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MEN'S HOCKEY: Finley sparks Sioux win

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Joe Finley spent 63 games looking for his first collegiate goal. It finally came on Saturday night and it couldn't have been much sweeter for the 6-foot-7 defenseman. Finley's blast from the point with 4.8 seconds left i...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Joe Finley spent 63 games looking for his first collegiate goal.

It finally came on Saturday night and it couldn't have been much sweeter for the 6-foot-7 defenseman.

Finley's blast from the point with 4.8 seconds left in the second period gave UND a 2-1 win over Colorado College in front of a sold out World Arena crowd of 7,543.

The Sioux (10-11-1, 6-9-1) broke a five-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association losing streak and won for the third time in four post-Christmas games.

UND outplayed, outshot, outhustled and, thanks to a pair of unlikely sources, outscored the Tigers to gain a series split. Both Sioux goal scorers - Finley and senior forward Erik Fabian - netted their firsts of the season.


"Finally, finally, finally," senior assistant captain Erik Fabian said of the WCHA win. "That's all I can say - finally."

Goaltender Philippe Lamoureux put together another strong performance, aided by a great effort in front of him. Lamoureux stopped 16 shots on Saturday and 47 out of 49 for the weekend.

For the final 40 minutes, he wasn't very busy.

The Sioux held Colorado College to just five shots on goal in the final two periods.

"It's so important to have everyone in the lineup going," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "We had that tonight. We rolled all four lines and all six defensemen throughout the entire game. I thought we wore them down a little bit. We had more energy I the second half of the game.

"We played aggressive, attack-style hockey, but we played very intelligent hockey."

After trading goals in the first, the Sioux began to control play in the second.

It took Colorado College more than 13 minutes to get its first shot on goal in the middle period, and on the other end, Tiger goaltender Matt Zaba was busy almost the entire time.


The Sioux missed on four golden chances early, but finally took the lead when Finley's blast from the point beat Zaba high to the glove side for a power-play goal in the final seconds of the second period.

"It's been a long time coming," Finley said. "It came at an opportune time - WCHA game. We haven't won one in a while. That one goal was just one thing, though. We had the rest of the guys firing, too. It was a good team win."

The Sioux were just as strong in the third period as the second.

Colorado College only got one shot on goal in the first 10:30 of the third, and that shot was a clearing attempt that happened to be on net. The Tigers generated their best pressure when they pulled Zaba in the final minute, but they couldn't beat Lamoureux.

"Maybe four or five weeks ago, we would have made a mental error and lost that game," Fabian said. "We're starting to play with that edge get that confidence that we are a good team and we are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the second half."

The Sioux got off to a good start Saturday after not scoring in the series opener.

Ryan Martens circled the net and fed Fabian, who was standing at the top of the crease. Fabian punched the puck by Zaba before he was knocked over by a Tiger defenseman at 12:00. It was Fabian's first goal in 23 games, a streak dating back to last February.

The Tigers evened it at 14:53, converting their first power-play opportunity of the game. With Zach Jones in the box for roughing, Jack Hillen blasted a shot from the point past a screened Lamoureux.


But the Tigers couldn't beat the junior goaltender the rest of the night.

"I thought we played solid in all areas of the game," Hakstol said. "I thought we deserved to win that game. That was maybe a little bit arguable last night, but certainly tonight we were solid."

Notes: The Sioux used the same lineup as Friday night. .X.X. They were playing without forward Jonathan Toews and defensemen Brian Lee and Taylor Chorney - all of whom were returning from the World Junior Championship in Sweden. Colorado College was missing freshman forward Billy Sweatt, who was also at the World Juniors.

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