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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum News Service , Published November 02 2013

UND men's hockey swept at The Ralph for first time since 2010

GRAND FORKS – Senior Dillon Simpson has been through about everything in his four years at the University of North Dakota.

One feeling he’s never known, though, arrived Saturday night.

For the first in his career – for the first time in anybody on the UND roster’s career – the team got swept in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

St. Cloud State achieved that rare feat by beating UND 3-1 in front of 11,882 in the series finale, dropping UND to 2-3-1 overall and 1-3 in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play.

Nic Dowd had a goal and an assist, while Tim Daly and Kalle Kossila added goals as the Huskies became the first team to sweep UND in The Ralph since January 2010, when the MacNaughton Cup champion Denver Pioneers did it. That’s a span of 35 series.

“When you play out West, you play in front of so many big buildings and big crowds,” St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said. “I don’t want to say you get used to it, but it’s fun for (us), too – at home and on the road. It’s a great environment, the best in college hockey. But not many people ever come in here and do that.”

St. Cloud State is one team that doesn’t seem fazed by coming to The Ralph.

This is the second straight year that the Huskies made the road trip to Grand Forks and avoided losing. Last year, they got three points. In one of those games, they held UND to a paltry 16 shots on goal. This season, it was a sweep. On Saturday night, UND was only able to muster 17 shots on goal.

St. Cloud State junior goalie Ryan Faragher is now 4-1-1 with a 1.50 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage in The Ralph.

“We didn’t generate enough,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “That starts in coming up ice. We didn’t make enough plays coming out of our zone and into the neutral zone to get us speed and to have some opportunities off the rush. I though down low, as an example in the third period, we spent a fair bit of time in the offensive zone, but we didn’t get enough to the net.”

UND had 15 shot attempts in the third period, but only three reached Faragher.

“That’s not enough,” Hakstol said.

UND will take a three-game losing streak – its longest since October 2011 – to Omaha next weekend for a Saturday-Sunday series. UND hasn’t lost four games in a row since December 2006.

“We look at the things we need to do better, and there are a lot of things we have to look at and go back to work and become better at,” Hakstol said.

No. 1 on the list will be generating more offense.

UND has five goals in the last three games. After a five-point opening weekend, standout forward Rocco Grimaldi has been held off the scoresheet in four straight games. UND’s third and fourth lines have one goal in the last five games.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, UND, Stecher (Mattson) 18:40.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, SCSU, Daly (Dowd, Brodzinski) 6:59. 3, SCSU, Dowd (Murray, Morley) 7:11.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, Kossila (Benik, Brodzinski) 9:35.

SAVES: UND, Gothberg 8-13-5–26. SCSU, Faragher 5-8-3–16.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald