MINNEAPOLIS — Mike Montgomery was deep in the zone behind the net when he threw a centering pass diagonally out front. The puck came hard off Fairchild’s skate for the bank shot into the back of the goal, giving the No. 20 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs a sweep of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
“I was trying to get it to someone crashing the net; I was not trying to bank it in off a skate,” said Montgomery.
The goal completed the rally for the Bulldogs from 2-0 down, the same deficit Duluth overcame against Minnesota the night before, where the Bulldogs scored twice off Minnesota skates.
“It is hard to lose two games in a row in that fashion,” said Gophers’ coach Don Lucia.
The Gophers’ players were visibly disappointed.
“It stings knowing we had a lead and let it slip,” said Mike Hoeffel.
“We just have to finish teams,” commented Kevin Wehrs.
The tying goal came in the third at 3:22. After extended pressure by Minnesota in the Bulldogs’ zone, with numerous shots and scoring chances, Kyle Schmidt picked up a loose puck and skated one-on-one up the left boards and threw a 50-foot slap shot on net that beat Alex Kangas low on the blocker side.
The Bulldogs followed the tying goal with two close calls.
The first was when Justin Fontaine hit the cross bar five minutes into the third.
The second required a 15-minute review to see if they had scored.
Wade Bergman went skates first into Kangas and the puck went in the net. The play was called a no-goal on the ice. The referees could not see conclusively from the views how the puck went in. There was not enough evidence to overturn the no-goal call on the ice. One camera angle appeared to show Bergman got a stick on the puck to force it in before going in the net himself.
“We got justice on our last goal,” said Bulldogs’ coach Scott Sandelin on getting the last bounce to make up for the no goal.
For the third straight home game, Minnesota found itself taking a rash of penalties in the second period. This time it was four minor penalties to none for the Bulldogs.
The Gophers killed three of the four penalties, allowing the lone goal to the Bulldogs’ Jack Connolly. It was Connolly’s third goal of the weekend. This one came on a rebound that came off at an angle right to Jack for the easy empty-net goal tap-in behind Kangas.
The Gophers best scoring chance of the second came when Mike Hoeffel hit the near pipe on a shot off a pad rebound by Brady Hjelle.
Duluth held Minnesota shotless for the first five minutes of the first period.
At 8:24 of the first period, Hoeffel scored the first goal of the game on a tip of a shot from the point by Wehrs. The shot came off a faceoff win by Nico Sacchetti.
Wehrs made it 2-0 Minnesota on a one-time shot from the right faceoff circle while the Gophers were on a five-on-three power play. The goal came just seven seconds before the two man advantage was to expire.
The Bulldogs had a breakaway chance when the second penalty expired at 16:38 out of the box. Kangas made a blocker save on Drew Olsen to preserve the 2-0 lead in the first.
Minnesota-Duluth is off Thanksgiving weekend while Minnesota heads to Michigan and Michigan State for the College Hockey Showcase.