College hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune covering the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs men's and women's teams, as well as the NCAA Division III programs at St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior.
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Despite a 3-0 win over Colorado College on Friday night, Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin had a few qualms. There were things he thought his Bulldogs could clean up. And after Saturday's 5-1 victory at Amsoil Arena, Sandelin still wasn't satisfied. The weather outside could have been better. "Oh, it's snowing out," Sandelin said as he peered outside at the staff parking lot, awaiting questions from reporters. "At least it's not the heavy stuff."
Top-ranked Minnesota Duluth extended its winning streak to eight games on Saturday by finishing off an NCHC series sweep of Colorado College, winning 5-1 before a crowd of 5,903 at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. Junior wing Riley Tufte had a goal and two assists, sophomore wing Nick Swaney had two goals while senior captain Parker Mackay and sophomore center Justin Richards each had a goal and an assist. A full recap of Saturday's win can be found here.
Earlier in the week, Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin was critical of his top forward line. Despite combining for six goals in the first eight games, Sandelin wanted more out of Riley Tufte, Peter Krieger and Nick Swaney. It’s a key line, the coach said. “We need that line to be a bigger contributor, for sure,” Sandelin said.
The hockey community — not just from Duluth or Minnesota but all of North America — gathered Saturday at the DECC's Harborside Ballroom to celebrate the life of Minnesota Duluth hockey legend Keith "Huffer" Christiansen, who died Monday at age 74. An All-American and WCHA MVP his senior season with the Bulldogs in 1966-67, Christiansen went on to win an Olympic silver medal with Team USA in 1972. He's a member of the UMD, DECC and U.S. Hockey halls of fame, among many others.
Top-ranked Minnesota Duluth opened NCHC play with a 3-0 win over Colorado College before a crowd of 5,499 on Friday at Amsoil Arena. Junior goaltender Hunter Shepard made 19 saves for his first shutout of the season and ninth of his career, tying him with current Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock for most career shutouts by a UMD goalie. The Bulldogs scored a goal a period — sophomore center Justin Richards in the first, junior defenseman Nick Wolff in the second and senior wing Parker Mackay on the power play in the third.
Top-ranked Minnesota Duluth opened NCHC play with a 3-0 victory over Colorado College tonight before a crowd of 5,499 at Amsoil Arena. Junior goaltender Hunter Shepard finished with 19 saves for his first shutout of the season and ninth of his career with the Bulldogs, who will go for the series sweep of the Tigers at 7:07 p.m. Saturday at Amsoil Arena.
Colorado College coach Mike Haviland has mixed feelings about getting swept at home last week by second-ranked St. Cloud State. A year ago, the NCHC-champion Huskies pounded the Tigers 6-1 and 5-1 in St. Cloud in their lone series. This year, the Tigers led the Huskies both nights early in the third period. Yet, Haviland's team lost both nights, getting outscored by a combined 6-1 in the third to lose 5-3 and 2-1. "You're encouraged that you know what we can do," Haviland said. "But really disappointed we let it slip away."
Minnesota Duluth junior Riley Tufte has plenty to motivate him in Year 3 with the Bulldogs. The former Blaine High School wing is not only chasing a second national championship at UMD, he's also entering a pivotal year professionally. After taking him in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft, the Dallas Stars are likely to pull out all the stops in an attempt to sign Tufte this offseason.
For two years, a committee of commissioners, coaches and administrators gathered in hopes of formulating a plan that would slow down the recruiting process in college men's hockey. Their goal: to make verbal commitments by eighth-graders, freshmen and sophomores a thing of the past while also reducing the number of decommitments.
Since the University of North Dakota women’s hockey program was eliminated after the 2016-17 season, the women’s WCHA has said little publicly about replacing the Fighting Hawks. The league has elected to take a slow, steady and calculated approach to getting the league back to eight members. That all changed last week when the league was as vocal as it’s been over the past two seasons, showing support for a potential eighth member that as of now does not exist. And it may never exist.