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Sioux storm No. 1 Gophers

MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 1 team in the country wasn't a problem for UND on Friday night. Not on the road, not down two goals. The Sioux rallied to take out top-ranked Minnesota 5-3 in sold-out Mariucci Arena, improving their post-Christmas record to...

MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 1 team in the country wasn't a problem for UND on Friday night.

Not on the road, not down two goals.

The Sioux rallied to take out top-ranked Minnesota 5-3 in sold-out Mariucci Arena, improving their post-Christmas record to 7-1-1.

Despite spotting the Gophers a 2-0 lead in the first period and 11 power plays during the game, the Sioux were able to quiet most of the 10,197 fans behind three-point performances by Ryan Duncan and Jonathan Toews.

Duncan scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, and added an assist, while Toews scored and added two assists.


"There are so many reasons this weekend is huge for us," UND defenseman Taylor Chorney said. "There's the standings, there's the PairWise and, on top of that, there's the rivalry. At this point in the season, this is the biggest series we've had. It was fortunate for us to win the first one, but we came here to get two wins."

UND held the usually potent Gopher power play to just two conversions in 11 tries, and Minnesota didn't score an even-strength goal. It added up to the third loss in five games for the first-place Gophers, who had a school-record 22-game winning streak earlier this season.

The Sioux, meanwhile, continued their strong play since Christmas break by getting timely offense and strong goaltending from Philippe Lamoureux (35 saves).

"I felt like we were ready to play tonight," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "We had to play our tails off to get a couple of points. We're halfway through the series. We were fortunate to come out of their building with two points tonight. (Saturday) is a new night and a new battle. We'll be ready to play."

The beginning of the game was reminiscent of the 6-1 drubbing the Sioux suffered on opening night in Mariucci Arena last season - the Gophers taking advantage of UND penalties and getting the crowd into it by scoring early goals.

This night, it was a power-play goal by Ryan Stoa at 2:03 and an extra-attacker goal on a delayed penalty by Alex Goligoski.

"That all happened pretty quickly," Chorney said. "Our leaders stepped forward after that. You could look down the bench and tell that nobody panicked. There was a lot of time left. We just had to chip away and take one goal at a time."

The first goal came by defenseman Robbie Bina. Duncan forced a turnover while killing a penalty and sent Toews and Bina on a 2-on-1. Toews faked the defenseman and slid the puck over to Bina, who finished the play.


Then, the Sioux blew the game open in the second period, scoring three times and opening a 4-2 lead.

Rylan Kaip fed Erik Fabian for a hard-working, doorstep goal at 7:08; Jonathan Toews pounded home a rebound at 9:25 and Duncan cleaned up a rebound on the power play with 10.6 seconds left in the period.

"When we were 5-on-5, all four lines were firing," Toews said. "Everybody was working hard and playing hard down low in their zone. Obviously, (the Gophers) have a lot of firepower and the best way to slow them down is to keep the puck in their zone."

The Gophers had a couple of chances to get back into the game early in the third period when Duncan took a high sticking penalty and Bina took back-to-back minor penalties in the first 10 minutes. But they didn't generate any offense with the extra man.

"We did some things tonight that we talked about not doing," said Minnesota coach Don Lucia, who watched his team fall behind 5-2 on a Duncan goal at 17:25 of the third before the Gophers added a late tally. "We turned the puck over for a couple goals and we lost some of those net battles in front, allowing them to score a couple goals."

Notes: Sophomore forward Andrew Kozek, who was listed as questionable earlier in the week, played right wing on the third line. . . . The Gophers played without junior forward Ben Gordon, who was serving a mandatory one-game suspension for fighting last weekend. Because of his absence and injuries to two forwards, Minnesota played with 11 guys up front.

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