The 2014 North Star College Cup Tournament’s inaugural game took place between the Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks and the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. The North Star College
The Bulldogs struck first when Andy Welinsky scored an unassisted goal. The Mavericks scored next off the stick of Johnny McInnis at about the midpoint of the first period. Mankato wrapped up the first period scoring when Matt Leitner beat the Bulldog’s defense and goalie to score with 5:35 left in the period on the power-play. Duluth won the shots on goal battle at 11-5 but it was Minnesota State Mankato that came away with the 2-1 lead after the first period.
Period two saw three goals scored and a score after 40 minutes of 3-3. UMD tied the game early off the stick of Austin Farley at the 3:49 mark of period two. The Bulldogs added a goal at 10:27 when Adam Krause found space in the net. Mankato tied it up again when JP Lafontaine scored with three minutes remaining in the period.
The third period saw a goal apiece and a lot of skating. The Bulldogs shot the puck 10 times while the Mavericks only shot four and each team had two power-play opportunities. Both teams scored while short-handed. After three periods the game was set to go to overtime.
The Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks took a penalty with less than two minutes left in the overtime period, making the final minutes of the game a power-play for the Duluth Bulldogs. The Bulldogs would not let the opportunity slip through their hands when Alex Iafallo buried the puck behind the right blocker of Aaron Crandall to win the game.
The Bulldogs will advance to the 2014 North Star College Cup finals on Saturday January 25, 2014. The Mavericks will face the loser of the game between the fifth ranked (national) St. Cloud State Huskies and the number one ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Stay tuned to The Minnesota Sports Report for news and photos from the North Star College Cup and other events around Minnesota.
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