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Freshman forward Dominic James scored his first Bulldogs career goal against Providence on Saturday night. Howie Hanson /

Howie: No. 5 Bulldogs edge Friars

Bulldogs men’s hockey coach Scott Sandelin all but said his team flushed down the toilet a 5-1 loss to No. 3 Michigan in an Ice Breaker Tournament semifinal Friday night at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.

“We’ll learn from it, grow from it and move on,” he said, post-game, of the frustrating opening-round loss.

No. 5 UMD (3-1) responded strongly with a 3-2 win over No. 10 Providence in the Ice Breaker third-place game Saturday night.

Michigan (4-0) defeated No. 1 Minnesota State 3-2 in the four-team tourney final Saturday afternoon.

Freshman forward Dominic James scored his first Bulldogs career goal against Providence on Saturday night. Howie Hanson /

“I thought we were doing a pretty good job there, especially in the first period,” Sandelin said of the loss to the Wolverines, who boast four of the top picks in the 2021 National Hockey League Entry Draft. “Then we lost some coverage, weren’t tight enough on some checks. They (Wolverines) find space, kind of get lost and tonight they scored some backside goals. It’s early in the year, and we really haven’t seen a lot of that. Now we’ve seen it, and hopefully if we play another team that does it, we’ll clean it up. There’s always things that teams expose in you.

“Sometimes a game like this is a good attention grabber, right? It’s good to see different styles, especially early. That’s why I like playing good teams, because by playing those teams it hopefully shows your strengths and weaknesses, and that’s what you go back to work on.”

Sandelin said teams are always searching to define and play to the strength of their identity, especially early in the season.

“We want to be hard to play against, defend well,” Sandelin said of the Bulldogs’ approach. “Bring that kind of emotion, that kind of energy, be on our toes, play relentless. We all know what we want it to look like, but there’s a lot of work to be done. Every team is in this stage now. Games like tonight really help, playing against these high-caliber teams, to learn where you’re at and need more work.”

The Bulldogs will face Minnesota on Friday at 7 p.m. in Minneapolis and Saturday at 7:07 p.m. at Amsoil.

High School Boys Hockey

Duluth Denfeld senior forward Simon Davidson scored two goals to power Team North (Kowalski’s) to a 5-1 victory over SIT Mutual Funds in an Upper Midwest High School Elite League hockey game Sunday morning in Grand Rapids, Minn.

Super-sophomore Max Plante of Hermantown, Grant Winkler of Duluth East and Justin Kerr of Grand Rapids also scored goals for Team North (7-7-3), and Jacob Walsh of Cloquet stopped 24 of 25 shots.

Published in Sports

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