Special Teams Propel Men's Hockey Past Visiting Northland, 3-0, in NCHA Clash

Junior goalie Kevin Entmaa stopped all 15 shots he faced to beat Northland 3-0 for his third career shutout on Saturday. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Junior goalie Kevin Entmaa stopped all 15 shots he faced to beat Northland 3-0 for his third career shutout on Saturday. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

ADRIAN, Mich.--Senior assistant captain Taylor McCloy and sophomore Matt McNair scored shorthanded goals, and junior goaltender Kevin Entmaa notched his third career shutout, as nationally-ranked Adrian College used a stifling defense to blank visiting Northland College, 3-0, in a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association game on Saturday afternoon, extending the Bulldogs' five-game winning streak.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Adrian College 3, Northland College 0

= Location: Arrington Ice Arena; Adrian, Mich.

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs 8-1 overall (7-1 NCHA South Division); Northland Lumberjacks 3-6-2 overall (2-5-1 NCHA North Division)

= National Rankings: Adrian--#2 D3hockey.com, #2 USCHO.com polls

TOP 'DAWGS
= McCloy, the First Star of the Game, and McNair, the game's Second Star, both led the offense with two points apiece on a goal and assist.

= Entmaa got the Third Star of the Game after recording 15 saves for his second shutout this season to move to second in the nation in that category.

= Junior Bryan Yim was terrific in the face-off circle, winning a game-best 13 draws in 16 attempts. Senior captain Mathew Thompson added 11-for-18, classmate Austin Rust was 9-for-18 and McNair went 5-for-9.

THE OPPOSITION
= Goalie AJ Smith kept Northland close by making 43 saves on 46 shots he faced.

= Lucas DeBenedet and Ty Kraus each had eight face-off wins.

= Six 'Jacks had two shots apiece.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Adrian outshot Northland with a 46 to 15 shots on goal advantage.

= The Bulldogs' penalty-killing unit was outstanding with two shorthanded goals and making the Lumberjacks go 0-for-3 on man-advantage opportunities.

= The teams skated to a scoreless first period, but that doesn't mean there wasn't any action. Both teams had prime scoring chances in the opening four minutes. Kalib Ford hit the left post from the edge of the crease for NC. Moments later, Smith stopped Rust twice and Thompson once from close range on the same shooting sequence to keep it 0-0.

= Adrian broke through and solved Smith with 14 minutes and 20 seconds left in the second period. McCloy intercepted a backpass to the point in the Lumberjacks' offensive zone and nudged the puck up to McNair, who skated up the ice the other way to create a 2-on-1 with McCloy. McNair returned the pass to McCloy who fooled Smith with a change-up of a shot through the goalie pads for a shorthanded tally.

= Junior Trevor Boyd made it 2-0 with his fourth goal of the season to open the scoring in the third period. Sophomore Vinny Post and junior Cameron Cooper were credited the assists.

= Adrian added an insurance goal, shorthanded, about seven minutes later. McNair netted his first of the season off assists from junior defenseman Cory Dunn and McCloy.

= Entmaa made a spectacular glove-save during a key moment in the contest. With Adrian up 2-0 in the third period, Cooper was whistled for a 5-minute major penalty for interference. The Lumberjacks put together several good passes in their offensive zone that got the defense moving when Max Glashauser found himself wide open at the right post but Entmaa robbed his wrist shot after moving from the right-to-left 

= In another key situation before that, the Adrian penalty-kill again was on display by blocking three shots to preserve a 1-0 lead in the first.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Adrian has never lost to Northland since the teams started meeting in 2008, winning all 24 games. The Bulldogs are 14-0 at home lifetime against the 'Jacks.

= The Bulldogs have killed off 22 consecutive opponents' power plays.

= The last time Adrian had registered two shorthanded goals in a game was on Feb 17 of last season in a 6-2 win versus St. Scholastica.

= Entmaa's previous shutout occurred Nov. 4 at Marian (Wis.) during a 5-0 win.

= The Adrian Bulldogs thank the community for supporting a toy drive for the Associated Charities of Lenawee County this weekend, stuffing bins with toys for tots.

= Boyd and McCloy inched up the school's all-time goal scoring list today. Boyd is tied with Joel Workman (2007-10) for 12th place with 39 goals, and McCloy shares the 14th spot with Josh Cousineau (2010-13) on 36 career tallies. McCloy also tied his current assistant coach Shawn Skelly (2007-10) with five shorthanded goals for third all-time.

= Adrian is 7-0 this season when scoring the first goal.

= The Bulldogs have given up only 12 goals through the first nine games, which is the second-best rate to open the season since the 2013-14 squad permitted only nine. 

UP NEXT
= Adrian is back in action on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 12-13, at non-NCHA opponent Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Both games are scheduled to face off at 8 p.m. Eastern. Note that there's a change in the schedule as the Bulldogs and Pointers were originally marked to play on Dec. 9, and thus they moved the game date while adding another.

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