skip navigation

NCAAM: Minnesota Roundup (Jan. 27-28)

By Kyle McLaughlin , 01/31/23, 5:00PM CST


Catch up on how Minnesota's Division I men's hockey programs fared last weekend.

An all-NCHC in-state battle saw the top-ranked St. Cloud State (18-6-0, No. 1 Pairwise) make the short trek north to play Minnesota Duluth (10-13-1, No. 24 Pairwise), marking their first meeting this season.

Carter Loney tallied his first goal this season to put the Bulldogs ahead 7:52 into the game, with that 1-0 score holding through the end of period one. Only two minutes into the second, the Huskies' Adam Ingram responded, tying the game at 1-1 before Grant Cruikshank put the team ahead 2-1 five minutes later.

St. Cloud would proceed to take the next five penalties in the game, including a five-minute major, allowing freshman forward Ben Steeves to score three consecutive power-play goals for the natural hat trick, with two in the middle frame and the third coming only a minute into the third period, putting the Bulldogs ahead 4-2. Three minutes later, Kyle Bettens made it 5-2 UMD, again scoring on the power play, before Adam Ingram added his second goal of the night to bring the score to 5-3 with over 13 minutes remaining in regulation. However, the Huskies could not pull off a comeback, and the home team completed the upset in game one of the series, winning 5-3. 

Special teams again played an integral role in game two, with the Bulldogs jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to two power-play goals from Luke Loheit and Ben Steeves, his fourth goal of the weekend. The Huskies would then get a power play of their own to close out the first, but it resulted in a Jesse Jacques shorthanded goal, with the home team heading into the first intermission up 3-0 with all the momentum on their side.

The Huskies battled back in the second, with back-to-back Jami Krannila power play goals bringing the score to 3-2, marking his fifteenth goal and thirty-first point of the season. With 4:10 to go in the period, Hugo native Owen Gallatin scored for the Bulldogs to put the team back in front by two goals heading into the third period. St. Cloud once again made it a one-goal game when Ethan AuCoin scored his first collegiate goal six minutes into the period. However, Isaac Howard quickly responded for UMD to make it 5-3. Dominic James would eventually add a late empty net goal, resulting in a 6-3 win and a massive sweep for the Bulldogs over the top-ranked Huskies.

Zach Stejskal made 33 saves in net for the Bulldogs, with the team's 60% power play conversion in the series playing a vital role in the sweep. 

Owen Gallatin, Minnesota Duluth

Bemidji State (10-9-5, No. 28 Pairwise) played a two-game series in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, against Lake Superior State (4-20-2, No. 59 Pairwise), a team the Beavers split with back in December and who currently sits in last place in the CCHA standings.

It took over a period in game one for the Beavers to find their game, with the Lakers leading 2-0 after the first, scoring 4:25 in before adding a second goal in the closing minutes off a goaltender error. After their slow start, BSU Head Coach Tom Serratore changed goalies at the end of the first period, and the team responded, bringing it to 2-1 off a Ross Armour power play goal and holding the Lakers off the scoresheet in period two.

With 7:25 to go in regulation and back on the power play, Ross Armour tallied his second consecutive goal to tie the game at 2-2.

In the closing seconds, Swedish forward Alexander Lundman scored a beautiful goal to complete the comeback and help the Beavers to a 3-2 win. The goalie change to the Farmington native Gavin Enright was a smart one, as Enright saved all 14 shots on net after entering the game.

The second game saw the Beavers jump out to a much better start compared to the night prior, with Ross Armour scoring his third goal of the weekend and ninth of the season 7:29 into the first. That 1-0 score held into the first intermission, but the Lakers responded within a minute of the restart, with Harrison Roy burying his ninth goal this season. Only 1:14 later, the Beavers responded to regain the lead, with White Bear Lake native Lleyton Roed scoring his eighth of the season while also preventing his younger brother, Nolan, from being the only goal-scorer in the family on Hockey Day Minnesota.

Bemidji held onto that 2-1 lead through the midway point of the third period but was unable to close out the game, as Lake Superior tied it at 2-2 with 9:04 remaining before scoring the go-ahead goal with only 13.3 seconds to go, avenging their late loss the night before. With the split, the Beavers sit in fourth place in the CCHA standings and will return home to face off against Michigan Tech this coming weekend. 

Gavin Enright, Bemidji State

Sitting in the No. 2 spot in the Pairwise Rankings to start the weekend, the University of Minnesota (18-7-1) hoped for a strong showing at home against Michigan State (13-11-2, No. 15 Pairwise) to move into the top spot, a team that they previously swept in December.

Game one could not have started better for the home team, as Brock Faber found an open Logan Cooley off the opening faceoff, who skated in alone and buried the puck only nine seconds into the game. The Spartans settled things down after that and controlled play for large stretches of the first, but Justen Close turned aside everything he saw, with Jimmy Snuggerud scoring his fourteenth goal of the season to put the Gophers ahead 2-0 heading into the first intermission.

In period two, it was all Minnesota, with first Connor Kurth, then Matthew Knies, and finally Mike Koster adding goals to stretch the lead to 5-0, forcing the Spartans to make a goaltender change at the end of two. In the third, the Gophers kept the train rolling, with Jackson LaCombe blasting home a power play goal a few minutes into the period before Aaron Huglen made it 7-0 only a minute and change later.

