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Everybody knew that T.J. Caig was going to make a difference.
In just his second collegiate game, Caig scored on a breakaway to open up a 2-2 tie and lead Minnesota-Duluth to a split of a weekend series with Rensselaer.
The Engineers had just tied the game when Justin Williams, playing in only his fourth game, sent a pass up to Caig, who had gotten loose at the blue line. Caig came in alone on Nathan Marsters, opened up the five-hole and put the puck in the net for the 3-2 lead and the win.
The Bulldogs led 2-1 at the end of two periods, but the Engineers tied it up on the power play early in the third. Ben Barr took a puck on edge and fired toward UMD goalie Isaac Reichmuth. Reichmuth didn’t see the puck, which went past his left side for the goal.
The Engineers started out where they left off the night before in a 5-2 win when Kirk MacDonald scored his first collegiate goal. On the power play a dump-in took an odd hop off the corner boards and eluded Reichmuth. Barr was waiting for the puck on the other side and quickly fed MacDonald, who had an open net and the 1-0 lead.
The second period saw the Bulldogs score twice on the power play to take a 2-1 lead. Junior Lessard took tipped a pass by Jon Francisco past Marsters, and then Francisco tipped a Lessard pass for the goals.
“They did a better job on their power play tonight executing, and we didn’t do as good a job on the penalty kill,” said Engineer coach Dan Fridgen. “They capitalized on two. We came out in the third and got a quick one, then they score on a breakaway, but we worked hard and the second period was probably our downfall as we let them back in the game.”
The Engineers (8-12-1) will travel to Union on Friday evening while the Bulldogs (9-7-4) take next week off before heading to Wisconsin for a pair.