by LUKE WIENEKE
DULUTH, Minn - The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs came out firing on all cylinders Oct. 16 at the DECC, as the men's hockey team completed the series sweep by beating the Providence Friars 7-1.
The game didn't start the way the Bulldogs wanted it to, as the Friars scored 58 seconds into the first period on a Tim Schaller shot that got past goalie Aaron Crandall.
That lead didn't last long for Providence, as Kyle Schmidt found the back of the net off of an assist by J.T. Brown for the equalizer. Schmidt's goal seemed to open the flood gates, as the first period ended with Travis Oleksuk and Jack Connelly scoring goals, giving the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead going into the break.
"We just settled down and knew we had to clean a few things up defensively and begin to put pressure on them," said Connelly, a Junior forward. "It was an early hole to get out of but we knew what to do to get ourselves on the scoreboard."
The Bulldogs tallied two more goals during the second period, with Wade Bergman scoring his first goal of the season and Connelly scoring a power play goal for his second of the game. The Bulldogs were even on shots in the second period with the Friars at eight per squad.
The third period was much of the same for the Bulldogs, as Brown scored on assists from Scott Kishel and Connelly, and Schmidt tallied his second goal of the game, assisted by Brown and Oleksuk.
Connelly, who tallied four points in the game, gave much of the credit to his two goals and assists to his linemates.
"Mike [Connelly] and [Justin Fontane] made a great play on my first goal, and J.T. and Bergman made a couple of great shots when I passed it to them," Connelly said. "Their defense seemed to be quite passive in which I felt I could take advantage of."
Overall, the Bulldogs outshot the Friars 41-18, and were 1 of 6 on the power play. Crandall recovered from that first goal to save the other 17 shots he faced, and helping the Bulldogs to hold the Friars to 0 of 5 on the power play.
"We put some new players in the lineup and didn't miss a beat," said Scott Sandelin, Head Coach for the Bulldogs. "Our third and fourth lines got us going, and when we moved our feet, we were good. I especially liked our third period (Outshooting the Friars 18-4)."
The Bulldogs, at 3-0-1, will play Alaska-Anchorage in their first WCHA matchup of the season, while the Friars, at 1-2-0, go on to face University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
Providence College 1-0-0---1
Minnesota Duluth 3-2-2---7