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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co., Published November 07 2010

College men's hockey: Bulldogs top Sioux, UM-Duluth goes to OT for win at The Ralph

GRAND FORKS – Scott Sandelin said he would have been happy with a tie on Saturday night.

He should probably start expecting more than that when the game goes to overtime.

Justin Fontaine finished off a 2-on-1 rush 58 seconds into the extra frame to lift Minnesota-Duluth to a 3-2 win over the University of North Dakota on Saturday night, helping the Bulldogs gain a series split.

Duluth (7-1-2, 4-1-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) has now won an overtime game three straight weekends and is

3-0-2 when going to the extra session this season.

“We’ve played 10 games and five have gone to overtime,” said Sandelin, who previously played and assistant coached at UND. “We’re getting in our extra conditioning.”

UND, which received goals from Brock Nelson and Evan Trupp, nearly reversed Duluth’s overtime success trend early in the extra session when Corban Knight pounced on a rebound on the top of the crease. But his shot but he missed the net by a few inches.

Then, a couple of UND players got caught in a scrum near the Sioux bench and Duluth defenseman Justin Faulk sent Mike Connolly and Fontaine on a 2-on-1 rush. As Ben Blood cut off Connolly, the dynamic winger made a behind-the-back pass to Fontaine, who also beat UND with an overtime winner last December.

“A lot of things led up to that play,” Sioux goalie Aaron Dell said. “We got a little sloppy and that cost us. Bad presence of mind all around on that play.”

Dell made 25 saves in starting back-to-back games for the first time in his college career. It marked the first weekend of Sioux hockey that Brad Eidsness has not been in net since Jean-Philippe Lamoureux led the Sioux to the 2008 Frozen Four.

“His play was good throughout the weekend,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “That’s why he went back in today. He made a lot of good saves early in the game tonight and played well.”

Dell had to be sharp throughout.

The Bulldogs spent almost half of the second period on the power play, buoyed by a five-minute advantage that came on the heels of a Mario Lamoureux checking from behind major penalty. Lamoureux was ejected on the play.

UND (5-4-1, 4-2) killed that power play, but the Bulldogs scored just as another one expired that frame.

“We put ourselves in a position where we pretty much spent the entire first half of the second period having to sap our energy killing penalties. That really destroyed our second period. We didn’t regain any energy in the second or get anything going in that period.”

UND got things going in a wild, back-and-forth, up-and-down third period. There were chances galore for both the Bulldogs and Sioux.

“Both teams had a couple of chances,” Nelson said. “We weren’t able to capitalize on them. Tough loss.”

Hakstol added: “We got going, started making some plays and had some opportunities (in the third period). It was disappointing to make a mistake in overtime and lose the game that way.”

The second-ranked Bulldogs didn’t sustain much pressure during Friday’s

4-2 loss, a defeat that dropped their record to 1-12-1 in their last 14 games in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

“I don’t know what the heck that was,” Sandelin said of Friday’s game. “That’s not to discredit (the Sioux). They played hard and they were the better team. But we didn’t challenge them. We didn’t play aggressively. Tonight, we played much better. I thought there was way more intensity all night.”

Sioux players also noticed a difference in the Bulldogs.

“I think you can expect that most times when you win Friday night, the other team will have a little more motivation on Saturday,” Nelson said. “It’s a tough feeling to get swept, so any team that loses Friday definitely comes out on Saturday.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, UND, Nelson (Genoway, Knight), 18:39 (pp).

SECOND PERIOD: 2, UMD, M. Connolly (Bergman, Faulk), 2:48. 3, UND, Trupp, 8:53. 4, UMD, Brown (Schmidt, Oleksuk), 13:41.

THIRD PERIOD: No scoring.

OVERTIME: 5, UMD, Fontaine (M. Connolly, Faulk), 0:58.

SAVES: UMD, Reiter 5-8-12-2-27, UND, Dell 8-10-7-0-25.


Brad E. Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.