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Pair of Bulldogs blueliners find redemption in 3-2 win over Cornell

UMD fifth-year senior defenseman Derek Daschke makes up for his turnover early in the third period by scoring the game-winning goal late in the game.

Derek Daschke celebrates goal
Minnesota Duluth fifth-year senior defenseman Derek Daschke celebrates scoring the Bulldogs game-winning goal late in the third period of a 3-2 win over Cornell on Friday at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.
Terry Norton / UMD Athletics

DULUTH — For a pair of Minnesota Duluth defensemen, Friday was a night of redemption.

Junior Wyatt Kaiser quickly put his suspension behind him by getting the Bulldogs on the scoreboard early while fifth-year senior Derek Daschke made up for a costly turnover early in the third period by scoring the game-winning goal late in regulation.

The result was the conclusion of a four-game losing streak as the 19th-ranked Bulldogs beat No. 20 Cornell in nonconference play Friday at Amsoil Arena.

“It just feels good to win,” Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said. “Right now you don't care if it's pretty or ugly, right? You got to find some momentum and I thought we got some good play out of quite a few guys.”

Daschke, a transfer from Miami, netted his second game-winning goal in seven games at UMD with 1:41 remaining in regulation, breaking free of the Big Red’s man-to-man coverage to get open on a broken play.


It was Daschke’s turnover that resulted in a two-on-one rush for Cornell and a game-tying goal by freshman wing Winter Wallace two and a half minutes into the third. However, Wallace had to be carried off the ice by teammates after sustaining an injury while scoring.

Daschke said it was good to get redemption for the turnover, a play he took responsibility for after the game Friday.

“I kind of lost (the puck) in the stands a bit there and then it kind of took a weird bounce and the puck just was behind me,” Daschke said. “I tried to smack it over to (Owen Gallatin) and missed it. An unfortunate bounce, and luckily I was able to get the game-winner there, so it kind of makes up for it.

“Any time you make a mistake that cost your team like that, you feel pretty down, so to be able to come back and get a goal like that to win the game is pretty huge.”

The Bulldogs trailed at nine of 12 intermissions in their first six games. On Friday, UMD took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission and a 2-1 advantage into the second.

Kaiser, back from serving a one-game suspension for a high-sticking major last Saturday, put the Bulldogs on top three and a half minutes into Friday’s game by firing a shot from the point cleanly into the back of the net.

Cornell junior wing Jack O’Leary tied the game midway through the second period, but freshman wing Ben Steeves struck with his team-leading third goal of the season to put UMD back on top with just 1:13 to go before the second intermission.

UMD was outshot 20-11 in the second period, but Kaiser said his team did a good job sticking to the game plan. Friday was a good building block.


“The one thing that I'm trying to help out the guys with, and as a team we're trying to learn, is to ride the game,” Kaiser said. “Those momentum swings in the second period when they came out, how they stuck it to us — it’s staying with the game, staying in our defensive zone structure, not getting runaround. Just staying with it, staying with it, and then we get into the (offensive) zone and put some pressure on — boom, you get one.

“We're learning to each period stay with the game. It doesn't matter the score.”

Shot by Wyatt Kaiser
Minnesota Duluth junior defenseman Wyatt Kaiser takes a shot against Cornell on Friday at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.
Terry Norton / UMD Athletics

UMD lost junior wing Luke Mylymok to injury 4:32 into the second period on Friday when he was slammed into the boards by Cornell sophomore Ondrej Psenicka, a 6-foot-6 center from Czechia. The hit was reviewed for a major penalty and game misconduct, but the NCHC officials left it as a minor penalty for boarding.

The Bulldogs were already without freshman wing Isaac Howard on Friday. He is serving a two-game suspension this weekend for a cross checking major taken last Saturday against Wisconsin.

Freshman wing Kyle Bettens is the Bulldogs' only other available forward for Saturday’s game. UMD did get freshman forward Jack Smith in the lineup on Friday. He played his first game at UMD after missing the first six games due to an injury.

Matt’s Three Stars

3. UMD junior wing Blake Biondi — With Mylymok hurt, Biondi was one of the guys double shifting late in the second and later on in the third period. On Daschke’s game-winner, Biondi was able to tie up one Cornell player and draw another his way.

2. UMD freshman wing Ben Steeves — A big goal late in the second to put UMD on top at the intermission, Steeves now has a team-high three goals in five games.

1. UMD junior defenseman Wyatt Kaiser — Back on the ice, Kaiser looked like a player on a mission Friday and his goal early on was big. “I thought he was good tonight,” Sandelin said. “That’s why we need him in our lineup.”


Box score

Cornell 0-1-1—2
Minnesota Duluth 1-1-1—3
First period
1. UMD, Wyatt Kaiser (Luke Loheit, Dominic James), 3:36
Second period
2. COR, Jack O’Leary (Ondrej Psenicka, Kyle Penney), 10:59
3. UMD, Ben Steeves (Carter Loney, Aiden Dubinsky), 18:47
Third period
4. COR, Winter Wallace (Dalton Bancroft), 2:36
5. UMD, Derek Daschke (Blake Biondi, Derek Daschke), 18:19
Saves — Ian Shane, COR, 29; Zach Stejskal, UMD, 34.
Power play — COR 0-3; UMD 0-3. Penalties — COR 3-6; UMD 3-6.

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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