Nov. 20, 2010

Courtesy of UMD

MADISON, WI - Different overtime. Same result.

For the past three seasons, the University of Minnesota Duluth has been virtually unbeatable in games which have gone beyond regulation and Friday night in Madison, Wis., things were no different.

Travis Olesuk's second goal of the night with just 11 seconds to go in the extra session lifted the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs to a 6-5 victory over the University of Wisconsin in the opener of a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series. The overtime win was an NCAA-leading fourth of the year for the Bulldogs, who at 10-1-2 overall, are enjoying their best start in program history and continue to hold down the top spot in the WCHA standings (6-1-1).

UMD trailed the No. 15 Badgers (6-5-2 overall and 3-4-2 in the WCHA) 3-1 at the first intermission, but then struck four straight times in opening 11 minutes of the second period to take a lead it would never relinquish. Sophomore right winger Mike Seidel, who netted the Bulldogs' first goal of the evening early in the first period, jump started the rally going by scoring at the 2:07 mark of the second period before senior right winger Justin Fontaine and Oleksuk tallied 17 seconds apart just over three minutes later. Bulldog senior left winger Kyle Schmidt and Wisconsin's Jordy Murray traded power play goals later that period and UMD clung to that 5-4 advantage until 44 seconds to go in regulation when, with the Wisconsin goalie pulled for an extra attacker, Tyler Barnes redirected a shot which trickled past UMD netminder Aaron Crandall.

Oleksuk's goal in overtime was his ninth of the season (which ties him with Fontaine for the team lead) and his nation-best fifth game-winner of the year.

Junior Kenny Reiter, who came into the night sporting a 5-0-2 record in 2010-11, stopped just five of eight shots before being relieved by Crandall at 18:56 of the first. Crandall went on to make 18 saves the rest of the way while his two Wisconsin counterparts, Scott Gudmanson (25:15 of work) and his replacement, Brett Bennett, combined for 24 stops.

UMD, which is now unbeaten in 21 of its last 22 overtime games (10-1-11) will go for its first road series sweep over Wisconsin in 26 years Saturday night when the two clubs collide again.