GRAND FORKS, N.D. — A night after surprising top-seed North Dakota in the first game of their WCHA series, Minnesota-Duluth jumped out to a 2-0 lead in Game 2. That’s where the bubble burst.
The Sioux scored six unanswered goals and evened the series with a 6-2 victory at Engelstad Arena. The teams will decide the series Sunday night.
At 7:01 of the second period, Mark Carlson scored on a goal that just squirted between the post and UND goalie Andy Kollar’s leg pad. Andy Reierson and Judd Medak picked up assists on the play.
Exactly one minute later, Duluth scored again on a shorthanded tally by Matt Mathias. Mathias was deep in the UND zone and was pressuring UND defenseman Travis Roche. Roche tripped and fell, Mathias picked up the puck, and it was clear sailing back to the UND net. The UMD center deked Kollar out to the left, and slipped the puck in to make it 2-0.
Duluth seemed to lie back after the goal however, and that proved to be its downfall. UND came back and looked more like the team of old, instead of the team of Friday. The Sioux kept the pressure on and capitalized on a flat Duluth team to get the win.
UND’s first goal came on a power play when Jeff Panzer fired a hard shot that just trickled through past UMD goaltender Rob Anderson. The Sioux saw a flat game from Panzer on Friday, and on Saturday his increased presence made a difference. Defenseman Aaron Schneekloth and Travis Roche assisted on Panzer’s goal.
UND never looked back from that point, scoring six unanswered goals to come back.
Freshman Tyler Palmiscno scored from Tim Skarperud and Kevin Spiewak to tie the game at 2-2. Palmiscno’s hard shot from the bottom of the circle bounced between the legs of the UMD goalie and into the net. The goal was a landmark, and the Sioux took off from that point.
“We just have to keep working, and sooner or later, he [Anderson] is going to make a mistake,” Palmiscno said.
UND scored again at 14:58 when Bryan Lundbohm netted his 30th of the season. Panzer passed to Ryan Bayda, who took a hard shot that went just wide, went around the net, and came out to Lundbohm, who buried the shot into the net.
UND’s fourth goal came off an excellent play from Roche. Roche picked up the puck in the corner, and glided backwards out to the blue line, waited for the play to develop, and slid the puck across to Wes Dorey, who buried his first of two goals of the night.
Anderson looked strong early, but took a shot in the knee, and seemed slow after the hit. At one point, he lost his stick and had to use a defenseman’s stick for almost an entire Sioux shift.
The Sioux and Duluth played even hockey in the third, until 10:24, when Aaron Schneekloth beat Anderson on the stick side to make the score 5-2 in favor of North Dakota.
At 11:45, UMD coach Scott Sandelin changed goaltenders in favor of freshman Adam Coole. Anderson still looked slow, and the knee looked to be bothering him.
UND netted its sixth goal, and nailed the lid on the coffin for Duluth. Dorey scored his second of the night and 16th of the year on a diving play. Dorey was charging the goal and took a feed from David Lundbohm. Dorey barely got a stick on the puck, and tucked it past Coole for the goal.
UND coach Dean Blais said the Sioux finally capitalized on a few of the many scoring chances that UND has seen lately.
“Within the last month and a half, we’ve worked hard, but haven’t gotten a lot of puck luck,” Blais said.
“I don’t think the guys panicked, we just said we have to get the next goal.”