GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The North Dakota Fighting Sioux sent the old Engelstad Arena out with a win Sunday night against the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, securing the number-one seed in the WCHA Final Five in St. Paul, Minn.
The Sioux beat the Bulldogs 4-0 in the last game to be played in the old barn, as the Sioux move to their new building next season. UND goaltender Karl Goehring put together his 14th career shutout, a UND and WCHA record. The senior’s first and last shutouts in his career came against Duluth, adding to the significance.
“Losing the second game was a little extra incentive for us tonight. My last four years have been a blur,” said Goehring.
Duluth and UND skated the first period to a slower beat, similar to Friday and Saturday’s games. The teams put 18 shots on net and had no goals to show for it. Duluth netminder Rob Anderson was in net for the Bulldogs, stopping 29 saves.
The Bulldogs started the second by putting pressure on with a strong offensive showing; however, UND prevailed in the period with the first two goals of the game.
First, UND sophomore Ryan Bayda wrapped around the net and slid a puck high past Anderson’s glove to open scoring. The unassisted goal came at 7:31 of the period. UND struck again later in the period when sophomore Kevin Spiewak blasted a laser from the slot that rose over Anderson’s glove. Assists on the play went to Tim Skarperud and Jeff Panzer.
At 3:11, Jason Notermann slammed in a rebound from a Wes Dorey shot to put the Sioux up by three. Assists went to Wes Dorey and David Lundbohm. Dorey had five points on the weekend, including two goals on Saturday night.
UND’s fourth goal was an unassisted breakaway by senior Jeff Panzer for his second point of the night. The senior broke in the Bulldog zone and faked around Anderson to net his 24th goal of the year, putting Panzer third on the Fighting Sioux’s career points list. The senior received a standing ovation to chants of “Hobey Baker.”
“We had everything on the line tonight. We owed it to the rink to send it out in style,” said Panzer, echoing the sentiments of many Sioux players.
Postgame, after the teams’ handshake, UND acknowledged the fans with a center-rink salute which included UMD coach Scott Sandelin, a tribute to the former Sioux associate head coach.
After the contest, UND was presented with the MacNaughton Cup, its fourth in the last five years.
Duluth coach Scott Sandelin was reflective on his team’s play. Duluth won Friday’s game before falling Saturday and Sunday nights.
“I don’t think we ever quit tonight, and that something for our guys. They [the Sioux] have two great goaltenders, and can play you even, so it comes down to goaltending,” said Sandelin.
UND plays at 2:00 p.m. Friday at the Final Five.