GOTW: Dugan’s shootout winner gives Providence championship over Cornell at Fortress Invitational

 (Tim Brule)
Vegas Golden Knights draft pick Jack Dugan scored the shootout winner as Providence captured the 2020 Fortress Invitational over Cornell in Las Vegas (Photo: Providence Athletics)

LAS VEGAS — In a city he one day hopes to call home, Providence’s Jack Dugan left Las Vegas with a college hockey memory he won’t soon forget.

Dugan, a fifth-round pick of the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017, scored the only goal in a shootout as Providence won the title at the Fortress Invitational over Cornell. Dugan was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.

“It was a special moment for him being in Vegas,” said Providence coach Nate Leaman of the tournament-winning moment. “It was a storybook ending. It will be something he can remember for the rest of his life.”

The game will officially be recorded as a tie as the club’s battle to a 2-2 score through regulation, five minutes of 5-on-5 overtime and five more minutes of 3-on-3.

To get to that point, Cornell’s Morgan Barron had to score his second goal of the game with the goaltender pulled for an extra attacker with 1:12 remaining in regulation. His laser off a one-timer brought the large Cornell contingent to its feet.

“Six-on-five, you don’t get that opportunity too often,” said Cornell coach Mike Schafer. “So it’s nice to be able to see Morgan make that play.”

From the opening puck drop, the game was a heavyweight battle with physical play a major component. After Tyce Thompson and Barron traded early goals, it was a big hit in the second that changed momentum.

Cornell’s Alex Green delivered a hit that originally wasn’t whistled for a penalty on the ice. But after a 10-minute review, it was determined that the hit warranted a five-minute major for charging.

Providence’s Parker Ford, who less than 24 hours earlier arrived in Las Vegas from the World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic, rifled home a shot to give the Friars a 2-1 lead.

Leaman was happy to have one of his top centers back in the lineup.

“He was 15-4 at the [faceoff] dot, so we start a lot of plays with the puck, then he comes up with a big goal,” said Leaman of Ford. “He also came up with some big plays. We were happy to have him.”

Though each team leaves Vegas with a 1-0-1 record, Leaman is happy to also take home some hardware as his team looks to find momentum heading into the remainder of the season.

“I thought we kept getting better throughout the weekend, which was good,” said Leaman. “At the end of the day, it’s a tie, but I like the way we played.”

Around the nation

No. 7 Denver 4, No. 9 Massachusetts 3
Four straight goals, three coming in a span of 2 minutes 20 seconds in the middle period, helped host Denver rally from two goals down and then hold on late for a 4-3 victory.

The win gives Denver a weekend sweep of UMass.

Trailing 2-0 early, Denver scored with 4:05 left in the second on Liam Finlay’s third of the season.

It was then the offensive explosion – an Emilio Pettersen goal at 14:32 of the second followed by markers by Bobby Brink and Cole Guttman quickly thereafter – changed the game’s complexion.

Magnus Chrona needed to make 39 saves to earth victory.

Quinnipiac 5, Dartmouth 1
The offense remained red hot for Quinnipiac, which followed a 6-1 upset of No. 16 Harvard on Friday with a 5-1 victory over Dartmouth to complete the two-victory weekend in ECAC Hockey.

Ethan de Jong and Wyatt Bongiovanni each followed up multi-point games on Friday with a goal an an assist on Saturday.

The win improves the Bobcats to 11-7-1 and 6-3-1 in ECAC play.

Northern Michigan 4, No. 11. Bowling Green 3 (OT)
Darien Craighead’s goal with 43 seconds remaining in overtime capped a dramatic come-from-behind victory and a weekend sweep for the Northern Michigan over No. 11 Bowling Green.

The visiting Wildcats trailed, 3-1, in the closing seconds of regulation but scored two extra attacker goals, Joseph Nardi’s fifth of the year with 1:04 left and Grant Loven’s third of the season just 44 seconds later.

The two wins on the weekend are the second and third straight over a nationally-ranked opponent. Northern Michigan also beat Minnesota State before the holiday break.

Despite allowing three goals, Nolan Kent was once again strong for the Wildcats, stopping 38 shots including 29 in the game’s first 40 minutes.