UND MENS HOCKEY: Sioux tie Tech and gain point in battle for home ice in playoffs

In the postgame handshake line, Michigan Tech goalie Josh Robinson told Brad Eidsness: "That was fun." Perhaps the goaltenders were the only ones who could feel that way after an ugly 1-1 tie in which neither goal was shot into the net. UND's Cor...

UND's Danny Kristo
UND's Danny Kristo eyes the puck from the ice as Michigan Tech's Milos Gordic skates away with the puck in the second period Saturday night. Herald photo by John Stennes.

In the postgame handshake line, Michigan Tech goalie Josh Robinson told Brad Eidsness: "That was fun."

Perhaps the goaltenders were the only ones who could feel that way after an ugly 1-1 tie in which neither goal was shot into the net.

UND's Corban Knight threw a pass off of a defenseman's skate and in the net at 6 minutes, 4 seconds of the third period; Michigan Tech's Jordan Baker scored when a rebound went off his chest and in just 3:28 later, and that's the way Saturday night's game ended in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

On the bright side, UND was able to gain a point and stay three points ahead of Tech in the battle for home ice advantage in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs. The Sioux moved to 17-11-3 overall and 13-10-1 in league play.

On the down side, UND dropped a spot in the Pairwise Rankings to No. 14 and failed to beat the Huskies for the first time in 13 meetings.


"It's a good point for us at the end of the day," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "Both teams worked real hard. Obviously, we were not at our best, but we emptied the tank tonight. We were not nearly as sharp to start the game as we would have liked to have been, but as the game wore on, we got a little better.

"The third was a real battle. Both teams gave everything they had and it came down to a 1-1 tie. We came in wanting four points at home, but it's a point in the standings and we'll move forward."

The stars of the game were Robinson and Eidsness -- and their posts and crossbars.

Robinson stopped 31 shots and was helped out by a post and a crossbar hit by red-hot forward Carter Rowney.

Eidsness stopped 23 shots and had the help of his posts, which the Huskies hit four times.

"I'd like to think that I didn't give them anything else to shoot at," Eidsness said, laughing. "Sometimes the game goes that way. Maybe I had a horseshoe stuck on my rear end."

Eidsness started back-to-back games for the first time in nearly two full years -- since the 2010 playoffs -- with starting goalie Aaron Dell out with an undisclosed injury. The senior and two-time all-conference netminder stopped 42 of 45 shots on the weekend and improved his goals-against average to 1.92 and his save percentage to .926.

"The goalies had help, but boy both were tremendous all weekend," Hakstol said. "They battled tooth-and-nail last night and tonight. Eids did a great job on back-to-back nights."


Eidsness said: "Sometimes, goalie duels are fun. We're both seniors. We've played each other a lot in our careers. Sometimes, a tie isn't always what you want, but it's fun to go against a guy who is playing well and to answer that.

"I feel pretty good. It's been a long road back from last year, but I've cleared up some things. There were still some hairy moments."

After a scoreless 40 minutes, UND scored a power-play goal early in the third. Knight curled out of the corner and tried to pass to Brock Nelson on the back door, but it went off of the skate of Tech defenseman Carl Nielsen and in the net.

The Huskies responded with a shorthanded goal at 9:32, when Brett Olson forced a turnover high in UND's zone and threw a shot from the left-side boards to the crease area. Eidsness made the initial save, but the rebound went in the air and off of the chest of Baker, who was crashing the net.

"It's tough to give up the game-tying goal shorthanded," Hakstol said. "Great effort by them, but that's a tough pill to swallow."

UND, which moved to 13-4-2 since Thanksgiving, travels to Denver next weekend.

"We've got some holes in our game that we need to patch up," Knight said. "But that's what this week of practice is for. We've just got to move on and keep our heads up and stay positive."

Notes: The game was No. 100 for Eidsness. He ranks fifth in UND history in appearances. . . Danny Kristo moved within two points of 100 for his career with an assist on Knight's goal. . . It was Knight's first three-goal weekend ever. . . UND went 40-28 in the faceoff circle, led by Knight (18-11) and Mario Lamoureux (12-6). . . UND's unbeaten streak against the Huskies is at 13. . . Baker, who scored the tying goal, is from Chestermere, Alta., like Eidsness. They played minor hockey together for 10 years.


Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send email to .

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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