Postgame: Minnesota Duluth 6, Minnesota State-Mankato 2

Minnesota Duluth salvaged a series split against Minnesota State-Mankato by rebounding from a 5-4 overtime loss on Friday in Duluth with a 6-2 win on the road Saturday in Mankato.

Here are my thumbs up and thumbs down for the Bulldogs tonight, followed by my three stars.

Thumbs up to the Bulldogs’ local boys

Led by Duluth native and sophomore forward Dominic Toninato, the Bulldogs’ Northland players shined this weekend.

Toninato got the game-winning goal tonight in what was more like a 4-2 game rather than a 6-2 game because of the two empty netters. Hermantown native and freshman forward Jared Thomas not only picked up the insurance goal at 4-2, but the dagger into the empty net at 5-2. Those are his first two collegiate goals.

And lets not forget Karson Kuhlman of Esko. The freshman forward was the hero Friday night when he tied the game at 4-4, only to have that celebration spoiled by the Mavericks scoring in OT.

Of the Bulldogs’ 16 goals this year, nine are scored by Northland products.

Thumbs down to the Bulldogs falling behind again

I talked with UMD head coach Scott Sandelin, freshman goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo and Toninanto after the game, and all three were disappointed the team fell behind 1-0, so I’ll be disappointed the Bulldogs fell behind 1-0.

But let’s be honest here. A 1-0 hole is nothing compared to a two or three goal deficit. It’s a non-story if not for the three goal deficit on Friday and originally against the Gophers. The Bulldogs have proved to be pretty resilient so far and may just thrive on fighting back.

Matt’s Three Stars
3. UMD freshman forward Jared Thomas: Scored his first two collegiate goals tonight, first on the power play at 9:24 of the third period and again on an empty netter during a 6-on-5 MSU advantage at 15:29 of the third to clinch the win.
2. UMD freshman goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo: He stopped 36 of the 38 shots he faced for his first collegiate win after giving up four goals to the Gophers in his debut last weekend. He stopped 16 of 17 shots in the second period and 11 of 11 in the third period.
1. UMD sophomore forward Dominic Toninato: The Mavericks tied the game back up at 2-2 before the end of the second period, erasing UMD’s 2-1 lead. Toninato was there in the third period with the shorthanded goal to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. He finished with a goal and assist.