A strong comeback fell just short for the Minnesota River Bulldogs Saturday as Big South Conference leader Marshall held on for a 3-2 boys hockey victory at Red Baron Arena.
The Tigers jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period and increased it to 3-0 in the second period before the Bulldogs finally broke through and scored late in the period.
Defenseman Shawn Lehtinen, who is tied for the team lead in points with seven goals and eight assists for 15 points, scored on the power play at 13:4 1 of the second period. Assists went to forward Logan Throldahl, who also has 15 points this season with eight goals and seven assists, and forward Brock Olson, who has five goals and nine assists for 14 points.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 3-2 with a goal in the last few minutes of the game. Brady Sowder scored, assisted by Lehtinen and defenseman Tristen O’Brien, at 14:31. Sowder has five goals and five assists for 10 points this season.
Marshall out shot the Bulldogs 35-20. Bulldogs goalie Mitch Kotek made 32 saves, while Tigers goalie Dominik Casper made 18 stops.
Marshall improved to 10-5 overall and 7-1 in the conference, while Minnesota River dropped to 5-7, 4-2 and fourth in the league.
Bulldogs 3, Luverne 2
The Bulldogs came out on top in another 3-2 conference comeback game over Luverne on Friday at Le Sueur Community Center.
After a scoreless first period, the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead at 7:33 of the second period on a goal by Lehtinen, assisted by Sowder.
Luverne then scored two unanswered goals at 40 seconds and 7:34 of the third period to take a 2-0 lead.
The Bulldogs tied it with Lehtinen’s second goal of the game at 11:45 of the third period, assisted by Sowder.
Forward Charlie Weick scored the game-winning goal, assisted by Sowder, at 12:07 of the third period.
Luverne held a 34-20 shots on goal advantage. Logan Moe made 18 saves in the nets for the win. Colton Schutz made 31 saves for Luverne.
The Bulldogs are on the road this week, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Austin and 4 p.m. Saturday at New Ulm.