Travis Oleksuk’s power play goal with 7.9 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the University of Minnesota Duluth to a 3-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association road victory over Bemidji State University Friday night, extending the Bulldogs’ NCAA-best unbeaten streak to seven games.
Oleksuk, tipped in a shot from sophomore defenseman Dylan Olsen near the right side of the goal crease, for his fifth goal of the year (and nation-leading fourth game-winner) as UMD moved to 6-0-1 on the year – its best start since it opened the 1989-90 season with eight straight wins. The Bulldogs went on the power play with 1:58 left to play in regulation after senior left winger Kyle Schmidt was hauled down by Bemidji State’s Brad Hunt on a breakaway.
Oleksuk’s goal was the first scoring by either of the two clubs since the end of the first period. Twenty seven seconds into the game, Bemidji State’s Jake Areshenko was whistled for holding and 17 seconds after that, UMD capitalized as freshman left winger Mike Connolly’s shot from the low slot trickled past Beaver goaltender Dan Bakala. UMD added to that lead at 10:03 of the first when senior left winger sprung J.T. Brown free with a cross ice pass in the neutral zone and the rookie right winger streaked in down the left side and backhanded in his fourth goal of the year. The Beavers, who are in their first year as members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association scored twice in a span of 100 seconds five minutes later to draw even. The first of those goals, a power play tally by Matt Read at 15:19, ended Bulldog freshman goaltender Aaron Crandall’s consecutive minute shutout streak at 134:21 and UMD’s string of consecutive penalty kills at 15 stretching back four games.
UMD, which is now 8-1-10 in last 19 overtime games (with lone loss coming to Bemidji State last January in Duluth), held a 34-28 edge in shots on goal, the seventh time it has outshot the opposition this season.
The two teams will close out their only regular season series of 2010-11 Saturday night at the Sanford Center in Bemidji
Courtesy: UMD Athletics