North Dakota capitalized on a five minute major penalty midway through the first period, scoring three goals in a span of 91 seconds and all but burying the Beavers in the process.
The major penalty was assessed on Bemidji’s Matt Read for checking from behind. The freshman forward, who entered the game as the Beavers’ leading scorer, was sent to the locker room with a game misconduct.
“Obviously, after that, it really deflates you, it really demoralizes you,” noted BSU head coach Tom Serratore. “The kid that gets kicked out is our best player, so it’s a double whammy.”
The teams traded power play goals in the second period, and Brad Miller’s empty net goal with just over one minute remaining made the final score 5-1.
UND finished 4 of 10 with the man advantage and killed four of five Bemidji power plays.
“The key is not to waste power play time, and we didn’t,” Hakstol said. “We generated a lot of opportunities. The power play was absolutely the difference, and I don’t really recall the last time that it was,” he said. “We’ve had an overtime win. We’ve had a real good comeback win. We’ve had some one-goal wins. Tonight was a night when specialty teams separated us. When you’re playing well, you find different ways to win.”
North Dakota is now unbeaten in its last 12 games (11-0-1) and carries a seven-game home winning streak into Sunday’s series finale.
North Dakota senior netminder Jean-Philippe Lamoureux has now allowed one goal or less in 17 of 30 starts this season. His 20-8-2 record, 1.76 goals-against average, .931 save percentage, and four shoutouts are all Hobey Baker-caliber numbers.
Alright, one rant for today: the wave has NO place in a hockey arena. Even my seven-year old son could smell the pointlessness. “Dad, why are they doing that?”, he asked. “Exactly,” I said.
The two teams take to the ice Sunday afternoon. The UND coaches have hinted at the possibility of starting junior goaltender Aaron Walski between the pipes.