Sioux blow big lead, tie AnchorageIt took just 10 minutes and 37 seconds for the Sioux to cough up a four-goal lead in a 5-5 tie against Alaska-Anchorage at the Kendall Hockey Classic on Friday.
By: Brad Elliott Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Back in Grand Forks, it was well past midnight.
And like much of the city, the UND men’s hockey team fell asleep.
It took just 10 minutes and 37 seconds for the Sioux to cough up a four-goal lead in a 5-5 tie against Alaska-Anchorage at the Kendall Hockey Classic on Friday.
If not for a brilliant glove save by goalie Brad Eidsness in overtime, the game would have been UND’s worst meltdown since 1988.
“It’s a real stark learning message for the team early in the season that you can’t play 45 minutes and expect to come out of a hockey game with a win,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “We lost our intensity in all areas of the game. We thought we had it in the bag and that’s never the case.”
It all started well for the second-ranked Sioux.
Brad Malone and Jake Marto scored on the power play, Carter Rowney at even strength and Corban Knight buried two goals to help UND build a 5-1 lead midway through the second period.
“We were playing with speed, we were tenacious on the puck and we were creating plays all over the ice,” Hakstol said. “I thought we did that for about 45 minutes out of the hockey game.”
The other 15 minutes were enough for the Seawolves, picked to finish 11th in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, to mount an improbable rally.
The 3,879 in attendance belted out chants of “U-A-A” as the tournament’s host struck time and time again. Matt Bailey started the rally when he was alone at the top of the crease and put one past Eidsness (18 saves).
Then, Sean Wiles scored the key goal of the rally, a shorthanded tally with 1:53 left in the second. The play started with Jade Portwood easily outskating Danny Kristo to a loose puck in the corner. Eidsness came out of his net to try to bail out his defenders, but Portwood stole it from him and centered to Wiles, who had an empty net to shoot at.
“It’s a terrible play on our part in terms of intensity going after a loose puck and communicating,” Hakstol said. “I’ll give Alaska credit. They hustled and outhustled us on that play and several others in the next 10 minutes.”
Less than a minute after Wiles’ goal, Tommy Grant made it 5-4 on an impressive individual effort. And the comeback was complete with a Brett Cameron snap shot from the slot early in the third period.
“Anchorage is one of those blue collar teams built on hard work,” Knight said. “We expected them to push back. We just didn’t handle the push very well.”
UND regained momentum for the final 10 minutes of the game and for most of overtime, but rookie goalie Chris Kamal (25 saves) stood strong.
“It’s a little disappointing when you are up four goals and they come back like that,” Marto said. “Obviously, we have some things to work out.
“We just kind of got away from our game plan. All of the sudden, we weren’t working together as a team. We weren’t talking. Alaska comes hard. They’re big and strong and they came at us.”
The Sioux won a shootout that’s meaningless when it comes to the season record. But the shootout tallies by Evan Trupp and Knight mean that UND’s game against Alaska (Fairbanks) at 7:07 tonight is for the Kendall Hockey Classic title.
Aaron Dell will make his first start since Jan. 29 of last season. Hakstol expects his team will put forth a better effort.
“It’s disappointing when you have a 5-1 lead and you come out with a tie,” Hakstol said. “I expect we’ll play a full 60 minutes of solid hockey. That’s what our goal is.
“The physical side is not the issue. It’s the mental side and us having the integrity as a team to play 60 full minutes.”
Notes: UND played 11 forwards and seven defensemen instead of the usual 12 and six. Forward Derek Rodwell warmed up but was scratched in favor of defenseman Dillon Simpson. . . The game ended at 1:44 a.m. Central time. . . Anchorage’s first goal was scored by Curtis Leinweber, the cousin of former Sioux defenseman Chris Leinweber. . . Fairbanks beat Air Force 5-2 in the afternoon game Friday. . . Although both UND and Anchorage are WCHA teams, this serves as a nonconference game.
First period – 1. UND, Brad Malone 1 (Brett Hextall 1) 3:06 (pp); 2. UAA, Curtis Leinweber 1 (Tommy Grant 1, Jordan Kwas 1) 12:25; 3. UND, Jake Marto 1 (Chay Genoway 1) 19:38 (pp). Penalties – Mark Pustin, UAA, holding, 2:07; Luka Vidmar, UAA, high sticking, 15:09; Quinn Sproule, UAA, charging, 19:05
Second period – 4. UND, Corban Knight 1 (Jason Gregoire 1, Derrick LaPoint 1) :47; 5. UND, Carter Rowney 1 (Gregoire 2) 3:41; 6. UND, Knight 2 (Danny Kristo 1, Carter Rowney 1) 7:32; 7. UAA, Matt Bailey 1 (Brett Cameron 1, Mitch Bruijsten 1) 10:57; 8. UAA, Sean Wiles 1 (Jade Portwood 1) 18:07 (sh); 9. UAA, Grant 1 19:00. Penalties – Malone, UND, boarding, 1:38; Evan Trupp, UND, interference, 14:24; Genoway, UND, interference, 15:00; Craig Parkinson, UAA, boarding, 16:41
Third period – 10. UAA, Cameron 1 (Bruijsten 1, Bailey 1) 1:34. Penalties – Andrew MacWilliam, UND, elbowing, 4:06
Goalie saves – UND: Brad Eidsness 8-5-4-1 – 18; UAA: Chris Kamal 9-8-7-1 – 25
Penalties-minutes – UND 4-8, UAA 4-8
Power plays – UND 2-4, UAA 0-4
Attendance – 3,876
Referees – Butch Mousseaux and Don Adam