Walker, Sammy

NCAA Game Night: 10-7-18

#1 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 4 @ #13 Minnesota Gophers 7

F Cole Koepke, UMD: 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 2 GP, 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, MINN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 2 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
’17-‘18 Totals: 38 GP, 0-9-9, +1, 40 PIM

F Sammy Walker, MINN: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM

A night after drawing to a 1-1 tie, offensive fireworks erupted as these two in-state rivals combined for 11 goals Sunday night with the Golden Gophers knocking off top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth by a score of 7-4. Sammy Walker notched his first collegiate goal late in the 2nd period to give Minnesota a 4-2 lead. Ryan Zuhlsdorf scored his first point of the season, helping set up the second of Brannon McManus’ (undrafted) two goals as part of a Minnesota three goal 1st period. Meanwhile, Cole Koepke tallied his first collegiate point for the Bulldogs when he set up the first of two 3rd period Jackson Cates goals that cut the Gopher lead to 6-3.

Down 3-0 at the first intermission, UMD’s Noah Cates (PHI, 2017 5th round pick) and Mikey Anderson (LAK, 2017 4th round pick) each scored for the Bulldogs to shave the margin to 3-2 before Walker and Rem Pitlick (NAS, 2016 3rd round pick) restored the Gopher three-goal lead prior to the end of the 2nd period. In the 3rd frame, the two teams each traded a pair of markers, including Minnesota’s Sampo Ranta (COL, 2018 3rd round pick) notching his second goal in as many nights.

Zuhlsdorf and Walker and the rest of the Golden Gophers will play an exhibition next Saturday against the USA U18 team, while Koepke and his Bulldogs will take on a two-game weekend series against Michigan Tech.

Acadia Axemen 3 @ UMass-Lowell River Hawks 4 (Exhibition)

F Ryan Lohin, UML: 1-1-2, -2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 6/14 FO
Season Totals: 0 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Lightning prospect and UMass-Lowell junior co-captain Ryan Lohin tipped in the game-winning power play goal with about four minutes remaining in regulation as the River Hawks came from behind to defeat Acadia in exhibition play Sunday afternoon. Lohin also assisted on a Colin O’Neill (undrafted) power play marker that opened the scoring in the 1st period.

Former Bolt prospect Cristiano DiGiacinto set up former Oilers prospect Jackson Houck for a power play goal to knot the score at 1-1. The Axemen also got goals from Jack Flaman (undrafted) and Owen MacDonald (undrafted), while Lowell got tallies from Chris Schutz (undrafted) and Charlie Levesque (undrafted).

Lohin and the River Hawks open their 2018-19 NCAA campaign next weekend with a pair of games against the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Mt. Royal Cougars 2 @ #6 St. Cloud State Huskies 6 (Exhibition)

D Nick Perbix, STC: 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 0 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Nick Perbix made his collegiate debut Sunday night for the St. Cloud State Huskies, assisting on a game opening power play marker in the 1st, as St. Cloud defeated the Mt. Royal Cougars in exhibition play. The Huskies were led by two goals from Nick Poehling (undrafted) and a pair of assists from brother Ryan Poehling (MTL, 2017 1st round pick). St. Cloud kicks off their 2018-19 NCAA season next weekend against the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

NCAA Game Night: 10-6-18

#13 Minnesota Gophers 1 @ #1 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 1

F Cole Koepke, UMD: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG, 0/2 FO
Season Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf, MINN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG, 0/1 FO
Season Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
’17-‘18 Totals: 38 GP, 0-9-9, +1, 40 PIM

F Sammy Walker, MINN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

The top-ranked Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs opened the 2018-19 campaign against in-state rival Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday night in the first half of a home-and-home series that featured three Lightning prospects, two of which made their NCAA debuts as freshmen. The two teams battled to a 1-1 tie per new NCAA rules for non-conference contests that remain unsettled after a 5-minute 5-on-5 overtime session.

Freshman Gophers forward Sampo Ranta (COL, 2018 3rd round pick) notched his first collegiate goal in the 1st period with assists from senior Thomas Novak (NAS, 2015 3rd round pick) and Walker's former teammate at Edina High School defenseman Clayton Phillips (PIT, 2017 3rd round pick). Ranta was teammates with both Walker and Koepke at Sioux City last year, where Koepke edged the Finnish winger as the Musketeers scoring leader.

After a scoreless 2nd period, Peter Kreiger (undrafted) knotted the game on a power-play marker early in the 3rd. Bulldog forwards Koby Roth (undrafted) and Riley Tufte (DAL, 2016 1st round pick) helped set up the game-tying goal. These two teams will square off in St. Paul Sunday afternoon to complete the season series.

