COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — North Dakota’s line of Jeff Panzer, Ryan Bayda, and Bryan Lundbohm has been averaging three points a game. In Friday night’s loss to Colorado College, the trio only claimed one of the four Sioux goals.
But Saturday night, it took the Sioux all the way, accounting for all four goals and six of the seven assists to lead the Sioux to a stunning 4-3 overtime victory over Colorado College.
A scoreless third period forced the game into sudden-death overtime. At 1:51 of overtime, Panzer popped in the game-winner for his fourth point of the game.
“This was a huge game for me,” Panzer said. “But more than that, the two points from this game keep us where we want to be in the race for the title.”
“We won’t get another chance to play vs. Colorado College,” North Dakota coach Dean Blais said. “They’re a great hockey team, and they’ll be in the top five at the end of the season, so this was a huge win for us.”
Fueled by Friday night’s 6-4 triumph, Colorado College was quick out of the blocks in Saturday’s contest. Just 30 seconds into the first period, sophomore center Noah Clarke curled behind the net with the puck and passed out to freshman winger Peter Sejna, who was waiting in the corner of the slot to snap it in.
At 13:33, the Tigers widened their lead when Sejna, off assists from senior Justin Morrison and junior Alex Kim, flipped a high backhand over the shoulder of Fighting Sioux goaltender Karl Goehring.
Near the end of the period, North Dakota’s Bayda fired the puck past Colorado College goalie Jeff Sanger to light the lamp for the Sioux to cut the lead to 2-1.
The North Dakota squad returned in the second period with some momentum from its late first-period goal. The Sioux jumped out with a goal just two minutes into the stanza when Panzer received the puck from Bayda and sent it top-shelf to tie the game 2-2.
CC came back quickly to snatch back the lead. Junior Jesse Heerema received the puck from Clarke and put it on net. Goehring blocked the shot, but Tiger wing Chris Hartsburg snagged the rebound and flipped it into the net.
Just as Colorado College killed off a two-minute slashing penalty, North Dakota evened the score yet again. Panzer and defenseman Aaron Schneekloth had taken advantage of the power play to put some shots on goal. Their shots were deflected, but Lundbohm was waiting at the back door for the tip-in at 14:18, exactly two minutes after Tiger defenseman Mike Stuart’s penalty was called.
“Last night CC did a great job of containing our line,” Panzer said. “This weekend they were on their game, they battled hard, and they really gave us a run for our money.
“This series was all about two great teams going head to head, and we’re happy to take two points away.”