Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mike Connolly Scores 5 as Bulldogs Down Gophers

UMD Wins 6-4 to Capture Three Point Weekend

It truly was Mike’s night as the offenses were showcased Saturday night in Duluth.  Led by Mike Connolly’s school tying record five goals, the Bulldogs skated away with a 6-4 win over the Gophers.

The pace was fast making for a very entertaining game as the teams combined for 76 shot on goal, 40 of them for UMD.

Mike Connolly from WCHA
Just as Friday night’s game, the Bulldogs controlled play for most of the game. Saturday the work paid off in scoring. The Bulldogs never trailed in the game leading 2-0 after one period and 4-2 after the second.

In a shake up of the lines for UMD, Coach Sandelin reunited the FCC line (Fontaine, Jack Connolly, Mike Connolly) and the results were overwhelming. “I never thought I would score this many goals (in a game),” Connolly said. He also had a goal in the Friday night game.

In addition to Mike’s five goals, Jack had four assists and Fontaine had three assists on the night. The total of 12 points is quite the jump the Bulldogs were looking for.

The other Bulldog goal was tallied by Travis Oleksuk and proved to be the game winner.

Aaron Crandall got the start in net for UMD and played well enough in making 32 saves to get the win. At times he looked out of sorts and had bad angles in the net. The game never really felt in hand as UMTC pulled within one goal, 5-4, with the extra attacker with 1:35 left in the third. The goal scored by Nate Condon was a tip in front into a wide open half of the Bulldog net.

Kent Patterson made 34 saves for the Gophers and was tested early and often. Saturday, unlike Friday, the Bulldogs, Mike Connolly mainly, got to him and kept him busy with sustained pressure in the Gopher end.

Moving forward, the challenge now is to increase scoring on the second and third line now that the FCC line is back again. In the past the FCC line has come and gone depending on how other teams match up against the top line to neutralize them. To break that trend, the other lines need to chip in goals to make opponents worry about at least two lines scoring regularly.

The Bulldogs host Saint Cloud State at AMSOIL next weekend.

Box score from the WCHA.

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