HOUGHTON, Mich. — After Friday night’s 2-2 tie with Michigan Tech, North Dakota coach Dean Blais said that he would likely start Andy Kollar in goal in Saturday’s rematch.
He started Karl Goehring again.
It paid off.
Goehring was outstanding, stopping 41 shots as the No. 3 Fighting Sioux earned at least a share of the WCHA regular-season championship with a hard-fought 3-1 win before 3,076 at MacInnes Arena.
Bryan Lundbohm scored twice for UND (22-5-9, 18-4-6 WCHA), increasing his NCAA-leading total to 27.
Paul Cabana scored for Tech (8-20-4, 5-16-3), which failed to convert on any of its 10 power-play opportunities. Brian Rogers made 21 saves.
“I give Tech all the credit in the world for coming out really hard tonight,” said Goehring, who said he thought his team made a step in the right direction this weekend. “My defense did a great job playing out of the way and giving me the first look at the puck. They make my job a lot easier.”
“I thought Michigan Tech had the better of the scoring opportunities,” said Blais, who credited his assistant coaches with making the decision on who to start in net. “Our snipers put the puck away. I think the real key was [Goehring], killing off two 5-on-3s and [making] over 40 saves. When the money’s on the line, he’s been playing well.”
Goehring was sharp early in the game, stopping Jeff Keiver and Paul Cabana from close range.
The Sioux grabbed a 1-0 lead at 8:29 when Kevin Spiewak sent a pass from the left side of the net to the top of the crease, where Wes Dorey beat Brian Rogers.
At the 16:48 mark, Bryan Lundbohm gave UND a 2-0 lead when he scored a shorthanded goal from Travis Roche and Goehring. While Jason Notermann was off for cross-checking, Lundbohm took a lead pass from Roche, moved across the blue line, cut to the left of Tech defenseman Tim Laurila and fired the puck between Rogers’ legs from between the circles.
Michigan Tech appeared to pull to within one during a 5-on-3 power play late in the period, but referee John Boche ruled that Chris Durno kicked the puck past Goehring.
When the second period started, Goehring was the story, stopping 20 shots.
During a Husky power play midway through the period, the senior stopped a Matt Ulwelling shot and then robbed Jarrett Weinberger on the rebound.
UND increased its lead to 3-0 at 1:56 of the third when Panzer fed Lundbohm, who beat a sprawled out Rogers for his second of the night.
Tech answered quickly, though, as a determined Paul Cabana raced right through the heart of the Sioux defense and fired it through Goehring’s five-hole at 4:12.
Although the Huskies had several more chances — including a 5-on-3 advantage midway through the period — they could not get any closer.
“It was disappointing,” said MTU coach Mike Sertich. “We gave it a big effort. We played very well actually but didn’t get our chances in the net. They had less chances but were very successful. I thought Karl Goehring was the difference.”