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Associated Press, Published October 11 2009

College hockey: UND sweeps Merrimack

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - North Dakota's dormant power play got back on track in the third period, scoring a goal that proved to be the game winner Saturday in its 3-2 hockey victory over Merrimack.

Jake Marto's one-timer on UND's 17th power-play shot on net gave the Sioux a 3-1 lead with 8:53 seconds to play. The goal also provided a cushion when Merrimack's Chris Barton scored his second goal on a breakaway with four minutes left.

``I thought we had good possessions and good opportunities all night on the power play, but we had nothing to show for it,' UND coach Dave Hakstol said. ``So, thank goodness we got one. Marto's goal obviously was very important.'

The goal came after Merrimack committed three penalties in a span of three minutes.

``You're going to get penalties against teams like this,' Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy said. ``But what you have to avoid is penalty clusters. That leads to tiring out your top guys.'

Another key for UND was skating off a five-minute penalty soon after the Warriors tied the score at 1-1 on the first Barton goal. The Warriors got only three shots on net during that power play.

``That five-minute penalty shocked us back into the game,' UND defenseman Chay Genoway said. ``Our mentality on the penalty kill was to outwork the power play and that carried over when the game became 5-on-5.'

Brett Hextall gave UND the lead with the first period's only goal. After Barton tied it and UND skated off the five-minute infraction, freshman Mike Cichy came out of the penalty box to score off Genoway's pass for a permanent lead.

The Sioux controlled play in the last two periods with a 30-11 shots advantage and had a 35-18 advantage for the game. But they converted only one of their seven power-play chances, making them 2-for-13 on the weekend.

Andre Baithwaite made 32 saves for Merrimack (0-2-0), half of them with UND on the power play. Brad Eidsness had 16 stops for UND (2-0-0).

FIRST PERIOD: 1, UND, Hextall (Malone), 4:11.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, M, Barton (Todd), 0:32. 3, UND, Cichy (Genoway, Rowney), 7:15.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, UND, Marto (VandeVelde, Kristo), 8:53. 5, M, Barton (Todd, Robitaille), 16:08.

SAVES: M, Braithwaite 4-13-15–32. UND, Eidsness 7-4-5–16.


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