DULUTH, Minn. — Twenty-five penalties for 72 minutes, including two five-minute checking-from-behind majors.
That pushed Saturday night’s non-conference college men’s hockey game to a lengthy two hours and 30 minutes. It was frightening on Halloween at the DECC.
Yet four power-play goals allowed Minnesota-Duluth to complete a sweep of Clarkson University of Potsdam, N.Y., with a 4-2 victory before a crowd of 3,581.
“We were good with the puck in the offensive zone, our power play was clicking and we grinded out a win,” said UMD junior winger Rob Bordson, who had a hand in every score with a goal and three assists. “We came out with a Saturday victory.”
UMD (5-2-1) had been 1-2 on the second night of series this season and was 0-of-5 in power plays in Friday’s 4-1 win. The Bulldogs were without scoring co-leader Justin Fontaine because of an upper body injury suffered in the third period Friday, and defenseman Dylan Olsen, who was sick.
A number of Clarkson players were battling the flu, said coach George Roll, and winger Scott Freeman was out after taking a puck to an ankle Friday. That left the Golden Knights (3-4) with one less player than allowed and then defenseman Bryan Rufenach was lost to a checking-from-behind major penalty as the first period closed and defenseman Mark Borowiecki left on a similar call halfway through the third period.
“We have no one to blame but ourselves; we got what we deserved,” said Roll. “We lost our best two defensemen to checking-from-behind penalties, but those were legitimate calls. When you spend that much time in the penalty box, you have no chance to win. We have been a disciplined team, but not this weekend. We’re better than we showed.”
UMD, 5-1 at home, went four-of-13 on power plays and held Clarkson to 1-of-9. The Bulldogs led in shots on goal 44-22 and 94-39 for the series, yet the Golden Knights scored just 20 seconds into the game when Brandon DeFazio’s shot from the left circle went over the shoulder of goalie Brady Hjelle.
Consecutive first-period Clarkson penalties gave UMD a five-on-three edge for 92 seconds, but goalie Paul Karpowich of Thunder Bay, Ont., kept the Bulldogs scoreless.
Clarkson defenseman Dan Reed was called for interfering with UMD’s Mike Connolly midway through the opening period and the Bulldogs converted. Bordson scored on the power play, from the right circle, for his third goal of the season. That made it 1-1 after 20 minutes.
At the end of the first period, Rufenach received a five-minute checking-from-behind major penalty and a game disqualification for a hit on UMD’s Kyle Schmidt. That power play started the second period and with eight seconds left, defenseman Brady Lamb connected from the point. Mike Connolly scored on a wrist shot off a pipe with 3:56 left in the second for a 3-1 lead.
“There was no flow to the game, but the big thing is we showed a bunch of character and came back,” said Lamb. “Clarkson plays a skating game, a more strategic game, and less physical, and we were able to win the physical part. Special teams can make or break a weekend and our power play helped us get a second win.”
The Golden Knights of ECAC Hockey got within 3-2 in the first 55 seconds of the third period and the Bulldogs needed a Mike Seidel goal, his first as a collegian, to put the game away during a five-minute power play with 6:51 to play.
“When you have [disjointed] games like this, you have to find ways to win; it was an ugly game and a good win,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin.
UMD returns to Western Collegiate Hockey Association play this Friday and Saturday at No. 15 Colorado College (4-1-1).