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UMD Bulldogs Take WCCHA Club Championship, 4-3 in OT

Penalty Shot in OT Determines Tightly Contested Game vs St. Cloud State

Saturday Evening, Feb 9, 2013.

Overtime was the rule on Saturday night at the Schwan’s Super Rink as all three of the final games of the WCCHA men’s club hockey tournament could not be decided in regulation play.

Championship Match

UMD Bulldogs - WCCHA Club Hockey Champions!

UMD Bulldogs – WCCHA Club Hockey Champions!

UMD and St. Cloud State earned the right to play in the championship game after winning their semi-final games earlier in the day.  St. Cloud stunned a Northern Michigan team that was undefeated in conference play, 4-1.  A late goal in the third period put St. Cloud up 2-1 and forced UNM to pull their goalie.  St. Cloud took advantage and scored twice into an empty net, ending UNM’s efforts to win another WCCHA tournament.  Meanwhile, UMD came from behind late in the third period against a rugged Waldorf College team to hold on for a 4-3 win and their first chance for a WCCHA title.

Mike Swanson skates away in celebration after scoring on a penalty shot in OT for a 4-3 win

Mike Swanson skates away in celebration after scoring on a penalty shot in OT for a 4-3 win

Splitting their series during league play, the title game was close from the drop of the puck.  UMD took early leads, but St. Cloud kept finding ways to tie the score.  With the score tied at 3-3 at the end of regulation play, both teams had terrific opportunities to win the game in OT, but both goalies made several outstanding saves to keep the game alive.  Finally, a breakaway by Mike Swanson resulted in a penalty shot call after he was tripped while attempting a shot on goal.  With a large crowd watching, he calmly deked the St. Cloud goalie and slid the puck under his outstretched pad for the 4-3 victory and UMD’s first WCCHA championship.

Third Place Game

Northern Michigan and Waldorf did not disappoint their fans in the third place game.  Waldorf took an early 2-0 lead, but goals by UNM in the second period and late in the third period tied the score at 2-2 and forced overtime.  UNM scored for the 3-2 OT win when a wicked wrist shot from the top of the circle found the far upper corner of the net, ending a physical and up-tempo game.

Consolation Championship

St. Thomas earned their way to the final game by beating University of Wisconsin earlier in the day, 4-2.  A late entry into the WCCHA tournament, UW-Eau Claire upended the University of Minnesota, 7-3, and put them into the final game of the losers bracket.  In a wide open, high scoring game, UW-EC took several 2-goal leads, but could not close the deal against a stubborn St. Thomas group.  St. Thomas finally tied the score at 5-5 late in the third period and forced the extra session.  Early in OT, a shot on a partial breakaway from a tough angle found it’s mark and UW-EC prevailed, 6-5.

Championship Game Pics

Let the celebration begin!

Let the celebration begin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go-ahead goal early in the game

Go-ahead goal early in the game

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional handshake after a hard-fought game

Traditional handshake after a hard-fought game

 

 

 

Bill brings many years of hockey and business experience to the MHM team. He earned a Math degree at University of St. Mary's while playing 4 years of D-III varsity hockey in the MIAC. Played hockey in Europe while serving 4 years in the USAF at the end of the Vietnam conflict. Continued his 38+ year professional IT career in various business application functional management positions. After returning from Europe continued to play competitive hockey in the USHL and Senior A hockey clubs for the next 15 years. Continues to play in Adult leagues and plays in USA Hockey and other organization sponsored national tournaments on a regular basis. Serves as a Business Advisor, IT Consultant and Associate Publisher for MHM.com.

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