Bulldogs start fast, end strong in insane win over Broncos – Duluth News Tribune

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Goals fell Friday at Lawson Ice Arena as hard and fast as the snow fell outside from a winter storm that Lake Michigan has been heating up in the city since Thursday morning.

That was especially true early on, as Minnesota Duluth and No. 14 Western Michigan each scored three goals in the first 9:03 of the game before the Bulldogs eventually edged the Broncos 5-4 in Friday’s NCHC game.

UMD junior defenseman Darian Gotz of Hermantown won it for the Bulldogs with a minute left when he took a pass from senior wing Quinn Olson on his way out of the box. That set up a breakaway and the game winner for Götz.

“We knew the game was going to start fast, but that was definitely an exclamation mark too fast,” said Götz, who scored his first goal of the season and third of his UMD career. “I was just happy with how we stayed with the game throughout the whole thing.”

Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 5:00 p.m. CT in Kalamazoo, which remains under a winter storm warning through Sunday morning due to lake-effect snow.

Freshmen scored the first three goals for the Bulldogs as forwards Kyle Bettens and Cole Spicer led UMD 4-33 into the game with their first collegiate goals. Ben Steeves, who scored his seventh goal as team captain that year, leveled the game with a snipe from the right faceoff circle on the power play at 9:03 of the first 3-3.

The Broncos came into play through a goal by fifth-grader Jamie Rome on the shift after Spicer’s goal. Madness soon followed – no, madness.

UMD sophomore defenseman Owen Gallatin leveled the game for Western Michigan with an unofficial own goal during a late Broncos penalty. Gallatin picked up a puck from behind UMD net and stuck it in his own net after rebounding it from UMD senior goalie Matthew Thiessen. Broncos junior defenseman Cam Knuble — on whom the penalty fell — was credited with the goal as the last Bronco to touch the puck.

A shorthanded breakaway during junior center Luke Grainger’s knuble-holding penalty gave the Broncos a short-lived 3-2 lead when Steeves struck late on the power play to level the game again.

“Crazy 10-12 minutes of the first half,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. “It was nice to see Bettens and Spicer scoring their first goals. I thought we came out and got a good start, grabbed the lead, but I kept reminding them it’s a long game. The way the game went in the first half I thought it could have been 8-7, 9-8.”

Senior wing Quinn Olson restored a quick lead for UMD in the opening minutes of the second half, however Broncos senior wing Jason Polin again leveled the game on the power play at 5:01.

The Broncos came into the weekend this year averaging an NCHC-leading 4.1 goals per game, while the Bulldogs were level on points with Miami and averaging a league-low 2.1 per game. The Bulldogs had just four regular goals – and one 3-on-3 goal – in a loss and OT home win against Omaha last weekend, but the team was confident they were on the verge of scoring more after UMD had scored 83 of his goals from 148 shots on goal in the series.

“Trust is the biggest thing, and that’s what we’re running from,” Steeves said. “(Saturday) night we’ll try to do the same, maybe not so desperately. We will definitely come out hot tomorrow.”

3rd UMD Rookie Wing Ben Steeves – With seven goals in his first 11 games as a Bulldog, Steeves decided the game after UMD conceded three crazy goals to the Broncos that wiped out an early 2-0 lead.

2. UMD Defense Attorney Sophomore Darian Götz – It wasn’t wise to take a penalty late in the game, but his penalty killers saved it. He then rewarded the PK and redeemed himself by scoring the game winner.

1. UMD Center sophomore Dominic James – James was coming back from an upper body injury and had two big blocks late in the game when the Broncos pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. The first left him injured on the ice, but he stayed in the game and sold again to block another.

Minnesota Duluth 3-1-1-5
Western Michigan 3-1-0—4
First period
1. UMD, Kyle Bettens (Jack Smith), 2:45

2. UMD, Cole Spicer (Derek Daschke, Ben Steeves), 4:33

3. WMU, Jamie Rome (Tim Washe, Aidan Fulp), 4:45
4. WMU, Cam Knubbel, 7:16
5. WMU, Luke Grainger, 7:59 (sh)
6. UMD, Steeves (Daschke, Owen Gallatin), 9:03 (pp.)

second period
7.UMD, Quinn Olson (Isaac Howard), 1:47

8. WMU, Jason Polin (Ryan McAllister, Carter Berger), 5:01 (pp)
third period
9. UMD, Darian Goetz (Olson, Carter Loney), 18:55

saves — Matthew Thiessen, UMD, 27; Cameron Rowe, WMU, 28.
power play – UMD 1-2; WM 1-3. Punish – UMD 3-6; WMU 2-4.

This story was updated on Friday, November 18, 2022 at 10:52 PM following a statistical correction by Western Michigan Athletics. Quinn Olson passed Darian Gotz for the game-winning goal and gave him the primary assist of the game. Carter Loney was credited with a secondary assist.


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