Alberta Golden Bears 4 @ #9 Denver Pioneers 6 (Exhibition)

F Cole Guttman, DEN: 0-3-3, +2, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 6/12 FO
Season Totals: 0 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Lightning prospect Cole Guttman notched three assists and was 50% on draws in exhibition play Saturday night making his freshman NCAA debut for the ninth-ranked University of Denver Pioneers against the visiting Golden Bears from the University of Alberta. Guttman assisted on the first two goals of the game, one a power play marker by Norwegian Emilio Pettersen (CGY, 2018 6th round pick), before setting up the 3-3 equalizer just prior to the end of the 2nd period. Pettersen scored twice for the Pioneers with Denver also getting tallies from Jarid Lukosevicius (undrafted), Michael Davies (undrafted), Jaakko Heikkinen (undrafted), and Ryan Barrow (undrafted). After falling behind 2-0 in the 1st period, Alberta responded with three straight to take a brief 3-2 lead in the 2nd behind a pair of goals from Steven Owre (undrafted). The Golden Bears also got scores from Riley Keiser (undrafted) and Luke Philp (undrafted). Denver opens its 2018-19 NCAA campaign next weekend against the Air Force Academy and the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

*USCHO poll used for rankings

Clark Cup Playoffs (USHL): 4-25-18

United States Hockey League

Fargo Force 2 @ Omaha Lancers 1 (Saturday)
Fargo Force 3 @ Omaha Lancers 6 (Sunday)
Omaha Lancers 5 @ Fargo Force 6 (Tuesday)
Omaha Lancers 0 @ Fargo Force 2 (Wednesday)
Western Conference Round 2
Force wins series 3-1

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 14 PIM, 13 SOG, *Third Star*
Playoffs: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 14 PIM
Season Totals: 56 GP, 4-25-29, +19, 38 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

After Fargo won a best-of-three wildcard series 2-0 against Tri-City, the Force and Lancers tangled for their Round 2 battle. The teams split games at Ralston Arena last weekend in Omaha, with Bolt prospect Nick Perbix earning Third Star honors in Game 2 with a pair of assists and 14 PIMs in a six-goal win. The series switched to Scheels Arena in Fargo with the Force prevailing on home ice to eliminate Omaha 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

This likely draws a close to Perbix’s impressive single rookie USHL campaign, as he is a 2018-19 commit to St. Cloud State University, and we look forward to the start of his NCAA career this fall.

Juniors Game Night: 4-14-18

United States Hockey League

** Note: Cole Guttman (Dubuque) was placed on injured reserved on December 22nd following the completion of the World Junior A Challenge tournament.

The Dubuque Fighting Saints finished as the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but it’s unknown if Guttman will return from injury for the Clark Cup playoffs.

Sioux City Musketeers 2 @ Omaha Lancers 3 (SO)

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 56 GP, 4-25-29, +19, 38 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

F Sammy Walker, SC: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (USHL): 17 GP, 2-7-9, -6, 4 PIM
’16-’17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Season Totals (HS): 31 GP, 35-44-79, 16 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

With playoff berths and #1 seeds on the line, Sioux City and Omaha closed out their 2017-18 USHL regular season campaign Saturday night. The Musketeers needed two points and a couple other teams to lose in order to sneak into the playoffs, and Lancers were in a battle with Waterloo for the #1 seed in the Western Conference.

The Lancers lit the lamp first, just 1:49 into the game, in front of 3700+ home fans at the Ralston Arena. But Luke Johnson (Providence commit) would set up a pair of Sioux City goals later in the 1st period, including a power play goal with one second left in the first, giving the Musketeers a 2-1 lead at the end of the first frame. Johnson was a former captain of Edina high school and teammate of Sammy Walker. Omaha would bury a power play marker of their own in the 2nd period to knot the score, and after a scoreless 3rd period and overtime session, the post season hopes of both teams would be decided by a skills competition. Both goalies turned aside the first 5 rounds of shooters before a pair of Miami (Ohio) commits squared off, with Ryan Savage (2018 draft eligible) finally solving Musketeer goalie Ben Kraws (2018 draft eligible) for the Lancer win.

One point for the shootout loss was not enough for Sioux City to clinch a playoff berth no matter the outcome of the other teams, and that mean that the 2017-18 hockey campaign for Bolt prospect Sammy Walker is for all intents an purposes over. It was a great season for Walker, the recipient of the prestigious Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award as the best high senior hockey player in the state. His helped lead his Edina, MN high school team to a 3rd place finish in the MN Class AA State championships, and his two goals and nine points for the Musketeers in 13 games after his high school season ended was a preview of what might be in store when he dons the Maroon and Gold for the Minnesota Golden Gophers this Fall.

For Omaha, the shootout win was not enough to clinch the top spot in the Western Conference, with Waterloo also winning their game Saturday night. Bolt prospect Nick Perbix and the Lancers will enter the Clark Cup playoffs as the #2 seed in the West.

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