BOSTON — North Dakota got to play a full 60 minutes of hockey on night two in Boston at Matthews Arena on the campus of Northeastern University after only playing 40 minutes at Boston College the night before due to fog.
In front of a crowd of 2,784, the Huskies and Fighting Sioux played a game that could best be described as hard fought, the final tally of 3-0 not reflecting the game. Jean-Philippe Lamoureux was brilliant again, pitching his third straight shutout tonight as he did not give the Huskies any second chance opportunities and sucked in most every rebound.
Even though North Dakota played a weird game the night before, UND head coach Dave Hakstol thought the Fighting Sioux were well prepared. “Well, there is all kind of different factors that go into it but those are the kind of things that mentally you have to be able to overcome and handle. When you go out on the road, you run into different kinds of adversity and you really have to learn to control the things you can, so those are the things we talked about with out team and obviously we did a decent job of it since we were able to come out, especially in the third period tonight. I thought we did a good job of closing out a game against a real good team.”
North Dakota got a power-play strike halfway through the first period when Brad Miller beat Brad Thiessen near side from just inside the right circle. North Dakota was cycling the puck well when Ryan Martens took a Joe Finely pass and dumped it to Miller. Miller ripped a wrist shot past Thiessen, who didn’t seem to get a great look at it.
Play went back and forth for the next 40 minutes as North Dakota seemed more than content to sit back and play defense and dump and chase offensively. Chances were turned away by both netminders and the defense held strong on both sides. The best chance in the second came from North Dakota’s Chay Genoway, who rang a shot from the point off the right post that rebounded almost entirely out of the zone.
The first ten minutes of the third saw much the same as the second; back-and-forth, end-to-end rushes by both squads that were turned away by both goalies. North Dakota finally took control 10 minutes in when Rylan Kaip beat Thiessen on a slightly broken three-on-one play with a shot that went off the crossbar.
Less than a minute later, the Fighting Sioux added an insurance goal on a three-on-two rush. Andrew Kozek got the tally, his second of the year. Collecting assists were Evan Trupp and Taylor Chorney.
Both coaches were pleased by the game. “It was a good college hockey game, high paced, both teams battled hard,” Hakstol said. Huskies’ coach Greg Cronin agreed, saying, “It was a good game to watch.”
Even with the Boston Red Sox playing game six of the American League Championship Series a mere mile away the crowd, including a fair amount of green-clad UND fans, was electric throughout the game.
Lamoureux’s third straight shutout puts him one away from the Fighting Sioux record of four straight, set by Gerald “Spike” Schultz in January 1954.
“When you can say that you’re the only person that can do something, I am going to take a lot of pride in that because I’ve worked really hard to get myself in position to not only get four shutouts but to play four consecutive games and just be a part of this team and to be a starting goalie in the WCHA,” said Lamoureux. “I just take a lot of pride in the fact that I get come to the rink everyday and put on a Fighting Sioux jersey.”
“He’s playing the way we expect him to play,” said Hakstol. “Obviously there’s going to come a time when one gets by him, but he’s playing well, he’s prepared himself well, and he battles extremely hard on every puck. He was a key guy for us tonight and as far as I’m concerned he was the first star of the hockey game.”
Lamoureux ended the night with 31 saves while Thiessen stopped 21. The Fighting Sioux are on the road next weekend to take on another set of Huskies at Michigan Tech. Northeastern hosts the Maine Black Bears for a pair of games for homecoming weekend.