Only two NCHC teams were in action Saturday night, both playing non-conference foes, and both came up a bit short. Miami fell on the road at Connecticut, 4-3, while No. 8/9 Minnesota Duluth dropped a 3-1 home decision to top-ranked Minnesota State at AMSOIL Arena, with both NCHC teams surrendering two third-period goals in defeat.
CONNECTICUT 4, MIAMI 3
In a back-and-forth affair, Miami (4-8-3) came up a goal short as Connecticut (5-6-3) struck twice in the third period to break a tie and clip the RedHawks, 4-3, Saturday at the XL Center. Freshman forward John Sladic scored two goals for the RedHawks for his second career multi-goal game, including opening the game’s scoring midway through the first period. The Huskies answered later in the frame and took the lead in the second stanza. Sophomore forward Monte Graham tied the game for MU early in the final frame, but UConn answered with two quick goals less than two minutes apart to grab a 4-2 cushion, with the game-winner coming on the power play. Sladic added his second of the game later to bring Miami within one, but the RedHawks couldn’t find the equalizer. UConn outshot the RedHawks, 35-27, in their sweep-clinching victory.
No. 1/1 MINNESOTA STATE 3, No. 8/9 MINNESOTA DULUTH 1
It was a power play bonanza at AMSOIL Arena Saturday night, with all four goals being scored on the man advantage as top-ranked Minnesota State scored the game’s final two goals to break a 1-1 tie and cap a sweep of No. 8/9 Minnesota Duluth, 3-1. Jake Jaremko book-ended the game’s scoring, opening with a power play goal to put the Mavericks (12-1-1) up 1-0 midway through the first frame. UMD (7-6-1) had several chances to answer in the second period with three power play opportunities, including a major penalty, but the Bulldogs couldn’t capitalize. UMD finally broke through when junior forward Justin Richards scored on the power play to tie the game in the third period. The Mavericks answered right back, however, as Lucas Sowder scored the game-winner a man up less than two minutes later and Jaremko sealed the game a few minutes after that. Despite the loss, UMD outshot Minnesota State, 38-24, but went just 1-for-5 on the man advantage, while MSU was 3-for-4.
Next weekend, all eight NCHC teams are in action with three conference series and two non-conference series on the road. In conference play, No. 17 Western Michigan hosts No. 3/3 North Dakota for a pair, while No. 18 Omaha entertains No. 8/9 Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State heads to Oxford for two games at Miami. In non-conference action, Colorado College flies east for two games with Princeton, while No. 4/5 Denver travels to the desert to face Arizona State for a two-game set. All three conference series next weekend can be seen on NCHC.tv.