MINNESOTA CLIPS MINNESOTA DULUTH IN OVERTIME, 5-4
Sophomore forward Nate Condon nets game-winner at 4:04 of overtime
DULUTH, Minn. - Overtime losses have been an uncommon occurrence for the University of Minnesota Duluth over the past few seasons, but Friday night was one of those rare times.
Nate Condon's goal 4:04 into the extra session lifted the University of Minnesota to a 5-4 victory over the defending NCAA champion Bulldogs in the 2011-12 Western Collegiate Hockey Association openers for both teams. The defeat, which came before a capacity crowd of 6,751 at AMSOIL Arena, was just the fourth for UMD in its last 32 overtime games (13-4-15).
The No. 9 Bulldogs took their only lead of the night (4-3) at the 18:00 mark of the third period on freshman left winger Justin Crandall's first collegiate goal, but Erik Haula got the equalizer with 44 seconds to go in regulation for No. 14 Minnesota, which had pulled its goaltender for an extra attacker.
The Gophers went up 2-0 in the first period by scoring twice on their first three power play chances of the night before UMD answered with goals 1:45 apart from senior center Travis Oleksuk and rookie centerCaleb Herbert (his first as a Bulldog) early in the second period. Kyle Rau collected his second power play goal of the game at 10:59 of that same period to put Minnesota back on top, but UMD again responded six minutes later when junior defenseman Drew Olson beat Gopher goaltender Kent Patterson with a shot from the high slot.
UMD outshot Minnesota 50-44 on the night, and held a 15-7 shot advantage in the third period. Bulldog senior goaltender Kenny Reiter finished with 39 saves in losing for the first time in his last six starts going back to the opening of the 2011 NCAA playoffs. Minnesota went 3-of-6 on the power play while UMD cashed in on one of its five man advantage opportunities.
The two long-time intrastate rivals will meet for the final time in the 2010 regular season Saturday night.
"We will need to come out with the intensity that we had in the third period," said Herbert, who like Crandall, also had one assist." We play better when we are 5-on-5 so it's important for us to stay out of the box and play our game."