 6-2 on Friday at Magness Arena.
It was the Pioneers' first regulation victory over UMD after notching a pair of overtime wins in December at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. The Bulldogs and Pioneers conclude their regular season series at 7 p.m. CST Saturday back in Denver.
“You look at the score, I don’t really care about the score,” Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said. “People will go, ‘Oh, they got their butts kicked.' We didn’t get our butts kicked. We got to capitalize. We got to score on some chances. They did.”
Devine, freshman wing Jared Wright (on a breakaway out of the penalty box) and junior wing McKade Webster (on an empty net) all piled on goals in the third for Denver, which led 3-2 at the start of the period after getting a pair of goals within 2:33 of each other in the second to erase a 2-1 advantage for the Bulldogs.
Senior wing Luke Loheit put away a rebound 4:30 into the second period, one-timing a puck that came flying off the far post via a shot by sophomore center Dominic James. Loheit was there on the opposite side for his sixth goal of the year.
A one-timer by junior defenseman Mike Benning on Denver’s fourth power play of the game, followed by a breakaway goal by Devine, put the Bulldogs behind for the first time all night.
“The second period we had three or four pretty good chances, we don't score on those. They get the third goal,” Sandelin said. “The difference was they got two power play goals and we didn't get any. That's really the difference.”
Simply Devine! 😇— The NCHC (@TheNCHC) February 18, 2023
Mazur with the bank pass and Jack does the rest to give @DU_Hockey its first lead tonight
📺: @AltitudeTV // https://t.co/ZyUdpPaF0J #NCHChockey // #GoPios pic.twitter.com/4wANr1lVxg
Late in the second, a lengthy video review after the fact — following no initial call on the hit — led to Denver senior wing Casey Dornbach being assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for a high hit on James, giving UMD a major power play that started in the second and carried over for another 3:18 into the third.
Three weeks ago the Bulldogs were in a similar situation against St. Cloud State in Duluth, on a five-minute power play that began in the second and carried over into the third. UMD scored three times on that advantage — once late in the second and twice more to start the third.
Denver didn’t allow a goal during the major, getting some help on the kill from the Bulldogs after Loheit was called for hooking 34 seconds into the third period.
The Bulldogs also failed to convert on two more advantages in the second half of the the third to finish the night 0-for-4 during its nine minutes on the power plays while Denver went 2-for-4 during it’s 6:09.
“We just didn't capitalize on the power play,” Loheit said. “And that's on us to capitalize on that. We're going to review that and look at that tonight. If we can capitalize on a couple of those, that turns the game around. That makes it a different game if we can get one or two.”
The Bulldogs took an initial 1-0 lead late in the first period on Saturday, but the Pioneers tied the game 89 seconds later. Both goals came on special teams.
Fifth-year senior Jesse Jacques, who picked up his first collegiate shorthanded goal on Jan. 28 against St. Cloud State at Amsoil Arena, got his second shorty Friday in Denver, scoring on a breakaway like he did against the Huskies.
Jacques rocks! 🤘— The NCHC (@TheNCHC) February 18, 2023
The grad student strikes short-handed for @UMDMensHockey with the #NCHCTopPlay
📺: @AltitudeTV // https://t.co/ZyUdpPaF0J #NCHChockey // #BulldogCountry pic.twitter.com/edlGD7JinN
Jacques' goal came during the first of back-to-back high-sticking penalties called against UMD 26 seconds apart, resulting in a five-on-three power play. After a pair of clears by UMD, Pioneers freshman center Aidan Thompson finally buried a feed from sophomore defenseman Shai Buium to tie the game 1-1.
UMD was called for four penalties in the opening period — Denver drew one whistle on coincidental minors — and was on the penalty kill for 4:26 of the opening 20 minutes.
“It's nice to get a shorthanded goal but we got to capitalize when we have all those power play minutes,” Jacques said. “They play hard on the penalty kill. As you can see, they're just tough, quick. We need to keep making quick plays and just move past this.”
Matt’s Three Stars
3. UMD fifth-year senior Jesse Jacques — You couldn’t ask for a better start for UMD, getting the shorty from Jacques. It was unfortunate UMD wasn’t given a chance to build on it.
2. DU freshman wing Aidan Thompson — He scored the Pioneers’ first goal, which neutralized the shorthanded goal by Jacques. Thompson also had two assists.
1. DU sophomore wing Jack Devine — A three-point night for Devine, who seemed to always be open for breakaways and scoring chances. He finished with two goals and an assist.
Minnesota Duluth 1-1-0—2
1. UMD, Jesse Jacques (Tanner Laderoute), 14:44 (sh)
2. DU, Aidan Thompson (Shai Buium, Jack Devine), 16:13 (pp)
3. UMD, Luke Loheit (Dominic James, Ben Steeves), 4:30
4. DU, Mike Benning (Carter Mazur, Tristan Broz), 10:09 (pp)
5. DU, Jack Devine (Mazur), 12:42
6. DU, Devine (Massimo Rizzo), 12:52
7. DU, Jared Wright, 16:04
8. DU, McKade Webster (Thompson, Rieger Lorenz), 17:30.
Saves — Magnus Chrona, DU, 31; Jack Caruso, DU, 1; Zach Stejskal, UMD, 25.
Power plays — UMD 0-4; DU 2-4. Penalties — UMD 6-12; DU 6-23.