NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Jason Notermann had two goals and two assists and David Lundbohm added two goals as No. 5 North Dakota skated to a 7-3 victory over Yale at Ingalls Rink before a sellout crowd of 3,486.
The Bulldogs (0-1-0), playing in their season opener, had an early lead before sixth-ranked UND (6-0-0) tallied seven of the next nine goals to break open the non-league contest that was marred by a fight in the second period.
“This was a very hard-fought game,” North Dakota head coach Dean Blais said. “It was a certainly a lot closer than the score would indicate.”
Late in the second period, UND took the lead on a tip in front of the Yale net. Andy Schneider gloved Joe Callahan’s clearing attempt and sent the puck in the direction of Cohen. Before it reached the Eli netminder, James Massen re-directed past Cohen at 16:28 to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Less than a minute later, things got very ugly between the two teams. UND defenseman Matt Jones slipped to the ice as Chris Higgins went to check him against the boards, and Rory McMahon went after Higgins. A number of altercations broke out and, several minutes later when the fights finally halted, four players from each squad were handed major penalties for fighting that carried game disqualifications.
Those disqualifications also mean all eight are suspended for the next game. North Dakota’s McMahon, Nick Fuher, David Hale and Kevin Spiewak were all tossed, while Higgins, Evan Wax, Stacey Bauman and Nick Deschenes went to the Yale dressing room.
“There is no place for that kind of stuff in college hockey – or any hockey,” Taylor said. “I do not think Higgins’ initial hit was illegal, there was no penalty for that, it is a shame that what followed had to happen.”
The disqualifications wiped out North Dakota’s entire third line and a defender, while Yale lost two top-line skaters, a second-liner and one of their top defenders.
Aside from the bru-ha-ha, the on-ice turning point of the game may have come early in the third period, with Yale trailing 2-1. An Eli skater had a breakaway, but Siembida made the biggest of the 26 saves he made on the night.
“That was a huge save Siembida made on the breakaway there at the start of the third,” Blais said. “That gave us a great deal of momentum and who knows what might have happened if Yale had scored there. We had a few breaks and bounces, and got lucky, but sometimes you need that.”
North Dakota parlayed that defensive stop into an offensive fury, taking a two-goal lead early in the period. A behind-the-net pass from Brandon Bochenski was one-timed on the ice past Cohen at 3:54, and the Eli unraveled from there. The Fighting Sioux then got goals from Jason Notermann and Lundbohm to put the game away and give the Sioux a 5-1 lead.
Yale captain Denis Nam added a power play goal at the 6:33 mark on a backhanded shot from close range which ended a string of five straight UND scores. Notermann added another score for the Sioux at 10:51, and less than three minutes later, freshman star Zach Parise fed Quinn Fylling to give the visitors a 7-2 lead. Ryan Steeves scored Yale’s final goal on a penalty shot at 14:26.
Yale got on the board first on a shot by senior blueliner Greg Boucher from the right point. The officials ruled that the puck just nicked off the stick of freshman forward Christian Jensen, who was on his knees between the circles, and flew over North Dakota goalie Josh Siembida”s left shoulder 4:29 into the game.
The Fighting Sioux responded less than three minutes later on a pretty wrap-around play by junior center David Lundbohm, who got his fourth goal of the season. Lundbohm picked up the puck in the corner and then raced to the opposite side of the Yale goal before poking it inside the right leg pad of Peter Cohen at the 7:00 mark. Cohen stopped 30 of the 37 shots he faced.
The Eli had a golden opportunity to take the lead entering the second period on a power play. Jensen had a pair of chances at point-blank range but couldn”t net the puck through heavy traffic, with one bouncing off of Sioux goaltender Josh Siembida and the top of the net. Yale controlled the puck for the first part of the period, as the Sioux did not get off a shot attempt until seven minutes into the second, and their first shot on goal came with 8:30 left in the frame. The Bulldogs took 26 shots on the night, the most the Sioux have allowed so far this season.
“There are positives we can take from tonight,” Yale head coach Tim Taylor said. “We created some good offensive opportunities, and we had a lot of young players with a lot of valuable minutes out there.”