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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co., Published December 05 2010

Sioux men's hockey: Sioux men rout the Huskies

GRAND FORKS – There was a surprise waiting for the University of North Dakota on Saturday night.

When the players showed up to the rink, the black jerseys were hanging in their locker stalls.

“Everybody was pretty jacked up,” Matt Frattin said, “and I guess it showed in the first period.”

Wearing the sweaters that usually are reserved for important road games, the Sioux scored five times in the opening frame and steamrolled St. Cloud State 6-2 in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Frattin had a goal and two assists, while Evan Trupp, Derrick LaPoint, Brent Davidson, Corban Knight and Mario Lamoureux each scored for UND, which earned its first home sweep of the season.

“It’s an instant message right there when we wear the blacks,” Lamoureux said. “It’s all business and the boys know that it’s a must-win game. We’ve had some trouble completing sweeps at home. We knew tonight was crucial for us in the standings. The message was definitely sent and we delivered right off the bat.”

Saturday marked the first time that the Sioux have dressed in black at home since December 2002 – immediately after Ralph Engelstad died. UND swept St. Cloud State in that series.

The Sioux won for the fourth time this season wearing the perceived good-luck charms, improving to 22-1-2 in them since the 2006-07 season.

UND coach Dave Hakstol smiled and shrugged when asked about their rare appearance at home.

“Andy (Rannells) and Pat (Swanson) get things going in the afternoons when the coaches aren’t around,” Hakstol said of the equipment managers, “and lord knows what’s going to happen.”

Hakstol then gave all of the credit to the players in the jerseys.

St. Cloud State started senior Dan Dunn in net. Dunn, who made 90 saves in his previous two starts against the Sioux, was chased by the 8 minute, 24 second mark of the opening frame for giving up three goals on nine shots.

That didn’t stop the first-period onslaught. Frattin added his Western Collegiate Hockey Association-leading 15th goal of the season – his first below the dots – just 2:26 into Mike Lee’s stint. Knight tacked on another at 16:21 to make it 5-0 Sioux.

It marked the first time that UND had scored five goals in a period since last February when they blew out St. Cloud State 8-1 in the National Hockey Center.

“They showed up and played hard tonight,” Hakstol said. “Tonight was a real good win with the way we came out in the first period, how hard we played, the intensity and execution we played with. It was nice for us to get rewarded.

“We’ve got some bodies in there that aren’t 100 percent healthy, but nobody hung their hat or used it as any kind of excuse. Guys just went out and did the job. Whoever was up next went out and tried to make something good happen.”

UND improved to 11-5-2 overall and 9-3 in WCHA play. If the Sioux can get two points next weekend against Minnesota State-Mankato, it will give UND its best Christmastime record under seventh-year coach Dave Hakstol.

St. Cloud State, which started the season with sky high expectations, continued to falter and dropped to 5-9-2 overall and 3-6-1 in conference play. It is St. Cloud’s worst 16-game start since the 1995-96 season.

The Huskies, who were swept in conference play for the first time since 2008-09, have dropped to 11th in the standings. The Sioux moved to second, one point back of Minnesota-Duluth.

“For me, it’s about the points, the performance and it’s about continuing to build,” Hakstol said. “The real bonus is to have 12,000 people leave this building with a smile on their face. It’s a real nice way to end the first half of WCHA play at home by having a stick salute to 12,000 great fans as we leave the ice.”

NOTES: Top-line forwards Jason Gregoire and Brett Hextall were sidelined for the second straight game with injuries. . . UND made one change to the lineup, putting Davidson at forward for Joe Gleason. . . Jake Marto played his second straight game at forward, a position he hadn’t played since the end of his freshman season. . . Lamoureux broke a 23-game goal drought with his tally in the third period. . . Danny Kristo had a multi-point night with two assists. . . Chay Genoway was a plus-three on Saturday and a plus-five for the weekend.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, UND, Trupp (Frattin, Malone), 5:57. 2, UND, LaPoint (Rodwell, Cichy), 6:24. 3, UND, Davidson (Genoway, Lamoureux), 8:24. 4, UND, Frattin (Marto, Dell), 10:50. 5, UND, Knight (Kristo), 16:21.


THIRD PERIOD: 6, SCSU, MacMillan (Volpei, Jensen), 3:58. 7, UND, Lamoureux (Frattin, Kristo), 9:41. 8, SCSU, Novak (Johnson, Lauridsen), 12:35.

SAVES: SCSU, Dunn 6-x-9-15, Lee 7-4-x-11. UND, Dell 4-8-1-13.

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