GRAND FORKS, N.D. — After No. 2 North Dakota’s Friday night’s 8-4 victory over Yale, Fighting Sioux coach Dean Blais said that one of his team’s objectives Saturday night was to win the first period.
The Sioux not only won the first period against Yale 4-0, they also won the second period 4-0 and the third period 2-0 en route to a 10-0 thrashing of the Bulldogs. Zach Parise led the way with a hat trick and an assist.
Until Saturday night, UND had been outscored 5-1 in the first period during their first four games of the season,
“Last night, we didn’t feel good about an 8-4 win,” Blais said. “It wasn’t the eight goals that we scored, it was the four that we gave up.”
The second game against Yale was different from the start.
“From the get-go, we had good jump and puck movement. We weren’t struggling in our own end, and that was key,” Blais said.
It took the Sioux just 13 seconds to win the opening period and the game. Freshman forward Brady Murray scored his first goal of the season, which stood as the game winner. Junior wing Brandon Bochenski blocked Yale’s clearing attempt and passed to Parise, who dished the puck to Murray, all alone in front of the net.
“I was very frustrated with my play in the first couple games because I was doing things that I don’t usually do,” Murray said.
“The last few games I’ve gotten back more to my style of play and I just feel much more comfortable out there.”
Murray’s quick goal opened the floodgates, as players who hadn’t scored a goal yet this season tallied the next four UND goals. All four Sioux lines scored goals and 10 of 12 UND forwards picked up at least one point.
“That’s the difference between this year’s and last year’s team,” Parise said. “You can’t shut down one line. We can throw four lines at you and everyone’s a scoring threat.
“That’s something we didn’t have last year and it’s something you need to win championships.”
UND’s first line — centered by Parise with Bochenski and Murray on the wings — gave Yale fits. Besides Parise, who scored his fourth career hat trick and added an assist for a four-point night, Murray also had four points with a goal and three assists while Bochenski added two assists.
“I got to sit back tonight and watch my line play,” Bochenski said. “Brady and Zach played a hell of a game.”
In addition to Murray’s goal, the other Sioux first period goals were scored by Parise at 6:55, junior center Rory McMahon at 14:05 and junior forward Brian Canady at 14:29.
The UND onslaught continued in the second period with goals by freshman forward Chris Porter at 7:39, junior forward Quinn Fylling at 14:40, Parise at 17:16, and freshman forward Drew Stafford at 18:28.
At the start of the third period, Yale coach Tim Taylor replaced junior goalie Peter Cohen with sophomore Josh Gartner. Cohen stopped 23 of 31 shots he faced over 40:00 and Gartner stopped 14 of 16.
For UND, junior Jake Brandt started in goal and stopped all 10 shots he faced. At the 8:36 mark of the third period, he was replaced by freshman goalie Jordan Parise, who stopped both Yale shots on goal that he saw.
Sioux goals in the third period were scored by Zach Parise at 4:03 and Quinn Fylling at 18:52, giving the junior wing four goals for the weekend and five for the season.
Taylor described the series against the Sioux as “a humbling experience.”
“It kind of knocks us down to ground zero. We know we have an awful lot of things to work on,” the coach said.
“I like the character of our team. It was not an easy weekend to live through as a coach and certainly not as a player, but we’ll be the stronger for it.”
If there was any negative aspect for the Sioux, it was that they have yet to score on the power play this season. They went 0-for-2 Saturday and are now 0-for-26 on the season through six games.
UND improves to 5-1 and opens its WCHA conference schedule on Nov. 7-8 at home with a two-game series against No. 10 Minnesota. Yale is 0-2 and hosts No. 11 Cornell and Colgate next weekend.