The traditional song that is played by the Gopher band after a home sweep, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, was not on play list this weekend. In fact, it was put on the back burner after the gutsy overtime win Friday by the never-say-die Bulldogs. UMD backed Friday’s win with their second win in that many nights after trailing 2-0 in both games. The Bulldog sweep was the first since 2003 and the second since 1993. It does back a trip north on I-35 go smoother.
In this battle of intra-state rivals, it was clear that the Bulldogs were going to do anything and everything to keep their good start to the season rolling. Pucks at the net is how teams win games. That philosophy resulted in a UMD goal off a Gopher defenseman’s skate in both games of the season. I read that luck is the residue of design; that design must be to pepper the net from all angles whenever the opportunity presents itself. The Bulldogs (9-4-1, 6-3-1) are now tied for first in the WCHA.
Starting in Net. In what may be looked at as a shaky start, Brady Hjelle buckled down after 2 first period Gopher goals Saturday night to blank UMTC for the remaining two periods. Coupled with the strong performance Friday night by Kenny Reiter, the goaltender rotation should still be in effect when play resumes for the Bulldogs.
Players Elevate. Jack Connolly has taken over the scoring lead in the nation passing teammate Justin Fontaine who is now number two. Jack had a great weekend picking up three games in the series. He should be a strong candidate for WCHA Red Baron Offensive Player of the Week.
Giving Thanks. After a very entertaining and productive weekend of hockey, the UMD Bulldogs get a week off before entertaining WCHA powerhouses North Dakota and Denver at the DECC.