DULUTH, Minn. — Scoring is what Minnesota Duluth missed most in its recent four-game winless streak.
The Bulldogs averaged 1.5 goals a game in going 0-3-1 against Vermont and Alaska-Anchorage, and dropped from No. 1 in the nation to No. 8 going into Friday’s nonconference home game against Brown.
The drought continued through one period and then UMD found a spark. A four-goal second period, including three scores in 1:42, led the Bulldogs to a 6-2 victory.
“When we catch some momentum, you can see what our offense can do. All of a sudden it’s `Bam, bam, bam’ and it almost looks easy,” said senior winger Josh Miskovich, whose second-period goal put UMD ahead to stay. “But other times we’ve gotten too high or too low and not consistent. We were definitely in a lull the last two series.”
UMD (6-3-2) rallied from a 1-0 deficit to put away its ECACHL opponent before 4,418 at the DECC.
The Bulldogs’ longest winless streak in more than two years was over with the help of three power-play goals. Brown (1-4-1) was coming off its first win of the season and held a 1-0 lead after one period on the first of two Les Haggett power-play goals.
The first of two Evan Schwabe goals broke a scoreless streak of nearly 5 1/2 periods and tied the game at 7:40 of the second period. He put in a Tyler Brosz rebound on a power play. UMD had gone 1-for-27 with a man advantage during the winless stretch.
“When you’re struggling, you’re struggling and nothing seems to work,” said Brosz, who had two goals and two assists in just his third game since returning from a shoulder injury. “But once you get that first good bounce and get a goal, you have to think you’re on a roll. That’s the mentality you have to have.”
The Bulldogs followed with two goals in 72 seconds — Miskovich stole a puck in deep and put a backhand shot by goalie Kevin Kliman with 6:16 left, and Schwabe’s seventh goal of the season came all alone in the crease on a Brosz pass with 5:04 left. That line stayed on the ice and connected 30 seconds later on Brosz’s first goal of the season.
That put a four-goal period along with UMD’s periods of five goals (vs. Michigan Tech) and six goals (vs. Minnesota State) earlier this season.
“They got going and we fell apart and gave them some easy goals,” said Brown coach Roger Grillo. “We were standing still and not covering players, and didn’t play smart.”
Brown cut the deficit to 4-2 on a Haggett goal late in the second period, but Brosz’s second goal made it 5-2 on a power play 38 seconds into the third. UMD freshman defenseman Travis Gawryletz had his first goal of the season with 5:26 to play with a man advantage.
Brown, picked to finish seventh in the 12-team ECACHL, outshot UMD 29-26. Bulldogs goalie Isaac Reichmuth had 27 saves. Freshman Adam D’Alba replaced starter Kliman with 5:26 to play.
“It was good to see a few goals, and to get some confidence back, and hopefully we can follow it up,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin.
Kevin Pates is a staff writer for the Duluth News Tribune.