NCAA Game Night: November 28-29, 2019

Thursday and Friday NCAA highlights features a pair of broken streaks: Sammy Walker 1A and Ryan Zuhlsdor each with 1A in a pair of losses to #3 Norh Dakota; Walker breaks a 4-game pointless streak; Cole Koepke has 6-game point streak come to an end as #8 UMD falls to #1 Minnesota State; Ty Taylor sits back up in Belfast, Ireland as UNH goes 1-1 and takes 3rd at the 5th Annual Friendship Four tournament.

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#1 Minnesota State Mavericks 4 @ #8 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs 1

F Cole Koepke, UMD: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season Totals: 13 GP, 3-4-7, +1, 10 PIM
’18-’19 Totals: 42 GP, 7-12-19, +14, 14 PIM

Dryden McKay made 27 saves to propel the top-ranked Mavericks to a Friday night road win against the Bulldogs. Bolt prospect Cole Koepke’s 6-game point ended as Minnesota State stifled the UMD offense, allowing just a 3rd period power play goal. The Bulldogs drop to 7-5-1 (4-1-1 NCHC) and look to avoid the sweep Saturday night when these two rivals return to the ice at Amsoil Arena.

#3 North Dakota Fighting Hawks 9 @ Minnesota Gophers 3 (Thursday)
#3 North Dakota Fighting Hawks 3 @ Minnesota Gophers 2 (Friday)

D Ryan Zuhlsdorf , MIN: 2 GP, 0-1-1, -3, 0 PIM, 4 SOG, 3 BLK
Season Totals: 16 GP, 0-3-3, -11, 2 PIM
’18-‘19 Totals: 35 GP, 1-7-8, +2, 23 PIM

F Sammy Walker, MIN: 2 GP, 0-1-1, -5, 2 PIM, 4 SOG, 5/7 FO
Season Totals: 16 GP, 5-4-9, -15, 29 PIM
’18-‘19 Totals: 37 GP, 10-16-26, +6, 18 PIM

The Gophers were the turkey Thanksgiving night, as the #3 Fighting Hawks pasted nine goals on the outmatched Minnesota squad. Bolt prospect Ryan Zuhlsdorf set up Jack Perbix, brother of fellow Lightning prospect Nick Perbix, for an early 2nd period goal that closed the gap to 4-2. But UND had three responses for every Gophers score, tallying 4 goals in the 2nd period and 3 more in the 3rd. Jordan Kawaguchi led North Dakota with a pair of goals and 3 points and Predators prospect Grant Mismash (NAS, 2017 2nd round pick) added a goal and 4 points. Not to make excuses for Minnesota, but the Gophers are youngest team in Division-I hockey and there’s just going to be nights like this against top tier teams.

Just like last two weeks ago against Penn State after getting blown out 8-2, the Gophers bounced back and played a tough second game on Friday, falling short with a 3rd period rally. After Minnesota opened the scoring early in the 1st, UND scored three-straight before Bolt prospect Sammy Walker broke a 4-game pointless streak. With the Gophers on the power play, Walker set up Ben Meyers for his second goal of the series to draw Minnesota within one at 3-2. Unfortunately, Minnesota could not get the equalizer past North Dakota goalie Adam Scheel, who made 23 saves for the win.

The Golden Gophers drop to 5-8-3 (2-3-3-2 Big Ten) and hit the road next weekend, returning to Big 10 conference play against #11 Ohio State.

#12 Northeastern Huskies 4 vs New Hampshire Wildcats 0 (Friday)
Princeton Tigers 2 vs New Hampshire Wildcats 3 (Saturday)

G Ty Taylor, UNH: did not play
Season Totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 2.91 GAA, 0.872 SV%
’18-‘19 Totals: 8 GP, 1-3-1, 3.67 GAA, 0.855 SV%

Blackhawks prospect Ryan Shea (CHI, 2015 4th round pick) scored a goal and added a pair of assists for Northeastern, and Craig Pantano pitched a 25-save shutout of New Hampshire in Belfast, Ireland on Friday in the first game of the 5th Annual Friendship Four tournament.

On Saturday, the Wildcats defeated Princeton in the consolation match, after Colgate beat the Tigers in Friday’s second game of the tourney. Liam Blackburn scored twice for New Hampshire to lead the Wildcats to their 7th win of the season.

UNH improves to 7-6-1 (3-4 HEAST) and heads back the States for a home-and-home Hockey East conference series against Merrimack next weekend.

*USCHO poll used for rankings