BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Jackson Kunz didn't see his goal go in.

"I heard it," he said.

Running a set faceoff play, UND freshman Matteo Costantini won a draw back to Kunz. The 6-foot-3 winger quickly snapped a shot through traffic and past Bemidji State goaltender Gavin Enright, who didn't see the puck until it was too late.

Kunz couldn't see through the maze of bodies to watch his shot go in, but he heard the thud of the puck hitting the bottom of the net and knew he just put his team ahead 3-1.

"That was a big goal, a faceoff play we drew up," UND coach Brad Berry said. "It was a play where he got a puck to the net with some traffic. He's a shooter. He's got a hard, heavy shot. It's nice to see him get his first."

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It was just the start of a big night for Grand Forks hockey players.

In Minneapolis, 40 minutes after Kunz scored, Grand Forks Red River's Mason Salquist scored the game-winning goal for St. Cloud State in a top-five matchup against Minnesota.

A few minutes after that, Grand Forks Central's Judd Caulfield scored what was eventually the game-winning goal for UND against Bemidji State, slicing through the left circle and sniping the top corner of the net.

Caulfield had a goal and an assist in UND's 4-3 win over Bemidji State in the Sanford Center.

He now has four points in three games this season.

"He's exuding confidence each and every day," Berry said. "When he came in here as a freshman, I think he kind of felt his way around here. He's a really great person. Now, he's playing with a lot of confidence and assertiveness with and without the puck. He's making good plays and decisions offensively, but his play away from the puck. . . he's one of those guys, I haven't seen in a long time, the way he covers ice and forechecks and gets on defenders and the opposition. He does a great job playing a good brand of hockey and creating space for Riese Gaber and Jake Schmaltz."

UND's first three goals Friday came from players on the third and fourth line — Louis Jamernik, Gavin Hain and Kunz.

Kunz showed his goal-scoring ability last season with the Green Bay Gamblers in the United States Hockey League, where he scored 23 goals in 50 games. He led Green Bay in goals and finished 10th in the league.

"That guy's a beauty," Jamernik said of Kunz. "He's an everyday-er. For him to get rewarded is exactly what we love to see. . . in a big game, too. It was a huge goal for us."

Kunz said he enjoyed his first collegiate road game.

"It was fun," Kunz said. "Obviously, you know about the Sioux fans. It was a packed house and probably half of them were from UND. It was a good atmosphere and obviously scoring made a huge difference."

Quick hits

  • The biggest save of the game by UND goalie Zach Driscoll came on a clean breakaway for Bemidji State's top goal-scorer from a year ago, Ethan Somoza, in the first period. If Somoza buried that, it would have made it 2-0 Beavers and perhaps it would have been a different game. Instead, Driscoll kept it a one-goal game and his team turned the game in the second period.
  • Friday night was the first time this season where it was apparent UND was missing Shane Pinto and Jasper Weatherby for key defensive zone faceoffs at the end of the game. UND lost a bunch of them, allowing Bemidji State to maintain possession with the extra attacker. Adding to the problem is that the Beavers were winning them clean. UND's centers needed to do a better job of at least tying up Bemidji State's centers and leaving it to the wingers. Connor Ford got the tie-up UND needed on the final draw.
  • One of the reasons for the problem was that Bemidji State has Owen Sillinger, who was one of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's top three faceoff guys a year ago. Sillinger went 19-15 on Friday night and won his first three draws with the extra attacker and four of five. Sillinger also led all players with six shots on goal. He has scored against UND in each of the last three series between the teams.
  • Bemidji State went with Enright in net instead of Michael Carr. It looked to be a good decision. Enright made two big saves in the opening five minutes of the game and made several big saves on UND forward Riese Gaber. Beavers coach Tom Serratore could go either way in the series finale.
  • UND really juggled its defensive pairings throughout the game with the top four of Jake Sanderson, Ethan Frisch, Tyler Kleven and Chris Jandric playing a ton of minutes.
  • Kunz on Bemidji State: "Obviously, Bemidji plays harder and faster and probably has a little more skill than Niagara does, but honestly, it was really fun to be a part of this game."
  • Berry on UND turning the game in the second period: "I think we just had to simplify our game and be a little harder in a few different areas. I thought we got a little bit too fancy and credit them. We watched their two games (against Minnesota Duluth). Their Friday game against Duluth, they should have been up in the first period. They come out with a push. You can talk about it all you want, but until you experience it, especially with our new guys in our group here, you see it firsthand. I was proud of the way our guys responded in the second. We challenged them in the locker room to be better and harder in a lot of different areas and simplify our game. I thought they did."
  • Jamernik on the game: "That's playoff hockey. That really showed a lot of guys how we play the right way, the younger guys how we play hard hockey. That was textbook Sioux hockey."