ORONO, Maine — It was quite the series-opening game between No. 2 North Dakota and No. 12 Maine, with a combined 10 goals and 59 penalty minutes.
The Black Bears got the better on the scoreboard.
Junior forward Brian Flynn scored twice, and junior forward Gustav Nyquist added a goal and two assists in Maine’s 7-3 victory on Friday.
A five-goal first period did the trick for the Black Bears, and it took less than a minute for the scoring stampede to start.
Senior center Bobby Dee flicked a rebound past Sioux goaltender Brad Eidsness after just 49 seconds.
Maine doubled its advantage on its first power-play opportunity when Flynn scored on a beauty of a shot.
Later in the first period, Flynn got sandwiched by two Fighting Sioux players, resulting in North Dakota defender Andrew MacWilliam getting sent off with a game misconduct call and a five-minute contact to the head penalty.
In the last minute of the major penalty, Flynn found payback in its purest form, with a scintillating goal off of passes by Nyquist and junior forward Spencer Abbott.
At 3-0, North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol pulled Eidsness from the game in favor of Aaron Dell.
At first, Dell seemed up to the task, diving across the crease to deflect Nyquist’s shot.
The Fighting Sioux (3-1-1) started to chip away at the deficit, with freshman Derek Rodwell scoring a short-handed goal just over half way through the first period.
But it didn’t take long for the Black Bears (2-1-2) to extend their lead back to three, when just five seconds into their sixth power play of the period, junior defender Will O’Neill scored off the faceoff.
Sophomore goalie Shawn Sirman kept the lead where it was, with two brilliant power-play saves off of consecutive Fighting Sioux shots.
The Black Bears closed the period just how they started it, by getting on the scoreboard one more time. With the puck loose in Fighting Sioux territory, Dell left the crease to clear it away. Nyquist managed to block the clearance, gather the puck and calmly flick it in for Maine’s fifth and final goal of the period.
Just like in the first, the Black Bears found the back of the net early in the second period. Sophomore forward Kyle Beattie did the honors, putting in the rebound off of freshman forward Mark Anthoine’s shot.
Just over eight minutes into the second period, the Black Bears added lucky number seven, when Abbott won the puck deep in the Fighting Sioux zone, and found Tanner House for the seventh goal of the contest.
The Fighting Sioux cut into the deficit with five minutes remaining in the second period, doubling their goal total during their first and only power play of the period. Center Brad Malone found open forward Matt Frattin for the quick score.
The third period saw very little offensive action from both teams, as the Fighting Sioux started to control the majority of play.
North Dakota scored the only goal in the period off a shot by center Brad Malone bounced around Sirman and eventually into the back of the net. However, the Fighting Sioux couldn’t add to the goal, as numerous power-play opportunities came up fruitless as Sirman and company deflected away every chance.