DULUTH, Minn. — On a night when it unveiled its 2011 NCAA championship banner, Minnesota-Duluth couldn’t have asked for a better result.
Senior center Travis Oleksuk’s game-winning goal with 4:24 left in regulation capped off what was indeed a banner evening for the Bulldogs as they toppled the top-ranked Notre Dame 4-3 at AMSOIL Arena in the season opener for both clubs.
No. 8 Minnesota-Duluth, which defeated the Fighting Irish by that same count in last April’s Frozen Four semifinals on the way to its first national title, also got goals from junior left winger Mike Seidel, junior right winger Keegan Flaherty and sophomore right winger J.T. Brown in the victory which came before a charged up crowd of 6,296. Seidel’s goal was his ninth in the last two years but first in Duluth since his freshman season while Flaherty’s score was his first in 75 career games with the Bulldogs. That tandem struck two minutes apart midway through the first period which put UMD up 2-1.
“Finally getting a goal at home is definitely a weight off my chest,” said Seidel. “It was great play by J.T. Brown and I don’t know what I would have done if I missed it because he set me up with an open net.”
Brown, the reigning Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player, and Notre Dame’s Mike Voran traded second period power play goals to send the two clubs into the final intermission deadlocked at 2-2. Oleksuk, who topped the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in game winners last season with seven, used a screen to beat Fighting Irish goaltender Mike Johnson with a shot from the left face off circle and send the Bulldogs to their seventh win in their last eight games going back to last season.
The Bulldogs outshot Notre Dame 31-12 and only allowed one goal to the Irish in six power play chances. Senior netminder Kenny Reiter, making his 11th consecutive start, finished with 14 saves in posting his 30th career win.
“That was a total, 60-minute team effort tonight,” said Flaherty. “I felt we were in great shape and kind of wore them down a bit. We didn’t have too much play in our defensive zone and instead kept the puck in their end for a good part of the night.
Bemidiji State 5, No. 2 Miami (Ohio) 3
OXFORD, Ohio – Junior forward Aaron McLeod scored twice and the Bemidji State got two goals in the final 6:10 of play to defeat No. 2 Miami (Ohio) 5-3 at Steve Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio.
The RedHawks capitalized easy, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal just 2:10 into the game. The power-play marker came off the backhand of Curtis McKenzie. Steve Mason was credited with an assist on the play.
McLeod finished an end-to-end rush by the Beavers putting the puck over the shoulder of Cody Reichard for Bemidji State’s first goal of the 2011-12 season. Sophomore Jeff Jubinville earned and assist on the play after carrying the puck into the neutral zone, fighting through a hook and put the puck on the stick of McLeod between the circles.
The momentum would quickly switch ends as it took the top-ranked RedHawks just 1:32 to regain the lead (3:16). Chris Wideman funneled the puck to the net and Blake Coleman deflected it past BSU goaltender Dan Bakala (Sr., Calgary, Alberta) and into the back of the cage
Entering the final frame trailing by a goal, the Beavers netted four goals in the third to solidify the win.
No. 3 North Dakota 4, Air Force 3
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — A change in approach bought about a dramatic change in the outcome in the season opener for the North Dakota.
The Sioux rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the third period to beat the Air Force 4-3 in the second game of the Ice Breaker Tournament.
North Dakota picked up the tempo in the third period by changing their approach, junior center Corban Knight said.
“We were playing a little bit of pond hockey out there,” Knight said. “We weren’t really playing Sioux hockey. Some guys were running around. We just weren’t moving our feet and playing Sioux tough.”
No. 5 Boston College 5, Michigan State 2
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Five players scored one goal apiece and junior goaltender Parker Milner recorded 17 saves to lead fifth-ranked Boston College to a 5-2 season-opening victory against Michigan State at the Ice Breaker Tournament at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
The Eagles enjoyed three one-goal leads – at 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 – before scoring twice in the game’s final five minutes for the 5-2 final.
Sophomore Patrick Brown redirected captain Tommy Cross’s shot from the point for the season’s first goal – and his first collegiate score — at 4:17 of the second period.
After Michigan State’s Brett Perlini knotted the score at one goal each, junior defenseman Patch Alber put the Eagles back up one goal with 54.5 seconds left in the period, knocking in a Chris Kreider feed for his first goal of the season and a 2-1 lead after two periods.
Spartan forward Trevor Nill tied the game at 2-2 halfway through the third period before Kreider notched the decisive score 50 seconds later. Freshman Destry Straight notched his first collegiate assist on the score.
Junior Steven Whitney beat Michigan State goaltender Drew Palmisano blocker side with a quick wrist shot from the slot off the post for the team’s first two-goal lead of the game at 16:27. Alternate captain Barry Almeida concluded the scoring with just more than one minute to play, finishing a rebound in front of the net off a Paul Carey shot.
Palmisano finished with 30 saves in the loss, including 17 saves in the middle period. The Eagles outshot the Spartans 35-19 in the game.
No. 8 Michigan 5, Bentley 1
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — David Wohlberg, Jeff Rohrkemper and A.J. Treais each tallied two points to lead Michigan to a 5-1 victory against
Bentley on Friday night at Yost Ice Arena.
The Wolverines outshot the Falcons, 49-19. Goaltender Shawn Hunwick turned away 18-of-19 shots on goal.
Game information and photos compiled from athletic department websites.