In the closing minutes, Mound native Garrett Pinoniemi scored the eighth and final goal of the game, tallying his first collegiate goal in a memorable 8-0 win. Stopping all 21 shots faced in the game resulted in Justen Close's sixteenth win and fifth shutout of the season. 

After showcasing their offensive prowess in game one, game two surprisingly saw a scoreless first period, with Michigan State leading 12-4 in shots after one. Period two kicked off with a Michigan State power-play goal only 2:35 in before the Gophers responded a minute later, with Jimmy Snuggerud scoring a quick wrist shot off a Logan Cooley faceoff win. A three-on-one the other way saw the Spartans retake the lead off a Daniel Russell goal, but the Gophers responded later in the period, first from Garrett Pinoniemi and then from Bryce Brodzinski, to head into the third period ahead 3-2. Ryan Chesley scored 2:41 in to make it 4-2 before Matthew Knies scored his team-leading seventeenth goal of the season to extend the lead to 5-2.

Jimmy Snuggerud scored again to bring it to 6-2, tallying his sixth point of the weekend, before a late Michigan State goal closed out the scoring in the Gophers' 6-3 win and series sweep. This impressive performance led to the Gophers improving to 20-7-1 on the season and jumping over St. Cloud State to claim the No. 1 ranking. 

Garrett Pinoniemi, Minnesota

Coming off their strong weekend against Bowling Green, the University St. Thomas (7-15-2, No. 45 Pairwise) hoped to carry their strong play when they traveled south to battle Arizona State University (11-16-0, No. 35 Pairwise).

Strong play from Tommie goaltender Aaron Trotter led to a scoreless first frame and almost a scoreless second period, with the Sun Devils getting on the board with only 1:54 to go in the second. Less than a minute into the third period, the Sun Devils doubled their lead when Demetrios Koumontzis tallied his sixth goal of the season. Six minutes later, the home team added an insurance goal to make it 3-0, with Eden Prairie native Jack Jensen scoring, resulting in back-to-back goals from players who participated in the Minnesota State High School tournament.

Arizona State's Dylan Jackson added a fourth goal, and the team went on to win 4-0, with Trotter making 37 saves in the loss and Arizona State goaltender TJ Semptimphelter completing a 17-save shutout, his fifth shutout of the season. 

After being held off the scoresheet in game one, the Tommies got on the board first on a goal from Luc Laylin only 4:28 in. Then, two goals less than a minute apart saw the Sun Devils tie the game at 1-1 before Tim Piechowski scored to bring the Tommies back in front, heading into the first intermission up 2-1 while putting 19 shots on net. Halfway through the period, the Sun Devils again retied the game, with Josh Doan scoring his fourteenth goal of the season on a penalty shot. St. Thomas was then awarded a penalty shot of their own with 1:26 remaining in the period, and forward Matthew Jennings converted, putting the team ahead by a goal for the third time in the game.

With 4:16 to go in regulation, the Sun Devils tied the game for the third time and forced overtime, where only 37 seconds in, they completed the comeback, scoring off an end-to-end finish from Robert Mastrosimone. That goal marks Mastrosimone's team-leading ninth goal and twenty-ninth point of the season for the Detroit Red Wings second-round draft pick.

St. Thomas will look to have a bounce-back weekend when they square off against Minnesota State-Mankato in a home-and-home series. 

Blaine Warnert, St. Thomas

Minnesota State (14-9-1, No. 13 Pairwise) traveled to Michigan looking for revenge against the Ferris State Bulldogs (10-11-3, No. 42 Pairwise), a team that swept the Mavericks in Mankato back in early December.

Hoping to keep their win streak alive after winning six straight, the Mavericks got on the board first in the opening period before allowing the Bulldogs to tie the game with 1:23 remaining in the first.

Almost eight minutes into the second period, the Mavericks retook the lead on a Josh Groll goal before extending the lead to 3-1 only four minutes later, with David Silye snapping home his team-leading eighteenth goal of the season.

In the third, Silye added goal No. 19 with 9:12 remaining, and Keenan Rancier turned aside all nine shots faced in the period for a game total of 23 saves, ending in a 4-1 Mavericks victory. 

With the win streak now at seven, the Mavericks were looking for the sweep in game two Saturday night, hoping to remain undefeated since the beginning of the new year.

A goalless period one saw the Mavericks outshoot the Bulldogs 9-6, with Keenan Rancier again in net for Mankato. The scoreless first period was followed by a four-goal second period, with Mankato getting on the board first only 1:47 in on a David Silye power play goal, his third goal of the weekend. Less than two minutes later, the Bulldogs equalized via a Jason Brancheau goal, but the tie would not last long, as the Mavericks would respond forty seconds later and then score again immediately off the restart, leading 3-1 early in the second.

Holding that two-goal lead into the final period, Mankato added a fourth insurance goal a few minutes into period three, with Christian Fitzgerald scoring his eighth goal and sixteenth point of the season. A late short-side snipe from Ryan Sandelin put the Mavericks ahead 5-1, and that would be the final, with Mankato exacting their revenge and sweeping Ferris State on the road. 

Mason Wheeler, Minnesota State

Recent MN YHH News