MEN'S HOCKEY: New-look Sioux edge Wildcats
Dave Hakstol shook up the lineup Friday night, changing every forward line and defensive pairing. The end result - a 3-1 win over New Hampshire in Ralph Engelstad Arena - was exactly what the UND coach was looking for. But it may not have come th...
Dave Hakstol shook up the lineup Friday night, changing every forward line and defensive pairing.
The end result - a 3-1 win over New Hampshire in Ralph Engelstad Arena - was exactly what the UND coach was looking for. But it may not have come the way it was drawn up.
The third line of Kyle Radke, Darcy Zajac and Ryan Martens produced two goals and five points to lead the Sioux to a nonconference victory in front of 11,721 in the team's first game in 20 days.
It was a significant performance from the three, considering they had a combined four points entering the game.
"I don't know if it's the whole Canadian thing or what," said Radke, a senior. "They've been my good friends for the years they've been here and it's nice to get to play with them and get things rolling.
"We're definitely not (a line pegged to score). We're out there to do a job. We're out there to create emotion and to get the ball rolling for our team. Tonight, we capitalized on our opportunities and the puck bounced our way."
Zajac and Martens scored their first goals of the season, while Radke added his first points by getting assists on both. Fourth-line center Evan Trupp also scored for the Sioux.
"That was the difference in the game tonight, getting scoring from the areas we did," said Hakstol, who promised the lineup changes during Christmas break to try to jump-start the team. "When you look at the first two periods and the amount of special teams, ( T.J.) Oshie and (Chris) VandeVelde's lines were getting quite a bit of ice time. So for Zajac's line to have the kind of night they did, that was the difference."
The three were briefly together in March of last year during a series finale in St. Cloud State. On that night, they tallied three goals and five points in leading the Sioux to a 7-2 victory.
"We clicked then," Martens said. "We had the chance again with the week off last week and we started clicking again and it worked out."
With the win, UND improved to 9-6-1 overall and 3-0-1 in nonconference play. When the teams conclude their two-game series at 7:07 tonight, the Sioux will look for their first regular-season sweep in Ralph Engelstad Arena since last October.
UND goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux set a school record for most consecutive starts Friday, making his 41st in a row. The senior was on top of his game, too.
Although his nonconference shutout streak this season was stopped at 205 minutes, 49 seconds thanks to a goal by New Hampshire winger Jerry Pollastrone at 5:49 of the third, he was able to bail out the Sioux a few times and finished with 29 saves.
"We missed the net early in the game on some good scoring chances," New Hampshire coach Dick Umile said. "But in the second and third periods, we had good chances and he made some great saves."
The Sioux, who are 9-1 when scoring the first goal of the game and 0-5 when they don't, got the important first tally in the final minute of the first period when Zajac buried a Martens feed.
New Hampshire tied it in the third on Pollastrone's goal, but the Sioux quick regained control by scoring twice in the next 1:08.
On the game-winning goal, rookie Matt Frattin had his semi-breakaway turned away by Wildcat netminder Kevin Regan (34 saves), but Trupp crashed the net and cleaned up the rebound.
Forty-one seconds later, Martens gained the zone with speed along the left wing and beat Regan on the short side from the circle.
"I thought our guys battled hard," Umile said. "You try to play defense, but there was a lot of skill out on the ice. The scoring chances were some nice plays by both teams."
Notes: New Hampshire was missing rookie forward James vanRiemsdyk, who is playing for Team USA at the World Junior Championship. vanRiemsdyk was the second-leading scorer for the Wildcats. . . . UND rookie Brad Malone was out with a lower-body injury. . . . Michael Forney, Brad Miller, Brent Davidson were scratched. . . . Darrin Looker did play-by-play on radio, filling in for Tim Hennessy, whose father passed away. . . . Scott Hennen returned to do public address, filling in for Looker.