skip navigation

NCAAM: Bullet Points (Jan. 30)

By Kyle McLaughlin , 01/30/24, 1:15PM CST


Recaps of how the six Minnesota-based Division I men's hockey programs fared over the weekend.

No. 9 Minnesota (15-7-4) at No. 8 Michigan State (16-5-3)

A battle of two top-10 teams saw the Gophers on the road against Michigan State, with Minnesota going 1-0-1 against the Spartans in their first meeting this season back in November. 

An early goal from Mike Koster only 1:28 into Friday's game led to a 1-0 lead for the Gophers after one. That scoreline held until the waning minutes of the second period when freshman Oliver Moore doubled the Gophers lead. In the third, Michigan State scored off a rebound 2:36 into the period to make it 2-1 and end Justen Close's shutout bid.

With under five minutes to go, the Spartans tied the game off a shorthanded goal and would complete the comeback, scoring the game-winner with only four seconds left on the clock. The Gophers had multiple opportunities to seal a victory with three power play opportunities in the third period, with the team going 0-for-5 with the man-advantage in the game. 

In game two, the Gophers again scored first via a quick slapshot from Bryce Brodzinski, with Aaron Huglen doubling the lead shortly thereafter to make it 2-0 after one. The Gophers continued to build on their lead in the early part of the second period to make it 3-0, with Michigan State tallying a power play goal later in the period to head into the second intermission down 3-1.

With nine minutes to go in regulation, Oliver Moore struck again for his second goal of the game and fourth point of the series, and the Gophers would go on to add an empty netter and win decisively 5-1. 

The split puts Minnesota in third place in the Big Ten standings, with a border battle against the No. 3 ranked Wisconsin Badgers (20-5-1) next on the schedule this weekend. 

Oliver Moore, Minnesota

Minnesota Duluth (10-11-4) vs. Miami RedHawks (7-15-2)

A home series against the last-place team in the conference standings meant a must-win sweep for the Bulldogs this weekend, and the team did just that. 

Continuing his strong season, Ben Steeves opened the weekend's scoring 7:22 into the first period to help the Bulldogs lead 1-0 after one. Period two saw back-to-back goals from Minnetonka graduates, with Luke Loheit scoring for UMD to make it 2-0 before Teddy Lagerback clawed one back for Miami. The Bulldogs closed the period with two insurance goals to extend their lead to 4-1 at the second intermission.

Only 49 seconds into the third, Ben Steeves scored his third goal of the night, marking his third career hat trick and 20th goal scored this season. A sixth goal came off the stick of Blake Biondi, and the RedHawks tallied the night's final goal, ending in a 6-2 UMD win.

Game two opened with a scoreless first period before a three-goal second, with Ben Steeves remaining hot and scoring his fourth goal of the weekend to open the scoring. With 8:37 remaining in the period, the RedHawks tied it at 1-1 off a goal from their leading scorer PJ Fletcher. UMD's Riley Bodnarchuk scored on a seeing-eye shot from the point to make it 2-1 heading into the third.

With under two minutes to go in regulation and their goaltender pulled, Miami's Ryan Sullivan scored to tie the game and force overtime. Anthony Menghini would go on to be the hero after scoring the overtime winner for the Bulldogs, with goaltender Zach Stejskal making 31 saves in the victory. 

The Bulldogs will hit the road and face Nebraska Omaha (12-9-3) next on 2/2 and 2/3 before returning home to face the No. 4 Denver Pioneers the following weekend. 

Ben Steeves, Minnesota Duluth

Minnesota State (13-9-4) vs. Northern Michigan (8-13-3)

Going 8-2 in their previous 10 matchups, Minnesota State welcomed Northern Michigan to town with a sweep in mind against the Wildcats as we enter the back end of the season. 

A sleepy first period in which there were nine total shots was capped off by a Minnesota State power-play goal from Evan Murr, with the Mavericks only able to capitalize on 1-of-4 power-play opportunities in the period. Still ahead 1-0 with little time remaining in the second, Northern Michigan tied the game off a gritty goal from former Gopher Jack Perbix, with that goal marking his first of the season. The Wildcats added a second goal soon after and headed into the second intermission leading 2-1.

