There was no doubt coming into Saturday’s game against No. 6 St. Cloud State that Minnesota Duluth, riding a three-game losing streak scoring just twice in that trio of games, hoped for a statement game.
A 5-1 win against the number six team in the nation qualified as that, a victory that was led by senior Nick Swaney, who scored three of the first four goals for the Bulldogs and helped them control the game that resulted in definitive win over the Huskies.
Swaney scored twice in the first period, which combined with Kobe Roth’s tally gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead through the first 20.
After St. Cloud’s Zach Okabe’s scored at 6:15 of the second, Swaney completed the hat trick at 13:38 of the second, changing the complexion of the game.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) February 28, 2021
After losing the last three games, the ability to take control of a game and finish pleased coach Scott Sandelin.
“We played with some confidence,” Sandelin said. “We didn’t look like we had lost three games. We got the lead and built on that lead. It’s something we needed badly.”
Even with that in mind, Sandelin wasn’t all positive for his team on the bench. When the Bulldogs led 3-0 and took a penalty, giving up a power play goal to the Huskies, he wasn’t spreading love.
“It is [tough love] because [St. Cloud] is a dangerous team,” said Sandelin when asked about what looked like anger, despite his team leading by two goals. “I didn’t like some penalties. We gave them life at times. I didn’t like giving them life.”
Still Sandelin, whose team has limped towards the finish line in recent years only to rally and win a national championship, understood getting back to winning ways was the most important take away from Saturday.
“No one’s been happy for a while,” said Sandelin, who said he spoke this weekend with his upperclassmen, reminding them of the past. “I wanted to remind those guys that they’ve been through those stretches. We knew we had to come ready to play and those guys have done that from the start.”
No. 14 Providence 4, No. 17 Northeastern 2
Providence had an impressive win coming off a difficult 8-1 midweek loss to Massachusetts, battling Northeastern tooth and nail and coming away with a 4-2 victory.
Four different players recorded goals but none were bigger than Jamie Engelbert’s insurance tally with 5:32 remaining that gave the Friars a 3-1 lead.
— PC Men's Hockey (@FriarsHockey) February 27, 2021
After Gunnerwolfe Fontaine scored with an extra attacker for Northeastern, Matt Koopman buried the dagger into the empty net with just nine seconds left.
Each team scored on the power play in a game where Providence allowed Northeastern just 13 shots on goal. Tyce Thompson and Jason O’Neill also tallied for the Friars sandwiched between a Jordan Harris tally for Northeastern.
No. 19 Bemidji State 4, No. 3 Minnesota State 3 (OT)
Ross Amour’s goal at 2:27 of overtime propelled No. 19 Bemidji State to an upset win of No. 3 Minnesota State, 4-3, completing a third-period comeback for the Beavers.
— Bemidji St. Men’s Hockey (@BSUBeaversMHKY) February 28, 2021
Minnesota State grabbed a third-period lead on a Walter Duehr goal 48 seconds into the third after Brendan Furry tied the game at 12:30 of the second.
The host Beavers opened the scoring four minutes into the game on Elias Rosen’s tally before Reggie Lutz tied the game at 7:08.
Lukas Sillinger scored on the power play to give the Beavers a lead at 6:11 of the second, one they would surrender.
Dryden McKay suffered just his second loss of the season and first since December 6, 2020, for Minnesota State.