MANKATO, Minn. — North Dakota found itself on Sunday in a hole against Minnesota State similar to the one it dug itself on Friday. The Mavericks got on the board early and the Fighting Sioux trailed at the end of the first period.
And in the same fashion that UND bounced back late two nights earlier, the Fighting Sioux came back and beat MSU 4-2 Sunday at the Verizon Wireless Center.
“It was a pretty gutsy weekend,” North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said. “We had our ups and downs. Our level of competition was good enough to win in the second and third periods.”
The Mavericks took a 1-0 lead on a Ben Youds goal 5:07 into the game. Youds floated a puck from the point through traffic, and it somehow found its way past UND goaltender Aaron Dell on the blocker side.
Matt Frattin even the score for UND at 10:53 of the first period when he got the puck in the neutral zone and danced around MSU’s Cameron Cooper and Mike Dorr and beat MSU goalie Austin Lee on the forehand at 10:53 of the first period.
“I got the puck off a good bounce in the neutral zone and their defense didn’t pick it up,” said Frattin, who scored his 17th goal of the season to cap a four-point weekend.
The Mavericks got the lead back with 4:51 left in the first period. Youds held the puck behind the MSU net and connected with Rylan Galiardi behind the Sioux defense on a tape-to-tape outlet pass to the UND blue line. Galiardi skated in and backhanded the puck through Dell’s five-hole.
The Sioux trailed after the first period for the second time this weekend, despite leading the shots battle 13-4 in the first period Sunday.
“It was obviously huge that we were able to battle back,” Frattin said. “They popped an early one again today just like Friday. We didn’t play our game the first period of either game, but it was good to battle back and play the way we’re used to playing.”
Brock Nelson tied the game halfway through the second period. Nelson carried the puck behind the MSU net and his centering pass deflected off MSU forward Channing Boe’s stick, behind Lee and into the goal at 10:39 of the second period.
Four minutes later, the Sioux grabbed the lead for good. Lee gave up a rebound that came out to Brad Malone in the right circle, and he snapped a shot that snuck under the crossbar on Lee’s glove side.
The story of the weekend for MSU was missed opportunities. The Mavericks had a five-on-three advantage for 1:49 with seven minutes remaining in the third period. MSU had early chances on the doorstep early but failed to apply much pressure for the rest of the advantage.
“We had good opportunities, we just missed the net,” MSU coach Troy Jutting said. “We created enough chances to win but we didn’t finish.”
Trupp added the empty-netter with 54.8 seconds remaining in the game.
UND returns to action Dec. 30 at Minnesota-Duluth in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game, which will also christen UMD’s Amsoil Arena. MSU is off until New Year’s Day, when the Mavericks take on Notre Dame in the Shillelagh Tournament in Hoffman Estates, Ill.