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Forum staff reports, Published December 01 2012

UND clips Colorado College in overtime

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – For 119 minutes, 46 seconds, there wasn’t much of a reward for North Dakota’s outstanding play this weekend.

But it all paid off in a matter of seconds late Saturday night.

Dillon Simpson scored a game-tying goal with 13.4 seconds left; Drake Caggiula scored the game-winner just 51 seconds into overtime and UND stunned Colorado College with a 3-2 comeback win in World Arena.

“That’s why you have to play 60 minutes,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “In the locker room, we said, ‘If this takes us 60 minutes, let’s use 60 minutes. If this takes us 65, let’s do whatever we have to do.’”

Just when it looked like UND would have to head home with a pair of losses – despite outshooting the Tigers by more than 20 shots both nights – all of the hard work paid off.

On the tying goal, Rocco Grimaldi won a puck battle in the corner and got the puck to Corban Knight behind the net. Knight, who extended his point streak to nine games, made a brilliant feed to Simpson in the high slot. The defenseman ripped a shot just under the crossbar for the extra-attacker goal.

“I’m sick of (hitting) posts, so I thought I wouldn’t put it anywhere near it,” Simpson joked. “I tried to rip it as hard as I could top shelf. The goalie had my number all night, so it was good to get one by him.

“After my goal, the bench was pretty confident. We knew we were going to win that game. We believed.”

UND kept the heavy pressure on Colorado College goalie Josh Thorimbert in overtime. After Danny Kristo and Derek Forbort narrowly missed chances, Caggiula put it away.

During a line change, a puck came out to the blue line, where MacWilliam kept it in. The puck went off of MacWilliam’s stick to Caggiula in the right circle. He took a few steps and snapped a shot that hit Thorimbert’s shoulder, landed behind him and rolled across the goal line.

The large UND contingent among the 7,021 in World Arena erupted and left the building chanting “Let’s go Sioux.”

“I had a bunch of time, so I walked in, shot to my favorite spot,” said Caggiula, who finished the weekend with three goals. “Luckily, it went in.”

UND, which outshot Colorado College 89-46 on the weekend, was able to fly home on a charter late Saturday night with a 7-5-2 overall mark and a 4-2-2 record in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

“We were talking with some of the guys, saying that if we didn’t get the win today, it was going to be a pretty depressing flight home,” Knight said. “This definitely lifts the mood.”

UND has now won its last two overtime games and has two third-period comeback victories in the last three weeks.

“It shows our character that we can pull out a win like that and it’s definitely exciting,” Knight said.

UND got off to a fast start Saturday, scoring on the opening shift of the game.

After a good cycle, Knight grabbed the puck near the halfwall and spotted Kristo cutting to the net. Knight attempted to hit Kristo with the backdoor pass but the puck went off of Tiger defenseman Peter Stoykewych and in the net at the :34 mark.

The Tigers evened it less than three minutes later when they rushed the puck up the ice and found Rylan Schwartz with some space in the right circle.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Knight (Forbort, MacMillan), :34. 2, CC, Schwartz (Rapuzzi, Skalbeck), 4:14.

SECOND PERIOD: No scoring

THIRD PERIOD: 3, CC, Skalbeck (Boivin, Schwartz), 7:00. 4, UND, Simpson (Knight, Grimaldi), 19:47.

OVERTIME: 5, UND, Caggiula (MacWilliam, Grimaldi), :51.

SAVES: UND, Saunders 9-5-4-0 18. CC, Thorimbert 12-11-13-3 39.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald