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Omaha, UMD Complete Sweeps, while SCSU Tops WMU for Sole Possession of First

By NCHC, 01/13/18, 11:00PM EST


Huskies edge Broncos late for series split; Bulldogs down CC, 5-1; Omaha nips Miami, 4-3

Saturday, January 13, 2018 Scores
No. 2/2 St. Cloud State 4, No. 12/12 Western Michigan 3
No. 15/15 Minnesota Duluth 5, Colorado College 1
No. 17 Omaha 4, No. 20 Miami 3
No. 7/8 North Dakota 2, Bemidji State 2 (OT)

One night after NCHC teams combined to put up 46 goals, scores were a bit more normal on Saturday as two teams completed conference sweeps, while the third NCHC series ended in a split with one team taking sole possession of first place in the NCHC. In the battle for the top spot in the NCHC standings, No. 2/2 St. Cloud State avenged Friday’s loss by edging No. 12/12 Western Michigan, 4-3, behind a late goal from freshman forward Easton Brodzinski to earn a series split and regain first place in the NCHC by themselves. After setting a record with 18 combined goals Friday, No. 17 Omaha and No. 20 Miami combined for only seven Saturday as the Mavericks held off a third-period rally from the RedHawks for a 4-3 victory and a weekend sweep. Also collecting a series sweep was No. 15/15 Minnesota Duluth, which downed Colorado College, 5-1, on the road behind a big third period. In non-conference play, No. 7/8 North Dakota skated to a 2-2 overtime tie with Bemidji State to finish their home-and-home series.

In the only series to end in a split this weekend, No. 2/2 St. Cloud State tallied a late goal to break a tie and pick up a 4-3 victory over No. 12/12 Western Michigan Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Freshman forward Easton Brodzinski broke a 3-3 deadlock with only 4:28 remaining in regulation for the game-winner. Junior forward Mikey Eyssimont, who set up the game-winner, finished with three points on two assists and a third-period power play goal. The Broncos (12-9-1, 7-5-0-0 NCHC) jumped in front in the closing seconds of the first period when sophomore forward Dawson DiPietro, who had a two-point night, scored with only seven ticks left. The Huskies (14-4-3, 8-3-1-0 NCHC) pulled even in the second stanza, striking twice in the period, sandwiched around a short-handed WMU tally as the teams went to the third even at 2-2. That set the stage for Brodzinski’s late goal after Eyssimont and WMU junior defenseman Corey Schueneman traded power play markers. SCSU finished with a commanding, 40-16 edge in shots on goal, but sophomore Ben Blacker made 36 saves in defeat for the Broncos to keep it close. SCSU hosts No. 8/6 Minnesota State next Saturday on Hockey Day Minnesota, while WMU returns home to host Colorado College for a pair of NCHC games.

After combining for an NCHC record 18 goals in Friday’s contest, No. 17 Omaha and No. 20 Miami only managed seven goals Saturday as the Mavericks held on for a 4-3 win to complete a sweep at Baxter Arena. Omaha (12-9-1, 5-7-0-0 NCHC) struck four times in the second period, all in an 11-minute stretch in the later half of the stanza from four different Mavericks. Senior forward Tyler Vesel notched the eventual game-winner on the power play with 1:20 to go in the middle period. Miami (9-11-2, 4-7-1-0 NCHC) attempted to rally in the third period, scoring three times, first on the power play by freshman forward Phil Knies early in the frame. Junior forward Josh Melnick made it a two-goal game five minutes later, while Knies tallied for a second time with 2:32 to play but the RedHawks couldn’t find the equalizer. Despite the loss, Miami outshot Omaha, 31-27, including 16-4 in the final frame, but junior goalie Evan Weninger made 28 saves to earn the win in net. The Mavericks are back in action next weekend at No. 5/5 Denver, while the RedHawks are off until playing at Colorado College Jan. 26-27.

Earning its first NCHC sweep of the season, No. 15/15 Minnesota Duluth downed Colorado College, 5-1, Saturday at the Broadmoor World Arena, scoring the game’s final five goals. The Tigers (9-10-3, 3-7-2-1/0 NCHC) pounced on the board first when junior forward Westin Michaud struck on the power play midway through the opening period. But it was all UMD (11-9-3, 5-7-0-0 NCHC) from there, with sophomore defenseman Nick Wolff tying the game with his own power play goal seven minutes later. Freshman forward Kobe Roth, who scored his first career goal in Friday’s win, potted the game-winner Saturday with only 1:21 to play in the second stanza. The Bulldogs then tacked on three more tallies in the final frame with Roth capping the outburst for his first multi-goal game. UMD outshot CC, 45-19, including 36-9 over the final 40 minutes. Sophomore goalie Hunter Shepard earned the win in net with 18 saves. The Bulldogs return home to host No. 7/8 North Dakota next weekend in an NCHC showdown, while the Tigers head east for two games at No. 12/12 Western Michigan.

In the lone non-conference game Saturday, No. 7/8 North Dakota skated to a 2-2 overtime tie with border rival Bemidji State at Ralph Engelstad Arena as the teams concluded their home-and-home series and UND wrapped up out-of-conference play. After a scoreless first frame, junior forward Nick Jones opened the scoring 3:28 into the second stanza to put the Fighting Hawks (12-6-6) in front. Leo Fitzgerald pulled BSU (11-7-6) even on the power play midway through the middle period, with junior defenseman Christian Wolanin answering with his own power play goal minutes later to regain the lead. The Beavers had their own answer, however, as Dillon Eichstadt scored midway through the final frame for the game-tying goal, while neither team struck in overtime. UND, which went 1-for-5 a man up, finished with a 31-20 edge in shots on goal in the draw. North Dakota returns to NCHC play next weekend at No. 15/15 Minnesota Duluth.

Next weekend, seven NCHC teams are in action with three conference series on the slate. Colorado College visits No. 12/12 Western Michigan, while No. 15/15 Minnesota Duluth hosts No. 7/8 North Dakota and No. 5/5 Denver entertains No. 17 Omaha. Friday features an NCHC doubleheader on CBS Sports Network with CC at WMU, followed by UND at UMD. On Saturday only, No. 2/2 St. Cloud State battles No. 8/6 Minnesota State on Hockey Day Minnesota from St. Cloud with the game on FOX Sports North PLUS. The Huskies blanked the Mavericks to open the season in Mankato. Five of the games next weekend can be seen on, including all four games on Saturday.