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Jacques has breakout night, but Omaha scores two power play goals to upend Bulldogs

Minnesota Duluth was put on the penalty kill for a good chunk of the third period in the series opener Friday, and the Mavericks took advantage by scoring two power play goals to rally for a 3-2 win. UMD and UNO meet again at 6:07 p.m. Saturday at Amsoil Arena.

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Minnesota Duluth forward Jesse Jacques (8) celebrates after scoring a goal against Omaha goaltender Jake Kucharski (1) during the second period at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — Minnesota Duluth took a 2-1 lead into the third period on Friday via the first two points of the season from fifth-year senior wing Jesse Jacques.

The effort was spoiled via two power play goals by Omaha in the final 20 minutes, however, leading to a 3-2 victory for the Mavericks over the No. 20 Bulldogs in the NCHC series opener Friday at Amsoil Arena.

UMD coach Scott Sandelin — whose team hosts the Mavs again at 6:07 p.m. Saturday — called Friday’s game “probably one of our best games of the year,” with the exception of some untimely penalties.

The Bulldogs also had plenty of scoring opportunities, including numerous during a major penalty they had to kill off in the third and again with the net empty at the end. There were open nets and half-open nets UMD missed. The Bulldogs need to bear down, Sandelin said.

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Minnesota Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin reacts to a review against Omaha at Amsoil Arena on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

“That’s the fine line. It comes down to special teams,” Sandelin said. “Five-on-five I thought we were a good hockey team tonight. … I liked the way we played, but you still have to find ways to win those games, got to find a way to win those games.”

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UMD was on the penalty kill for 8:04 in the third period on Friday.

Mavericks sophomore center Ty Mueller tied the game 1:12 into the third period via a UMD penalty that carried over from the second. Junior wing Matt Miller gave the Mavs the lead on the power play with 8:27 to play.

Miller’s goal came after freshman wing Kyle Bettens was called for cross checking after a Maverick fell going into the boards. The penalty was reviewed for a major, but left a minor for cross checking (a penalty can’t be taken away on a review).

The penalty on Bettens was one Sandelin said he didn’t like, “but you still have to kill them off.”

Less than four minutes after Omaha took the lead, the Bulldogs were put on the penalty kill for another five minutes after a video review resulted in junior defenseman Wyatt Kaiser receiving a major penalty for charging the goaltender after he ran over Omaha senior goalie Jake Kucharski en route to the net. No call was initially made on the play, and the game wasn’t stopped until senior wing Quinn Olson was winding up to fire the puck over Kucharski, who was face-down on the ice.

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Omaha defenseman Joaquim Lemay (2) controls the puck near Minnesota Duluth defenseman Wyatt Kaiser (5) at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

The Bulldogs actually matched the Mavericks in shots on goal during the Kaiser major, 3-3, with fifth-year senior wing and captain Tanner Laderoute having three looks in front early via a failed wrap around attempt and the two rebounds that came from it.

“I thought we played a good game five-on-five, but definitely the penalties hurt us in the game,” Jacques said. “We got to stay out of the box.

“The line switch ups, I thought, really helped. I thought our line played pretty well. Everyone overall, all the lines, were moving their feet pretty well. We just have to play five-on-five hockey and we'll be fine.”

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The line of Laderoute, Jacques and junior wing Blake Biondi was responsible for both UMD goals on Friday.

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Minnesota Duluth forward Tanner Laderoute (13) scores a goal during the second period against Omaha goaltender Jake Kucharski (1) and Omaha defenseman Jonny Tychonick (20) at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Jacques, with 10 goals and 15 assists over his career coming into the night, tied the game at 1-1 just 99 seconds into the second period when a shot by his fellow Hermantown native, deflected off Jacques’ stick, up in the air and over Kucharski.

A blast by Jacques from just below the blue line with 7:35 to play in the second went in off fellow fifth-year senior wing Tanner Laderoute to give UMD the lead.

“We just played simple hockey,” Biondi said of his line, which on both goals was just trying to put a puck on net. “We got in on the forecheck and just tried to out-work guys. That was our goal, to out-work the other line tonight and I thought we did a good job of that.”

Like the Bulldogs’ first two goals, a deflection gave Omaha a 1-0 lead as Mavs senior captain Nolan Sullivan redirected a shot by junior defenseman Nolan Krenzen — a Duluth Marshall alum.

Kucharski — a Carolina Hurricanes 2018 seventh-round draft pick who transferred to Omaha this year after starting his NCAA career at Providence — finished with 38 saves.

Bulldogs senior goalie Matthew Thiessen — also a 2018 seventh round NHL draft pick, but of the Vancouver Canucks — made 23 saves as he started consecutive games for UMD for the first time since transferring in this season from Maine.

Matt’s Three Stars

3. UNO senior goaltender Jake Kucharski — The Mavericks goalie finished with 38 saves, holding off UMD late when the Bulldogs had an extra attacker

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2. UMD fifth-year senior Jesse Jacques — A two-point night for Jacques, who had his best game of the season. His line was going from the start. They were the toughest to play against, and most effective offensively.

1. UNO junior wing Matt Miller — Took advantage of an open side of the UMD net to score the game-winner just as the Mavs’ power play was about to expire.

Box score

Omaha 1-0-2—3

Minnesota Duluth 0-2-0—2

First period

1. UNO, Nolan Sullivan (Nolan Krenzen, Jacob Slipec), 14:25

Second period

2. UMD, Jesse Jacques (Blake Biondi, Owen Gallatin), 1:39

3. UMD, Tanner Laderoute (Jacques, Gallatin), 12:25

Third period

4. UNO, Ty Mueller (Jacob Guevin, Joaquim Lemay), 1:12 (pp)

5. UNO, Matt Miller (Cameron Berg, Johny Tychonick), 11:33 (pp)

Saves — Jake Kucharski, UNO, 38; Matthew Thiessen, UMD, 23.

Power play — UNO 2-4; UMD 0-3. Penalties — UNO 4-8; UMD 5-13.

Photos

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Omaha forward Jacob Slipec (13) and Omaha forward Nolan Sullivan (11) celebrate a goal against Minnesota Duluth during the first period at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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Minnesota Duluth forward Luke Loheit (16) and Omaha forward Cameron Berg (17) chase the puck at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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Minnesota Duluth forward Kyle Bettens (24) collides with Omaha forward Matt Miller (27) at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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Minnesota Duluth forward Kyle Bettens (24) takes control of the puck against Omaha forward Kaden Bohlsen (29) at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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Minnesota Duluth players celebrate a goal against Omaha during the second period at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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Minnesota Duluth goaltender Matthew Thiessen (36) covers the puck against Omaha at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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Minnesota Duluth forward Tanner Laderoute (13) celebrates after scoring a goal against Omaha at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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Minnesota Duluth forward Luke Mylymok (21) shoots the puck on goal against Omaha goaltender Jake Kucharski (1) at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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Minnesota Duluth forward Quinn Olson (15) chases the puck against Omaha at Amsoil Arena on Friday in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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