DULUTH, Minn. - With its next home appearance nine weeks away, the University of Minnesota Duluth emptied its offensive closet Saturday night and blasted Minnesota State University-Mankato 7-3 at AMSOIL Arena. The win completed a weekend Western Collegiate Hockey Association series for the Bulldogs and increased their nation-leading unbeaten streak to 10 games (8-0-2).
UMD, which got points from 12 different players, including senior goaltender Kenny Reiter, broke the game open early in the second period by scoring four times in a span of 96 seconds to take a 4-0 lead. Two-time center All-American center Jack Connolly and sophomore right winger J.T. Brown paced the Bulldogs (9-3-2 overall; 7-2-1) with a goal and two assist each while senior defenseman Scott Kishel, junior center Jake Hendrickson and freshman left winger Justin Crandall all had two points.
"I don't think I've been on a team that scored that many goals that fast," said Brown who had a goal and an assist during second-period outburst. "It definitely gave us a spark and we kept riding it through the rest of the night."
UMD outshot the Mavericks 37-25 on the night, with 19 of those shots coming on the Bulldogs' season-best 10 power play opportunities (they cashed in on three of those). Minnesota State-Mankato (3-9-0; 2-6-0) went 2-of-6 with the man advantage.
The Bulldogs will have next weekend off before returning to the ice on Dec. 2-3 at Michigan Tech University. Their next home series is set for Jan. 20-21, 2012 against the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
"Two months without a home game will be a difficult stretch," said Brown. "But it was a great thing to finish here at home on a good note and hopefully we can keep it going on the road."
"We've been on a little bit of streak and the mood in the locker room is great," added Connolly, who has now picked up at least one point in 12 straight games (a career-best) and tops the WCHA in overall scoring with 21 points. "Guys are having fun going to rink everyday --working hard and trying to get better."