DULUTH, MINN. — Top-ranked Minnesota Duluth scored once in each period and Hunter Shepard made 19 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Bulldogs defeated Colorado College, 3-0, Friday night at Amsoil Arena.
The Tigers (4-4-1, 0-3-0 NCHC), playing their third consecutive game against a team ranked in the top 2 in the country, were blanked for the first time since the 2017-18 season opener at Vermont (3-0).
Justin Richards put the Bulldogs (7-1-1, 1-0-0 NCHC) ahead 1-0 at the 8:17 mark of the first period when he deflected a shot from Matt Anderson past Tiger goalie Alex Leclerc.
The Tigers came out with some jump in their step at the beginning of the second period, outshooting UMD, 5-0, in the first five minutes. Grant Cruikshank, Westin Michaud and Tanner Ockey each had a good look from close in, but Shepard kept the shutout intact. CC attempted just nine shots the remaining 35 minutes of action.
“We had some point-blank chances in the second period,” head coach Mike Haviland said. “I’m not mad at our effort, but we need to throw more pucks at the net and find way to score when in the scoring area.”
After UMD survived the CC push, Nick Wolff put the Bulldogs ahead 2-0 with a shot from the left point that snuck past a screened Leclerc at the 7:31 mark of the middle frame. Parker Mackay scored the final goal of the game with a power-play tally from the slot with Leclerc screened again at the 7:35 mark of the third period. Scott Perunovich and Peter Kreiger collected the assists on UMD final two goals.
UMD outshot the Tigers 32-19, and was 1-for-2 on the power play. Jackson Cates led all players with six shots, followed by Richards with four.
Colorado College did not capitalize on either of their first-period power-play opportunities. Trevor Gooch, Alex Berardinelli and Westin Michaud each had a team-high three shots. Cole McCaskill, Zach Berzolla and Bryan Yoon each paced the Tigers with two blocks, while Leclerc finished with 29 saves.
“Bryan Yoon looked very good for us tonight,” Haviland said. “He is a smart hockey player and there is no panic in him. We moved him to the top power play and he does everything you want in a defenseman.”
The two teams will conclude the two-game series on Saturday, Nov. 10. The game will be televised in the Rocky Mountain region on Altitude Sports.