UND hockey crashes another arena-opening party
DULUTH -- The UND men's hockey team proved to be homewreckers once again. For the second time this season, they spoiled a team's arena opener -- this team hammering fourth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth 5-0 in the first game in AmsOil Arena on the banks...
DULUTH -- The UND men's hockey team proved to be homewreckers once again.
For the second time this season, they spoiled a team's arena opener -- this team hammering fourth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth 5-0 in the first game in AmsOil Arena on the banks of Lake Superior.
The third-ranked Sioux scored three goals in the span of 74 seconds in the second period to stun the 6,764 in attendance, which included Minnesota Gov.-elect Mark Dayton and 41 former Bulldog captains.
Danny Kristo had a goal and two assists, Brad Malone had two goals, Evan Trupp made two beautiful setups for his linemates and goalie Aaron Dell posted 35 saves to quiet a charged-up crowd.
"It kind of sucks for them," Dell said. "But that's what we were here to do."
Matt Frattin scored his country-leading 18th goal and Carter Rowney added another tally for UND, which extended its unbeaten streak to seven games. The Sioux are 9-1-1 in the last 11 games.
"I think the boys were pretty fired up," Kristo said. "We wanted to start the second half how we finished the first half of the season. It's a huge game. We knew it was the last time playing Duluth this season. We played hard in the first and we really stepped up in the second and took control of the game."
The Bulldogs broke out new home jerseys for the game. UND countered with the black jerseys that have brought them much fortune in recent seasons, now improving to 24-1-2 in them since the 2006-07 season and 6-0 this year.
Dell was key in slowing down Duluth's explosive top line. He made 12 saves in the first period, 10 in the second and 15 in the third en route to becoming the first goalie to blank the Bulldogs in Duluth since Jean-Philippe Lamoureux did it three seasons ago.
Officials at AmsOil Arena blew the goal horn 38 minutes after the game ended for those in the arena still curious to hear what it sounded like.
"Some of our bigger plays were made by Aaron Dell," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "While it was 1-0, Duluth had several good opportunities. They had some good opportunities to tie it up. Aaron did a good job not to let them tie it up. Once we got the second one, we didn't look back."
Malone became the answer to a trivia question by scoring the first goal in the arena at 10:06 of the first period. Defenseman Chay Genoway circled around the zone on the power play before feeding Malone in the slot for a one-timer.
The Sioux then blew the game open late in the second by scoring three straight goals.
At 17:19, Kristo held the puck behind the goal line and found Rowney camped at the side of the crease. Rowney fought off a check and took two whacks at Kristo's feed, scoring his second goal of the season.
Just 14 seconds later, Kristo picked off a pass and rushed the puck up the right wing on a two-on-one. He snapped home his second goal of the season to make it 3-0.
On the next shift, Duluth captain Mike Montgomery turned the puck over in the neutral zone and Trupp carried it on a breakaway. As he neared the crease and got ready to make a deke, he slipped a pass to the right circle, where Frattin extended his goal streak to six games to give UND a 4-0 lead.
"It was just a couple bounces," Kristo said. "Guys capitalized. The game changed right there. Boom, boom, boom and the game was over right there. All we had to do was play smart and keep the puck in deep and that's what we did."
UND piled on in the third period at the tail end of a penalty kill, when Trupp fed Malone for a shorthanded goal. Because it was the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game, Genoway was presented with a trophy as the captain of the victorious team.
The trip wasn't flawless for the Sioux, though. They were stranded in town after the game.
The team planned to drive back to Grand Forks after Thursday's game, but instead made reservations for another night in Duluth as a blizzard hit northern Minnesota. The Sioux were stuck in Mankato, Minn., for an extra day three weeks ago after the series finale was postponed due to a blizzard.
UND swept the Mavericks in that series, making the extra day a little easier to take. The same goes for Thursday's game.
Notes: The game was delayed in the first period when Mike Connolly shattered a piece of glass with a check. The teams were sent to the dressing room and they played the final 6:25 of the first period and all of the second period back-to-back. . . UND played its fifth straight game without top-line forwards Brett Hextall and Jason Gregoire, both of whom are recovering from upper-body injuries. The Sioux also were missing forward Brock Nelson and defenseman Derek Forbort, who are both playing at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. The Bulldogs played without defensemen Dylan Olsen and Justin Faulk, who are also at the World Juniors. Forward Kyle Schmidt also was out due to injury.