Almost nine minutes into the third, Lucas Sowder made it all square at 2-2 off his tenth goal this season, with the game eventually heading to overtime and concluding with a shootout. Northern Michigan won the shootout 2-1, with Warroad native Grant Slukynsky scoring one of the shootout goals for the Wildcats, claiming the extra conference point in the tie. 

For the second straight game, the Mavericks opened the scoring and led 1-0 after one. Unlike game one, Minnesota State built on their lead in the second and did not allow a response from the visitors, adding goals from Sam Morton and Zach Krajnik to lead 3-0 after two. A third-period goal from Josh Groll put the game out of reach at 4-0, and that wound up being the final, with goaltender Alex Tracy making 18 saves in the shutout win. 

A four-point weekend places the Mavericks tied in first place in the CCHA standings with St. Thomas, who will be Minnesota State's next opponent. The teams will play a home-and-home series, with St. Thomas hosting game one at 7:07 PM on Friday and Minnesota State hosting game two at 6:07 PM on Saturday. 

Evan Murr, Minnesota State (photo from 2022)

No. 15 St. Cloud (11-8-5) vs. Nebraska Omaha (12-9-3)

In the first period of game one, St. Cloud dominated the shots column by a margin of 18-4 and, thanks to Adam Ingram, led 1-0 after one. A wild eight-goal second period followed, and the Mavericks answered back to every St. Cloud goal that was scored. Adam Ingram, Zach Okabe, and Barrett Hall scored for the Huskies, with Jacob Guevin and Nolan Krenzen scoring only 14 seconds apart for Nebraska Omaha to tie it at 4-4 before Mason Salquist scored to close the period and put St. Cloud ahead 5-4.

In the third, Nebraska Omaha opened the period with two goals in the first 1:42 to take a 6-5 lead, with Dylan Anhorn scoring later to tie it at 6-6 and force overtime. An interference penalty was called on St. Cloud early in overtime, and the Mavericks took full advantage, with freshman Tanner Ludtke burying a one-timer for his seventh goal of the season and a 7-6 overtime win.

Game one's thirteen-goal thriller was followed by a low-scoring defensive battle in game two that again resulted in overtime. Like game one, the Huskies came out flying and outshot Nebraska Omaha 16-6 in the first period, leading 1-0 at the break off a goal from Zach Okabe. Halfway through the second period, the Mavericks were gifted a goal after a fortunate bounce off a St. Cloud defender's skate to tie it at 1-1. Both goaltenders saved everything thrown at them from that point forward, eventually leading to overtime and a shootout.

Officially ending in a tie, Nebraska Omaha scored the lone goal in the shootout to claim the extra point and leave Minnesota with four points earned in the NCHC standings. 

Next up for the Huskies is the No. 16 ranked Colorado College Tigers (15-8-1), with puck drop at 8:00 PM CT on Feb. 2 and 7:00 PM CT on Feb. 3. 

Dylan Anhorn, St. Cloud State

St. Thomas (12-11-1) – Bye

Even with their bye weekend, the Tommies hold the top spot in the CCHA standings, tied in first place with Minnesota State with 30 points. Those two teams will battle it out this coming weekend in a home-and-home series, with game one on Feb. 2 taking place in Mendota Heights and game two on Feb. 3 in Mankato. With five series to go before the playoffs begin, Lucas Wahlin is the team's points leader with 23 (10g, 13a), followed by Liam Malmquist with 19 (5g, 14a) and Ryan O'Neill with 17 (7g, 10a).

Bemidji State (9-14-1) – Bye

Sitting in the fourth spot in the CCHA standings at the culmination of their bye weekend, the Beavers have five series left on their regular season schedule, three at home and two on the road, starting with Augustana University (7-14-3) this weekend at home on 2/2 and 2/3. Sophomore Lleyton Roed leads the team in points with 24 (12g, 12a), followed by fifth-year defenseman Kyle Looft, who has 19 (5g, 14a), which is more than double the total points he has tallied in a single season in his collegiate career.

Recent MN YHH News

  • The Minnesotan Pod - Spring Recap

  • By Tony Scott 05/22/2024, 4:00pm CDT
  • Stars of Tomorrow, Selects, SDP Invite, HP16 & 17, YEL, USHL Draft, Cowboy Shootout, PWHL MN, USEL Boston, NAHL, Orion Cup, high school coaching changes, etc.
  • Read More