HOUGHTON, Mich. — The No. 17 North Dakota Fighting Sioux were looking for revenge at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena for a loss in the GLI Consolation Game in late December, and it showed as the Sioux jumped all over the Michigan Tech Huskies early on. The Huskies would fight back, though, and the teams skated away with a 3-3 tie despite being outshot 41-22 Friday night.
The Sioux (13-10-2 overall, 8-5-2 WCHA) kept the puck deep in the Huskies zone from the get go as the Huskies (5-17-3 overall, 1-13-3 WCHA) couldnt manage a shot on net until 5:02 in. Huskies netminder Rob Nolan held the Huskies afloat through the game, making 13 saves in the first period alone.
When I get called upon, I have to step up, said Nolan. That just comes with the territory.
As the first period wound down, the Sioux took advantage of their power play chances.
Forward Jason Gregoire got the Sioux on the board with a power-play tally at the 15:57 mark of the opening frame by crashing the Huskies net and beating Nolan with a rebound. Forward Ryan Martens and defenseman Chay Genoway assisted on the goal.
On their second full power play of the period, the Sioux struck again as defenseman Jake Marto roofed a shot over Nolans left shoulder. Gregoire and forward Evan Trupp assisted on the goal, which came at 19:01.
The fast start got us off to a two goal lead but I thought we played a little bit slow in the second period, said Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol. We got a point on the road, and that makes tomorrow night an awful important game.
After regrouping during the first intermission, the Huskies came out focused and it showed as they found a way to even the game.
We adjusted after the first period and got our feet moving, said Huskies head coach Jamie Russell. I thought we had a gutsy effort.
Senior center Alex Gagne notched his fifth goal of the season 4:52 in after he blew past the Sioux defender and drove to the net hard. Gagnes quick wrist shot snuck past Sioux goaltender Brad Eidsness. Sophomore defenseman Deron Cousens picked up an assist on the goal.
(Deron) chipped it up the glass and so I just skated hard, said Gagne. I saw the other defenseman was really deep, so I knew I had time to take the shot.
The Huskies struck again a few minutes later as freshman forward Brett Olson beat Eidsness with another low shot from the slot. The goal, which came at 8:37, was set up by sophomore winger Bennett Royer and assistant captain Geoff Kinrade.
Sophomore winger Jordan Baker nearly gave the Huskies their first lead of the game a minute later, but his one-timer caught the leg pad of Eidsness and dropped in front of the Sioux net.
After Nolan was forced to make a couple more stops on solid chances from the Sioux, junior winger Ryan Bunger and senior center Ryan Angelow both fired shots that Eidsness had some difficulty handling, but the Sioux netminder stood his ground.
Sioux defenseman Joe Findley regained the one goal lead with a long shot that beat Nolan through traffic just 2:34 into the third period. Forwards Mario Lamoureux and David Toews both assisted on the goal.
The Sioux didnt hold the lead for long as freshman center Peter Rohn picked up his second power play goal of the season at 4:07. Cousens fed Baker, whose shot rebounded out to a waiting Rohn, who buried the puck.
The Sioux had numerous opportunities to regain the lead again as they fired 18 shots at Nolan in the period, but time and time again Nolan came up big for the Huskies.
They are a very good team, said Nolan. When the guys are playing well in front of me its easy to back them up.
In the overtime period, both teams traded solid scoring chances, but neither could capitalize.
The Sioux finished 2-for-8 on the man advantage while the Huskies finished 1-for-4.
The teams will face off again tomorrow night in Houghton.