Tuesday, October 20, 2009

UMD's Fontaine Wins WCHA Honor

If there was any doubt as to who was UMD's go-to line, it was put to rest this past weekend. That was when Justin Fontaine and Jack Connolly combined for six goals and four assists during a weekend sweep of Minnesota State.

Fontaine had four of those goals plus an assist, and he has been honored by the WCHA.

University of Minnesota Duluth winger Justin Fontaine, who scored four goals and set up another while helping the Bulldogs to a two-game conference sweep over visiting Minnesota State, Mankato last weekend, is the Red Baron® WCHA Offensive Player of the Week for Oct. 20-26, 2009.

A 5-11, 175-pound junior from Bonnyville, Alberta, Fontaine scored twice – including the game-winning goal – and assisted on another goal in leading UMD to a 5-2 win over Minnesota State last Friday (Oct. 16) at the DECC in Duluth.

He then had a pair of tallies the following evening (Saturday, Oct. 17) as Minnesota Duluth rallied past the Mavericks 3-2 to complete the series sweep.

In addition to his five scoring points in the series, Fontaine put a team-high seven shots on net Friday and scored with 7:37 to play in the third period Saturday to break at 2-2 tie and seal the UMD victory. Three of his four goals in the series came on the power play.

Fontaine now leads the nation in both points with nine (he shares that honor with line mate Jack Connolly) and goals with six. He was a 2008-09 All-WCHA Second Team selection.

I'm not one to spend much time looking at past trends, but it's hard to avoid the Bulldogs' recent futility at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. They're 1-8 in the last nine games played there. Last year, UMD was swept by scores of 3-1 and 6-3.

Hopefully, the speedy Bulldogs can more effectively skate with the home team this weekend. After all, the longer they stay in FIRST PLACE, the better!

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