Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co., Published February 27 2010
Sioux rally for much-needed men's hockey victoryCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of North Dakota just inched a little closer to home ice in dramatic fashion.
Brad Malone scored the game-tying goal with 1 minute, 42 seconds left and Matt Frattin sniped a breakaway goal in overtime to give the Sioux a critical 3-2 victory over Colorado College in World Arena.
It looked like the Tigers were in position to send the Sioux to their ninth one-goal loss of the season, but UND turned the table on the host team.
Malone’s eighth goal of the season was the turning point. Freshman defenseman Joe Gleason made a nifty play at the blue line to hold the puck in the zone. Malone worked it to the bottom of the right circle, where Evan Trupp put a shot on net.
Colorado College goalie Joe Howe made the initial stop, but Malone went hard to the net and batted the puck out of the air.
UND had a good chance to win the game a minute into overtime, when Trupp fed Malone pinching in on a rush, but Howe moved over to make the save.
Then, Malone found Frattin streaking behind the defensemen. He made a perfect pass and Frattin buried it high to the glove side, sending UND’s entire team on the ice to celebrate the victory.
The teams entered the series tied for the fifth and final spot for home ice in the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs, with Minnesota winning earlier in the evening to inch closer to the Sioux and Tigers.
UND now sits two points ahead of Colorado College and three ahead of Minnesota.
UND took the early lead when Kristo threaded a point shot through traffic for a power-play goal at 5 minutes, 25 seconds of the opening frame.
But UND goalie Brad Eidsness was the star of the first 20 minutes.
He made a flashy glove save on Nate Prosser’s attempt from the slot. He slid from left to right and kicked out his pad to stop Tyler Johnson, who received a cross-crease pass and had a lot of net to look at. Eidsness also tracked a tipped shot off the stick of Bill Sweatt to make a glove save and keep the Tigers off the board.
Colorado College’s three power plays in the opening frame helped open things up, but the Tigers also were quick in transition to generate opportunities.
Their speed finally led to a goal at 13:06 of the second period. Ben Blood pinched in from the point to try to keep the puck in the zone at the end of a power play, but Sweatt won the race and sent Matt Overman and Prosser on a two-on-one.
Overman made the pass to Prosser, who finished it for his 12th goal of the season.
NOTES: Forwards David Toews and Mike Cichy made the trip but were healthy scratches. . . Sophomore Brett Hextall, who entered the weekend with eight goals in his last seven games, wore the rotating ‘A’ as alternate captain. Mario Lamoureux, Jake Marto and Jason Gregoire previously wore it. . . UND entered the series surging, winning three straight against top-10 opponents by a combined score of 18-4. . . The Sioux haven’t earned a sweep of the Tigers since 2001 and they haven’t done it in World Arena since 1999.
FIRST PERIOD: 1, UND, Kristo (Knight, Trupp), 5:25 (pp).
SECOND PERIOD: 2, CC, Prosser (Overman, Sweatt), 13:06.
THIRD PERIOD: 3, CC, Prosser (Rapuzzi, Dineen), 2:44. 4, UND, Malone (Trupp, Gleason), 18:18.
OT: 5, UND, Frattin (Malone), 2:09.
GOALIE SAVES: Unavailable at press time.
Brad Schlossman is a writer for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.