DULUTH, Minn. - What began as auspicious start to the weekend for Kenny Reiter and the University of Minnesota Duluth ended as anything but.
Reiter, who allowed a pair of goals on the first two shots he faced in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series opener with Bemidji State University, held the Beavers scoreless the rest of the way, including a 1-0 victory Saturday night. With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 4-3-1 overall and 2-2-0 in the WCHA while completing their first regular season home sweep since Nov. 12-13, 2010.
Senior center Jack Connolly's power play goal 11:21 into the third period was all the scoring the defending NCAA champions would need as Reiter turned aside all 23 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season - and seventh of his career. One of those 23 stops came on a penalty shot when he stuffed Bemidji State's Brance Orban. Reiter, making his his sixth consecutive start, blanked BSU for the final 112:34 of the weekend series.
"I just tried to bare down," Reiter said. "(Bemidji State) lives off of missed opportunities and bounces. It's tough to adjust against that team."
The power play marker extended Connolly's scoring streak to six games and moved him into the team scoring lead with 10 points.
"We tried to get pucks deep and tried to work their defense below the goal line," said Connolly, who leads all active NCAA I skaters in career points with 147. "It's hard to establish the forecheck against them. We tried to get it low, attack their defenders and ultimately get a lot of pucks on net."
UMD outshot Bemidji State (3-5-0; 2-4-0) 28-23 Saturday night and 68-40 on the weekend. For the second straight night, the Bulldogs went 1-of-5 on the power play while the Beavers came up empty on their two tries with the man advantage.
UMD will engage in its first WCHA road assignments of 2011-12 next Friday and Saturday against the University of Denver.