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UMD men's hockey: Fanti makes 46 saves, Cates scores in shootout to give Bulldogs key points in St. Cloud

Minnesota Duluth tied St. Cloud State 1-1 in overtime on Tuesday, but picked up an important extra point against the Huskies in the shootout as the two battle to see who hosts the final NCHC quarterfinal series next month.

Minnesota Duluth goalie Ryan Fanti (39) blocks a shot by St. Cloud State forward Kevin Fitzgerald (28) during the second period Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

DULUTH — Just a few hours after being named a semifinalist for the Mike Richter Award , Minnesota Duluth junior goaltender Ryan Fanti made his case to be the national goaltender of the year by stopping 46 of the 47 shots he faced in a 1-1 overtime tie against St. Cloud State on Tuesday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.

Fanti made a save on a penalty shot in the first period — the second time in four games he’s had to do it — and also stopped Huskies sophomore wing Veeti Miettinen in the third round of a shootout to clinch an important bonus point for the fourth-place Bulldogs. The shootout win inched UMD’s four-point lead to five points over the fifth-place Huskies in the chase for the final home NCHC quarterfinal series coming up March 11-13.

“He had a great game for us,” Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said of Fanti. “We got the extra point for him. He was the one who helped us get it. It was good to see out of him. It’s what he’s been doing all year. He’s played well for us. He had a great game tonight and we needed it.”

UMD and SCSU met two weeks ago on a Tuesday in St. Cloud with the Huskies winning a shootout following a 2-2 overtime tie . The Tuesday games were rescheduled after a series in early January was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. UMD and SCSU meet again during the final week of the regular season March 4-5 at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.

Just like that first Tuesday meeting on Feb. 8, the Bulldogs took a lead into the third period. This one was just a one-goal lead after sophomore defenseman Connor Kelley scored on a power play 4:30 into the second for just his second goal of the season.


Huskies fifth-year senior center Kevin Fitzgerald tied the game 3:50 into the third period after knocking in his own rebound.

Minnesota Duluth defenseman Connor Kelley (25) makes a pass against St. Cloud State during the first period Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

St. Cloud State had a chance to pull ahead and gain ground on UMD via two power plays late in the third period, but was denied both times despite spending almost the entire advantage in the offensive zone.

The Huskies’ power play, which ranks first in the nation at 33.6 percent, finished 0-for-4 on advantages that spanned 10 minutes and 45 seconds on Tuesday. It was even shut down during a five-minute power play in the second after Bulldogs fifth-year senior defenseman Louie Roehl was ejected via a major penalty and game misconduct for face masking during a scrum.

Fanti made 11 saves on the penalty kill, while getting a number of key blocks from teammates as well.

“I didn’t really have to make too difficult of saves on the kill today,” Fanti said. “Lots of guys were getting exits and our pressure, I thought, was really good. We had a lot of big blocks, as well from our D-men.”

Cates returns, scores revenge goal in shootout

Minnesota Duluth forward Noah Cates (21) is recognized for playing in the Olympics in Beijing before the start of the game against St. Cloud State Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Senior captain Noah Cates returned to Minnesota from the 2022 Olympics in Beijing on Monday following a 27-hour travel day and was back in the UMD lineup Tuesday in St. Cloud for the first time since late January.

When it came time for the shootout, Sandelin said Cates requested to go first, and the Team USA alternate captain converted to give UMD a 1-0 lead in the shootout, beating Huskies fifth-year senior David Hrenak.

Sophomore wing Quinn Olson also scored for UMD in the shootout to make it 2-1 before Fanti clinched the win in the top of the third.


Cates and the Americans were beaten in the Olympic quarterfinals by Hrenak’s home country — eventual bronze medalists, Slovakia — in a shootout a week ago in Beijing. Cates said the move he used Tuesday would have been the move he used had he been called upon against Slovakia.

SCSU vs UMD_1496
Minnesota Duluth forward Noah Cates (21) scores on St. Cloud State goalie David Hrenak (34) in a shootout after an overtime tie Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

“I really wanted to go against Slovakia that game,” Cates said. “I had that in my mind. I just wanted to take it and get us a good start.”

Cates made a stop in his hometown of Stillwater, Minnesota, to drop off some things Monday before joining the team. The Bulldogs have four games left in the regular season with two games against Miami this weekend on Friday and Saturday in Oxford, Ohio, before the final series with St. Cloud State.

“It was good to be around the guys again, to get that energy,” Cates said. “Just being with them down the stretch here, it’s going to be critical coming together and getting these points. I’m honestly really happy to get the extra points and the win. Getting that momentum going for us was big.”

Box score

Minnesota Duluth 0-1-0-0—1

St. Cloud State 0-0-1-0—1

UMD wins shootout 2-1 in three rounds


First period

No scoring

Second period

1. UMD, Connor Kelley (Quinn Olson, Luke Mylymok), 4:30 (pp)

Third period

2. SCSU, Kevin Fitzgerald (Zach Okabe, Jack Peart), 3:50


No scoring


Saves — Ryan Fanti, UMD, 46; David Hrenak, SCSU, 25.

Power plays — UMD 1-5, SCSU 0-4. Penalties — UMD 8-27, SCSU 7-14.

St. Cloud State forward Mason Salquist (16) joins St. Cloud State forward Chase Brand (27) and Minnesota Duluth defenseman Owen Gallatin (20) in a battle for the puck during the third period Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

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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