GRAND FORKS, N.D. — In a game that featured a goal by a player sitting on the bench, North Dakota survived a Minnesota-Duluth rally and used a four goal third period to skate away with an 8-3 conference win over the visiting Bulldogs.
In the first period, UND didnt look like the team coming off a bye week, netting three goals 73 seconds apart to take a 3-0 lead. But after the Bulldogs rallied for a 3-3 tie, the Sioux took a 4-3 lead into the third period, leaving UMD in position for the upset.
If you have the opportunity to win a game on the road after being down by one in the third period and after being down by three, Ill take that, said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. We just didnt show up in the third period, and they did. They deserved to win.
After the Fighting Sioux jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period, Sandelin called a timeout to settle down his players. But just 45 seconds later with UMD goalie Alex Stalock out of the net to play the puck, defensemen Jay Cascalenda and Chase Ryan collided as Cascalenda was carrying the puck through the slot. The puck went off Chases skate and into the unattended net, giving UND a 3-0 lead at 9:01.
The last Sioux player to touch the puck ” junior forward Brad Miller ” was already on the bench. Miller had cleared the puck out of UNDs zone and gone off the ice for a line change when Stalock came far out of the net to play the dump-in. He didnt even see the unassisted goal for which he was credited.
I spent the next five minutes trying to figure out who got the goal, said UND coach Dave Hakstol.
I didnt know it was mine until some guys on the bench said I was the last one to touch it (the puck), Miller said. Thats one of the strangest ones Ive ever seen.
In UNDs previous game at Wisconsin, Badger goalie Shane Connelly made an amazing, highlight reel save that robbed Miller of a certain goal. Asked if he thought his goal against UMD would make ESPN, Miller quipped, I had one on YouTube last week with Connelly saving me. Maybe Ill have another one: one that should have been a goal and one shouldnt have.
The Sioux went up 1-0 at 7:38 of the first period when defenseman Taylor Chorneys shot from the point was tipped in by junior forward Matt Watkins, his second goal of the season. Sioux freshman defenseman Derrick LaPoint made it a 2-0 game at 8:16 when he knocked in the rebound of Ryan Duncans shot.
If the Bulldogs were demoralized after Millers goal, they didnt show it. UMD got back into the game when junior forward Nick Kemp scored a power play goal with just 2.6 seconds left in the period. Goalie Jean-Philippe Lamoureux made the initial save on Justin Fontaines tip-in attempt, but kicked the rebound to Kemp, parked on the right side of the crease. He shot it in to make it 3-1.
UMD came out energized in the second period and scored two goals in less than five minutes to erase UNDs lead. The first came at 2:26 by freshman center Kyle Schmidt who led an outnumbered rush down the left side and sniped the puck short side on Lamoureux. At 4:52, UMD tied it 3-3 when junior forward Michael Gergen tipped in defenseman Jason Garrisons wrist shot from the left point.
The Sioux regained the lead at 9:41 on a superb individual effort by freshman Evan Trupp. After battling through the Bulldog defense and being stopped, Trupp got the puck behind the net, stepped out in front and flipped in a backhand through the goalies pads to make it a 4-3 game. It was Trupps first goal of his college career and it stood as the game winner.
I drove wide the first time and was unable to get a shot off, Trupp said. The puck came back to me, I walked out and tucked it in.
Evan was one guy who had a good solid 60 minutes, Hakstol said. So maybe its fitting that he scored a huge goal for us at that time that and it turns out to be the game winner.
UND widened its lead at 3:46 of the third period when sophomore center Chris VandeVelde fired a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Stalock cleanly.
We gave up the fourth goal, but I thought we were still in a good position, Sandelin said. They got the fifth goal and, you know what? Teams like that smell blood. They put it away.
Freshman forward Matt Frattin restored the three-goal lead when he went in alone on Stalock, got the goalie down and put in a backhander.
First I faked short side, glove, then I brought it back, Frattin said. I thought he was going to poke check me, but I got a little lucky.
Stalock was then replaced by senior goalie Nate Ziegalman, a Grand Forks native and one-time UND player who transferred to UMD. The Sioux were no kinder to him. Junior forward T.J. Oshie notched his seventh goal of the season at 13:37 and senior forward Rylan Kaip closed out the scoring at 16:08 to give UND the 8-3 win.
Im not going to lie. Im embarrassed, Sandelin said. In the third period, I thought we gave them easy goals because we couldnt play them. I dont know if we quite playing, but youve got to battle to the end.
Hakstol was pleased with how the Sioux responded after giving up three unanswered goals.
We werent very sharp, but we continued to work our way out of it once the game was tied, he said. Im proud of the guys for doing that.
Stalock ended the game with 19 saves on 25 shots. Ziegelmann had one save on three shots. Lamoureux made 23 saves on 26 shots.
UND outshot UMD 28-26 and went 0-3 on the power play. The Bulldogs were 1-6 with the man advantage.
North Dakota improves to 6-3-1 overall and 4-3 in the WCHA. UMD is 5-4-2 overall and 4-4-1 in the conference.
The two teams will meet at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena for the second game of the series.