DULUTH, Minn. - It took 10 shots and a 10-minute span for the University of Minnesota Duluth to build what appeared to be a comfortable 4-0 first-period lead Friday in its Western Collegiate Hockey Association series opener with Michigan Tech University.
Maybe a bit too comfortable of lead.
After freshman left winger Caleb Herbert potted his second goal of the night to put UMD up by four with 4:47 to go before the first intermission, the top-ranked Bulldogs (17-4-4 overall and 11-3-3 WCHA) looked like they were well on their way to a ninth straight home win and an eighth consecutive victory over their long-time rivals. But that's when the UMD scoring burst stopped and the Michigan Tech rally began.
The Huskies (11-12-2 ; 8-7-2) struck for four unanswered goals, including three in the third period - a period UMD has more or less owned this season - to gain a 4-4 overtime tie with the defending NCAA champions before a near-capacity crowd of 6,670 at AMSOIL Arena.
Herbert's two scores and goals by senior right winger David Grun (just under six minutes after the opening faceoff) and defenseman Brady Lamb (at 10:58 of the first) came on the first 10 shots the Bulldogs put on Michigan Tech goaltender Josh Robinson. Robinson stopped the last 27 shots he faced to finish with 33 saves while helping hold the Bulldogs scoreless on all four of their power play chances. He and the Huskies also did something no team has been able to do in 23 games - keep two-time All-American center and the nation's number one point getter Jack Connolly off the scoresheet.
Ryan Furne's goal off a UMD turnover at the 15:13 mark of the second period got Michigan Tech on the board and another even-strength tally by Jordan Baker 41 seconds into third cut the Bulldog lead to 4-2. With UMD on a five-minute power play, Jacob Johnstone whacked in his second career shorthanded goal at 8:54 efore his younger brother, David Johnstone, got the equalizer on the power play five minutes later. The Bulldogs entered the night having outstcored their opposition 37-16 in the third period this season.
Senior goaltender Kenny Reiter made 35 stops for UMD, which has been beaten just once in its last 21 outings (16-1-4).
"It's tough to come out of tonight with just a tie," said Herbert, who also picked up one assist. "We have to come together tomorrow night and outwork them because they are going to be hungry for a win."