Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Friday Night UMD Win!

Bulldogs Beat Visiting UNO Mavericks 4-1

A win does a world of good.

UMD beat UNO convincingly 4-1 last night at AMSOIL Arena. The Bulldog win was the first Friday night win since January 21 at Michigan Tech.

It was the game Bulldog fans were waiting for. It was a complete game with great effort in all facets of the game. The win really a statement that the team is back and focused on the end of season and the prize that lies beyond.

Kenny Reiter played an excellent game in net for UMD making 34 saves on 35 shots. He should get the nod in tonight’s game. In front of Reiter, the whole team did their part to play defense to make his job easier.

Travis Oleksuk led scorers with two goals, including the game winner, his team leading 7th of the season. Oleksuk’s linemates JT Brown and Kyle Schmidt both picked up two assists on the night.

The brightest spot for the game is how UMD went “off-script.” The Bulldogs have been a team playing from behind early in games for much of the season. Taking a 3-1 lead out of the first period was the start that set the tone for the game. The Bulldogs have also relied heavily on the first and second lines for goals. In Friday’s game UMD got their fourth goal from a hard working fourth line wing, David Grun. The more that the third and fourth lines play good defense and chip in scoring, the further UMD will play into Spring.

The win temporarily flip-flops UMD’s and UNO’s PWR rankings. The Bulldogs take over #8 and the Mavericks fall to #11.

Friday's Box Score

What to look for tonight. UMD can’t be expected to do much more than Friday night. A win or tie keeps UMD ahead of Omaha in the playoff picture. A Bulldog win coupled with a Denver loss or tie moves UMD into second for the playoffs and lines them up for the added bonus of a possible bye at the Final Five.

Home Ice is Locked. With the UMTC tie and CC win last night, those two teams locked up the last two home ice spots for the first round of the playoffs next weekend.

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