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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co. , Published December 15 2012

UND men's hockey team completes sweep of Michigan Tech

HOUGHTON, Mich. – The players spent all week taking final exams.

Then, they came on the road and passed yet another test in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

UND, again, used a big night from its top line to beat Michigan Tech 4-1 in men’s hockey on Saturday night, finishing off the team’s first sweep of the season.

Danny Kristo had a goal and two assists, Corban Knight extended his point streak to 13 games with a goal and an assist, and winger Mark MacMillan added a goal for UND, which will enter Christmas break with a 10-5-3 overall mark and a 7-2-3 record in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

UND has the top winning percentage in league play and will return in January in the driver’s seat in the race for the MacNaughton Cup.

“It’s always nicer to get on the bus after a win,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said moments before embarking on a nine-hour bus ride back to Grand Forks. “Guys can truly sit back and relax and enjoy it. They’ve had a hard week. There’s been a lot going on with final exams and the concentration that takes. As it turns out, it was good we were able to get on the bus and get on the road after final exams.

“There was great focus all week in practice. We had short and hard practices. But that focus came with us on the bus here as we had a pretty good idea that it would.”

UND extended its unbeaten streak to five games – and its unbeaten streak against Tech to 16 games – with a business-like win in front of 2,702 at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

Colten St. Clair scored his second goal of the season just 1 minute, 30 seconds into the game, and the top line did the rest. Knight (six points), Kristo (six points) and MacMillan (three points) finished the weekend with 15 points.

“They had another huge night tonight,” said defenseman Joe Gleason, who has six points in the last eight periods. “We need that from them. I can’t say enough about those guys and the talent they have. If they keep doing what they’ve been doing, it’s going to be pretty scary.”

This was the sixth Saturday night that UND had a chance to finish off a weekend sweep. UND was 0-4-1 in its previous five attempts.

“Took us long enough,” Gleason said. “Last series of the first half. I’m really proud of the team. It was a team effort tonight. It took all 20 guys in the lineup. It was just a great win.”

Knight added: “It’s been a long time, a really long time since we heard the whole sweep thing. It’s nice to get that off our backs. Hopefully, we can get another one pretty soon here.”

UND will have to wait a while for that chance. It will now have the next 20 days off before returning home to take on Holy Cross in a nonconference series.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, UND, St. Clair (Gleason, O’Donnell) 1:30. 2, MT, Johnstone (Khaira, Furne) 1:58 (pp). 3, UND, Kristo (Mattson, Knight) 6:47.

SECOND PERIOD: 4, UND, Knight (Kristo, MacWilliam) 6:20. 5, UND, MacMillan (Kristo, Forbort) 16:22.

THIRD PERIOD: No scoring.

SAVES: UND, Saunders 11-10-10–31. MT, Genoe 10-14-16–40.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald