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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co. , Published November 16 2012

UND skates to men's hockey tie against Duluth

GRAND FORKS – Clarke Saunders is familiar with the drill: Stand in the goal crease and watch Minnesota-Duluth fire away.

He was in net for Alabama-Huntsville last season when the Bulldogs threw 101 shots at him in two games, and it was more of the same Friday night in University of North Dakota’s 4-4 tie with Duluth in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

UND allowed 46 shots on goal – the most the team has allowed since Jan. 13, 2006 – yet still managed to come away with a Western Collegiate Hockey Association point thanks to a pair of goals by Danny Kristo, one by Rocco Grimaldi, and another by captain Andrew MacWilliam.

Duluth threw 15 shots on net in the first, 14 in the second and 17 in the third.

“That’s way too many to give up in our own building,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “They worked awfully hard for those chances. They played hard for 60 minutes. So did we. We were a little too sporadic at times. I thought that soaked away some of our momentum at different times. It was a really hard-fought, back-and-forth hockey game. You don’t want to give up 17 shots in the third period too often.”

Turnovers were a problem for UND, especially in the third period.

“I thought, again, that was the sporadic part of our game,” Hakstol said. “At different times of the game, we did a good job taking care of the puck. At other times, we allowed them to transition and cycle, and they’re good in those areas.”

Saunders faced 54 shots last year against the Bulldogs in one game and 47 in the next game. After Friday night’s game, he’s faced 147 shots in three games against the Bulldogs, who moved to 2-5-2. Despite playing a strong game, Duluth’s winless streak was extended to six games.

“I thought Duluth played well,” Kristo said. “They came at us hard. There were definitely a lot of pucks at the net tonight. We probably have to shape up in the D-zone. We gave up a lot of shots tonight. But it was a good, hard-fought game. We’ve got the rubber match tomorrow.”

Hakstol said he expected a tough battle against a Duluth team that’s split with UND in the last two series between the teams.

It was a back-and-forth game throughout.

Mike Seidel gave Duluth a 1-0 lead at 3:49 of the opening period, converting on a Joe Gleason turnover. UND regained the lead on a point shot by Andrew MacWilliam and a backdoor finish by Kristo.

But Austin Farley scored back-to-back goals in the second period to help the Bulldogs regain the lead 3-2 at the midway point.

Kristo quickly evened it in a snap shot at 10:39 of the second, his second of the game and third of the season.

Grimaldi gave UND a 4-3 lead in the third period, showing good hands in tight to roof a puck past Duluth goaltender Aaron Crandall (29 saves). But the Bulldogs evened it up on a point shot by Drew Olson less than two minutes later.

That’s the way the game finished.

“I’ve said it all along, Duluth is a good hockey team,” Hakstol said. “They played that way tonight.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, UMD, Seidel 3:49. 2, UND, MacWilliam 13:39.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, UND, Kristo (Knight, Rowney) 1:39. 4, UMD, Farley (Basaraba, Cameranesi) 6:57. 5, UMD, Farley (Welinski) 10:03. 6, UND, Kristo (Caggiula, Mattson) 10:39.

THIRD PERIOD: 7, UND, Grimaldi (St. Clair, Caggiula) 12:47. 8, UMD, Olson (Johnson) 14:08.

SAVES: UMD, Crandall 10-11-6-2–29. UND, Saunders 14-12-16-0–42.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald