DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — There will be a new No. 1 in men’s college hockey when polls are released next week.
On Saturday, Karson Kuhlman and Kyle Osteberg scored short-handed goals as No. 2 Minnesota Duluth beat No. 1 North Dakota 3-0 to sweep their National Collegiate Hockey Conference series.
Carson Soucy added a power-play goal for UMD (5-1-2, 2-0-0), whose special teams dominated the weekend.
UND (5-2-0, 0-2-0 NCHC) outshot the Bulldogs 30-25, but UMD goalie Hunter Miska was perfect in the nets.
UND, the defending NCAA national champion, was last swept Feb. 12-13 of last season when Denver beat the Hawks 6-4 and 4-1.
Kuhlman broke a scoreless tie with a short-handed goal at 11:24 of the second period. Skating a man down, Kuhlman worked his way up the left side and wristed a shot past Cam Johnson from the left circle.
Soucy’s power-play goal made it 2-0 at 15:42 and Osterberg followed by burying a cross-ice pass into an open net with just 58 seconds left in the period for a 3-0 lead.
On Friday, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead before beating the Fighting Hawks 5-2 in the series opener.
“I thought this weekend our kill was doing a good job and obviously right there we got a break,” Kuhlman said.
The Bulldogs killed five of six power plays on Friday and all eight on Saturday. “We work on special teams all the time. It was nice to see it pay off here.”
“It boiled down to special teams in the second period,” UND coach Brad Berry said. “We had a tremendous first period but weren’t rewarded with a goal, but gave up a couple of odd-man rushes in the offensive end and against a team like this you can’t do that.”
Berry emphasized the Hawks’ special teams failure.
“You can’t give them any opportunities on special teams and that’s the biggest thing this weekend,” he said. “They got a few opportunities short-handed and you’ve got to clean that area up.”
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