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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co., Published January 09 2011

Dell's shutout streak ends, but superb effort gives Sioux men's hockey team a victory

GRAND FORKS – Aaron Dell’s pursuit of the school record shutout streak ended with just 20 seconds left Saturday night.

The streak that Dell really wanted to keep is still in tact, though.

The University of North Dakota men’s hockey team won its nation-best seventh game in a row, sneaking past Robert Morris University 2-1 in front of 11,582 in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

It wasn’t the best effort from the Sioux, who were outshot

17-5 in the third period, but Dell again proved to be a difference-maker. His shutout streak lasted 224 minutes, 31 seconds – the second-longest stretch in school history, 25:10 behind Spike Schultz’s 1953-54 run.

Matt Frattin also proved to be a difference-maker, breaking a 0-0 tie with 4:01 left in the third period to extend his goal streak to eight games. Frattin curled around the left circle and snapped a shot in the short side of the net, prompting “Ho-bey, Ba-ker” chants from the crowd.

Danny Kristo followed with an empty-net goal before Robert Morris forward Nathan Longpre put an end to Dell’s streak with a late extra attacker goal.

“We got the win, that’s all that matters,” said Dell, who leads the country with 15 wins. “We came out a bit slow, but we got through it. We still did what we had to do.”

Both coaches left the ice with complimentary words about their teams.

For UND coach Dave Hakstol, his squad was able to finish the nonconference season 5-2-2, putting the Sioux in good position in the national picture. The Sioux are 16-5-2 overall.

“We beat a good hockey team,” Hakstol said. “I don’t think we had our best, but we found a way and to push our nonconference record to 5-2-2, and that’s as good as we can do.”

Robert Morris coach Derek Schooley, who watched his team get hammered 8-0 in the series opener, said his team will head back to Pittsburgh satisfied.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our guys, the way we responded after yesterday,” he said. “We played hard and we played the way we should have played yesterday. Very rarely do you say you’re excited about your performance when you lose, but we left it all out there.

“I feel bad that we didn’t get the win, but the way we responded was unbelievable. I thought we played a dynamite game. To come in here in this building and atmosphere and outshoot them handily in the third period. . . it’s just disappointing we didn’t finish it off.”

Although both teams had 5-on-3 advantages in the first period – and a combined nine power plays through two periods – they couldn’t get many Grade A chances or any goals.

Robert Morris had a goal disallowed in the second period and UND did late in the third. Corban Knight appeared to give the Sioux a lead with 4:54 left after Evan Trupp flipped a puck in the crease. But the referee did not see the puck go in the net and he waved it off. The referees told Hakstol that the goal review was inconclusive, so it was disallowed.

FIRST PERIOD: no scoring.

SECOND PERIOD: no scoring.

THIRD PERIOD: 1, UND, Frattin, 15:59. 2, UND, Kristo (Knight, Genoway), 18:59 (en). 3, RM, Longpre (Urban, Brace), 19:40 (ex).

SAVES: RM, Levine 14-16-3–33. GFC, Dell 9-5-16–30.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald