St. Paul , MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The UMD Bulldogs are accustomed to playing in close games, and that aided them on Saturday night as they beat Michigan 3-2 in overtime to win the program's first-ever national championship.
The Bulldogs fell behind after the first period, but Travis Oleksuk opened the second period with a goal from the slot to tie the game at 1 goal apiece.
The puck came towards the net from the slot, hit a Michigan defender, and fell right to the stick of Oleksuk, who poked it past Shawn Hunwick to tie the game.
Duluth East graduate Max Tardy then gave the Bulldogs a lead with his first goal of the season, a power play tally from the side of the net.
Tardy tried to slide the puck across the goal mouth, but his pass was deflected by Hunwick, and the puck bounced right back to Tardy who banged it home.
Michigan was able to tie the game at 2 heading to the second intermission, and neither team was able to break through in the third.
Both goaltenders, Kenny Reiter for UMD and Hunwick for Michigan, played spectacular down the stretch as the game headed to overtime.
Less than three minutes into the extra session, Hermantown native Kyle Schmidt etched his name into the UMD history books, scoring his 11th, and most important, goal of the season.
Oleksuk worked hard to win the puck behind the Michigan net, and passed out front to Schmidt, who got just enough of his stick on the puck to beat Hunwick.
From there, the celebration was on for UMD as the men won their first ever national title. The only other title game appearance for the Bulldogs came in 1984, when they lost to Bowling Green in four overtimes.
Posted by Zach Schneider