DENVER -- Matt Kiersted had one big, important question for Josh Rieger on Monday night.
Moments after Rieger, a UND senior defenseman, scored his second-career goal in UND's 5-1 win over Denver in Magness Arena, Kiersted tracked him down in the locker room.
"I asked him," Kiersted said, "'How many wings did you pound before the game?'"
On UND's last trip to Denver, Rieger was supposed to be scratched from the lineup in the series finale, so he went to one of Denver's famous burger joints, the Cherry Cricket, and ate a pound of wings with teammate Zach Yon.
At the arena, defenseman Jonny Tychonick suddenly fell ill, though, and couldn't play.
UND staff members called Rieger, who was at the restaurant, and told him to rush to the arena, because he had to play that night. Warmups were already going on when Rieger arrived at Magness Arena. Not only did he play, he scored his first-career goal, which stood as the game-winner.
On Monday, Rieger scored his second-career goal, which also came in Magness Arena against rival Denver.
So, Kiersted's question needed to be answered. Did Rieger stop at the Cherry Cricket again on this trip?
"I actually never made it there," Rieger said. "I took a lot of heat from just about everybody on the team for that, though. They all wanted to know when I was going to order them. Never made it there, though."
Even so, Rieger got on the scoreboard.
UND went on the power play with 1:07 to go in Monday's game, leading 4-1. Berry put out his checking line of Mark Senden, Louis Jamernik and Gavin Hain, alongside his third-pair defenders, Rieger and Cooper Moore.
Jamernik had the puck behind the net and fed it to Rieger in the left circle. Rieger quickly fired a shot that beat Denver goalie Corbin Kaczperski on the short side.
"It's his rink," Senden said. "He finds a way to get one every time he plays here."
UND coach Brad Berry added: "It was a situation where the game was 4-1 at the time, getting some guys out there on the power play and moving the puck around and getting a look. It was nice to see him get a look, because he usually never gets a look like that in a game."
The roar from UND's bench when Rieger scored echoed throughout an empty Magness Arena.
"We love Reg," Kiersted said. "He works hard every day. He's obviously in and out of the lineup and not really a top guy but he still puts in the work every single day and guys notice that. To see him score, especially in this building against Denver again, was awesome. You could kind of almost see it coming at that point. The whole bench lit up when he scored."
It marked his first point in 10 games this season.
"Some might call it luck," Rieger said. "It kind of took me back to last year, the same thing. The bench erupted. It was a little different this time -- the fifth goal with 10 seconds left, it's not as big of a moment in the game. It's a pretty good feeling having the guys support you like that."