College Hockey:
Kristo’s goal the key as Dell, North Dakota blank Rensselaer

— Everyone seemed to agree. Danny Kristo’s goal 8:03 into the second period shifted the momentum completely to North Dakota’s side for good and drained the spark from Rensselaer’s game.

The top-seeded Fighting Sioux scored three more times and blanked RPI 6-0 in the Midwest Regional semifinals Saturday at the Resch Center. UND goaltender Aaron Dell made 21 saves in the shutout.

“It was our main focus to come in here and get that first win,” said UND’s Brad Malone. “You have to get that first one and move on. Now our focus is on tomorrow.”

The Sioux advances to Sunday’s regional championship against either No. 2 seed Denver or third seed Western Michigan at 4:30 p.m. CDT.

The Fighting Sioux had already gotten a pair of goals from Brad Malone by the fourth minute of the second period but the Engineers felt they had the energy in the first period.

“We got a big penalty kill and that gave us a lot of momentum,” said RPI senior center Chase Polacek. “Then they score and it really hurt the momentum we got from that penalty kill.”

The Engineers just finished killing off a five-on-three power play early in the second period but then Mario Lamoureux passed the puck ahead to Kristo, who toe dragged around an RPI defender and beat goaltender Allen York high at the 8:03 mark. It was Kristo’s third goal in three games since he returned from a frostbite injury that kept him out 10 games.

“It was a critical and key goal,” said UND coach Dave Hakstol. “Danny made a one-on-one play and then finished it off to give us a three-goal lead. I thought it was the biggest goal of the hockey game.”

The Sioux had complete control from that point on, outshooting RPI 26-13 over the last two periods.

“We didn’t come here to be happy that we made it,” said RPI coach Seth Appert. “Hopefully, people saw that by the way we played in the first period. We had too many individual breakdowns in the second period and we played a little undisciplined.”

The Sioux took the early lead right just after a faceoff in the right circle won by Malone, who then took position in front of the net before Evan Trupp got him the puck. Malone backhanded it between York’s pads 5:25 into the game.

He scored his second goal 3:58 into the second period on the power play.

UND’s Jason Gregoire returned from injury Saturday and scored on the power play on a rebound from a shot by Kristo at 13:03 of the second period.

The Sioux completed the four-goal second period when Corban Knight brought the puck along the goal line to York’s left, did a through-the-legs move around a defender and scored on a second effort.

Matt Frattin extended his goal-scoring streak to eight games and his points streak to 14 on a goal 32 seconds into the third period.

UND went 2-for-7 on the power play, killed all eight of its penalties and added Knight’s short-handed goal. York finished with 34 saves for RPI.

The Engineers have been shut out in three straight NCAA tournament games. The last time they scored in a national tournament game was the 1985 title game against Providence, covering 216:11 of game time.

Video: North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol:

Video: North Dakota’s Brad Malone and Corban Knight:

Video: Rensselaer coach Seth Appert:

Video: Rensselaer’s Chase Polacek and John Kennedy:

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  • J


    • Jdorf40


  • Siouxper Fan

    Great game, Sioux!!

  • jackconnolly4hobey

    Matt Frattin has been arrested…just saying

    • J

      so what? ive been arrested…..not a big deal, he had to much fun and he cleaned himself up….i have a 3.5 college gpa and loved by many but being arrested must make me a bad person then ???? jacker

    • Jdorf40

      So if Jack Connolly were to win the Hobey Baker this year and got arrested next year you’re for them stripping him of the award correct?

      I get pretty ticked off when these kids go out and do stupid things. But they’re just that…kids. I think that he’s done a remarkable job of getting his “poo in a pile” as they say. What happened last year is in the past. He sat out half the season and paid for what he did. But this year you haven’t heard anything negative at all about him other than “well last year he got arrested.” So what. Just because some college kid has never been arrested, doesn’t necessarily mean that they haven’t done anything that they shouldn’t. I’ve never been arrested, but back when I was in college I did some things that I not only look back on and think “man was I lucky nothing bad happened to me or anyone else” but also “I’m so glad my parents never found out about that!” UMD has some solid hockey talent and Jack Connelly is a stud. But don’t hate on Matt Frattin because of last year. If he kept going down the road of doom, then yes…I’d be with you. But he’s cleaned up his act. What else can he do?

  • Suture1

    National Championship game today at 5:30 EST. Should be an awesome display of talent from both teams. Need Frattin to come up big and also need Dell at his best to match up with Brittain. Let’s go Sioux!!!

    • B.D.

      Concur with that.
      The two best teams in the tournament are playing this afternoon. What a shame they could not have moved Denver over to that weaker bracket in the northeast so the key game could have come in the final.
      Now it will be a bit of a letdown regardless of whether it is UND or DU that win the finals..

      • Big Al

        Looking at the pictures that Jim took, didn’t it look like Nelson inadvertantly took a skate blade accross his back after he went down on the hit?

    • tadder

      Should be a great game. Too bad it won’t have a feel of a National Championship like it would a couple of weeks from now.

  • Realist

    Rensselaer hasn’t played “RPI Hockey” since the first weekend of February. They should be happy they made it cause they did not deserve it.

  • Rusty Blades

    Kristo doesn’t call it a toe drag anymore, it’s a “frozen toe drag”.

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