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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co., Published January 27 2012

Pattyn, UND tops Wisconsin

GRAND FORKS – Stephane Pattyn turned 21 years old on Friday.

His best present came from University of North Dakota’s Mario Lamoureux.

Lamoureux sent a brilliant backdoor pass to Pattyn, who tapped in the game-winning goal – the first of his career – with 1 minute, 54 seconds left to give UND a 5-3 victory over the University of Wisconsin in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Brock Nelson added an empty-netter and an assist and Michael Parks, Danny Kristo and Dillon Simpson also scored for UND, which spread scoring throughout its forward lines.

Joe Gleason, who was moved from defense to center on the fourth line during the first intermission, started the winning play by rushing the puck up the middle of the ice. After executing a give-and-go with Simpson, Gleason attempted a shot from the high slot.

The puck went off of a Wisconsin defender’s stick and right to Lamoureux in the left circle. Lamoureux’s initial attempt was stopped by Badger goalie Joel Rumpel, but the rebound went right back to the captain. Lamoureux spotted Pattyn on the backdoor and made a perfect feed through traffic.

“That was quite the feeling,” Pattyn said. “It’s been a while. I guess I had to turn 21 to get it. Couldn’t get it when I was 20. Definitely a good feeling.

“It’s my best present, for sure. Definitely a good feeling to get that one out of the way and hopefully they keep coming.”

Pattyn’s teammates tackled him in the corner to celebrate the goal.

“Mario made an unbelievable play,” the freshman from Ste. Anne, Man., said. “It all started with Joe using his speed. Mario saw me backdoor and I was wide open. The goalie was nowhere to be seen. All I had to do was tap it in. That shows how hard of a worker that Mario is, his leadership and his poise. I’ll take credit for it, but it was all Mario, for sure.”

UND improved to 14-10-2 overall and 10-9 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play in beating the Badgers at The Ralph for the first time since Halloween 2008. Wisconsin didn’t come here last season.

The Badgers, who dropped to 12-11-2 overall and 7-10-2 in league play, swept UND in the Kohl Center earlier this season, but got behind the eight-ball early.

UND scored just 31 seconds into the game when Carter Rowney nudged the puck to the hash marks off the draw and Parks skated up and snapped it far side for a 1-0 lead.

Just a couple of shifts later, Nelson snapped a shot from the top of the right circle that deflected off of Kristo’s leg for a power-play goal at 4:56.

But the Badgers were able to even it in less than 10 minutes. They first got on the board when Tyler Barnes lifted a backhand that was going wide, but it went off of Michael Mersch’s knee and in at 6:37. Then, fourth-line forward Keegan Meuer pushed a weak shot past goalie Aaron Dell from down low at 13:34.

The team’s traded goals in the second – Simpson scored from the point for his first of the year and Mersch took advantage of a weird hop off of Mark MacMillan’s stick in the defensive zone to even it.

“I felt like the first 40 minutes of the game, we were playing almost not to make a mistake instead of playing the game the way we needed to,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “It came down to a 20-minute hockey game. At that point in time, you’ve got to have a short memory and do the things you need to do to have a chance to win. I’m proud of the guys to do that.”

In the end, Pattyn’s first-career goal was the difference.

“It was a great goal for him,” Simpson said. “It’s a special night for him. It’s a goal that we needed and he came up big for us.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, UND, Parks (Rowney), :31. 2, UND, Kristo (Nelson, Mattson), 4:46 (pp). 3, W, Mersch (Barnes, Zengerle), 6:37 (pp). 4, W, Meuer (Woods, Little) 13:34.

SECOND PERIOD: 5, UND, Simpson (Kristo, Mattson), 13:27 (pp). 6, W, Mersch (Lee, Simonelli), 16:45.

THIRD PERIOD: 7, UND, Pattyn (Lamoureaux, Gleason), 18:06. 8, UND, Nelson (MacWilliam, Knight), 19:59.

SAVES: W, Rumpel 8-5-7–20. UND, Dell 7-4-3–14.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald