UMD Bulldogs Advance to Second Straight Men’s Hockey Championship Game After 2-1 Win Over Ohio State
Back-to-back trips to the Frozen Four for the UMD Men have led to back-to-back championship appearances after a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Ohio State. The Bulldogs came out hot against the Buckeyes, scoring two early goals and maintaining strong pressure through the game to power them to Saturday's championship game.
UMD scored two quick goals in the first 3:04 of the game, with freshman Louie Roehl finding the net just 1:53 into the game and senior Jared Thomas scored at the 3:04 mark in the opening frame. After the game, Roehl talked about his scoring play.
"Matty [Anderson] made a great play. I think everybody in the arena thought he was going to shoot the puck and he slid it over to me. I caught it, picked my head up, took a little longer to get the release off. Just made sure the goalie wasn't there, and just shot it in. And it was all good."
- Louie Roehl, UMD Freshman Defenseman
Through much of the game, the Bulldogs maintained a strong forecheck and kept the pressure on the Ohio State defense and goaltender, outshooting the Buckeyes 28-20 through the game. UMD's sophomore goaltender Hunter Shepard also played a solid game, making 19 saves and allowing just one goal midway through the third period.
After the game, Bulldogs captain Karson Kuhlman talked about the fast start to the game.
“I think we’ve just been approaching it a little different. We hate digging ourselves a hole. We kind of don’t want to do that anymore after that [Minnesota State] game and, obviously, the past two have been good for us.”
- Karson Kuhlman, UMD Senior Winger
The win for UMD sends the Bulldogs to their fourth national title game, with their previous appearances in 1984, 2011, and 2017. Last year's campaign came to and end falling to Denver 3-2 in the championship game. UMD will be looking to win their second national championship, following their first one in 2011, which was also won at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Bulldogs await the winner of the Notre Dame vs. Michigan game, which followed the UMD-Ohio State game on Thursday night. UMD will take on the winner of this game at 6:30 local time at the Xcel Energy Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.