Scott Sandelin secured career coaching win No. 300 Saturday night — but it didn't come easy.
Sandelin's Bulldogs squandered a 3-0 second-period lead by giving up three unanswered goals, but then redeemed themselves with Kyle Osterberg's goal 2:33 into overtime to take down National Collegiate Hockey Conference rival St. Cloud State University, 4-3. The overtime victory, which came before a sellout crowd of 7,015 at AMSOIL Arena, was the first for UMD since it defeated Providence College in the first round of the NCAA Northeast Regionals last March.
The No. 3 Bulldogs, who improved to 13-5-1 overall and remained on top of the NCHC at 9-4-1-1, got a power play goal from junior right winger Karson Kuhlman at 4:40 into the game and then extended their lead to 2-0 five minutes later when junior center Avery Peterson backhanded a shot past Husky netminder Jeff Smith for his second goal in five outings this season. Junior defenseman Dan Molenaar roofed in a backhand from the right face off circle to make it 3-0 early at 4:24 of the second period, but St. Cloud State (10-11-1; 5-8-1-0) quickly answered to cut the deficit to 3-1. Consecutive power play tallies three minutes apart midway through that same period drew the Huskies even and following a scoreless third, Osterberg redirected Molenaar's shot from the point for his 10th goal of the season (tying him with fellow senior left winger Kyle Osterberg for the team lead). That salvaged a weekend series split for the Bulldogs and also snapped their season-high two-game losing skid.
"We had a really good start -- it was better than we've had the last couple of games, " said Molenaar, whose goal was his first since Feb. 6, 2016. "We ran into some penalty trouble in the second period and they made a push -- which was expected -- but we stuck together and got back to playing our game in the third period. It was a great win."
UMD goaltender Hunter Miska finished with 23 saves while St. Cloud State starter Jeff Smith stopped 9 of 12 shots before being relieved 4:25 into the second period by Zach Driscoll, who made 17 stops.
The Bulldogs will make their 2017 road debut next Friday and Saturday with a pair of NCHC bouts against the University of North Dakota.