Jean-Philippe Lamoureux demonstrated yet again why he is among the front-runners for the Hobey Baker award, stopping 50 of 51 shots in the two-game series. The senior netminder now leads the nation in goals-against average (1.68) and is second nationally in save percentage (.934) and shutouts (5) while playing the most difficult schedule in all of Division I.
Lamoureux was named the WCHA defensive player of the week for his efforts against Minnesota-Duluth, the second time he has achieved that honor this season. He is in a tight race with Colorado College freshman goaltender Richard Bachman for the league’s goaltending title. With two games to play, Bachman’s goals-against average in WCHA play is 1.7434, while Lamoureux’s is 1.7729.
On Saturday afternoon, UND scored late in the first and second periods to down the Bulldogs 2-0. North Dakota junior forward T.J. Oshie tipped defenseman Chay Genoway’s blast past an unsuspecting Alex Stalock with 45 seconds to go in the first period, and sophomore winger Chris VandeVelde scored even later in the second, taking a goal-mouth feed from Oshie and walking around Stalock for a power-play tally with only 23 ticks left on the clock.
UND finished 1 for 6 with the man-advantage in the opener, while UMD ended 0 for 4.
Two other noteworthy items from Saturday’s opener:
North Dakota freshman forward Evan Trupp left the game with a leg injury and did not return. Trupp has 8 goals and 5 assists this season.
UND head coach collected his 100th career victory, joining only Dean Blais, John “Gino” Gasparini, and Rube Bjorkman in that exclusive club. Of those four, only Hakstol and Blais amassed 100 wins in less than four seasons.
Sunday’s contest was much the same: a very physical game, with both teams having trouble creating offensive opportunities. Lamoureux was twice helped out by the pipes behind him, but Duluth finally broke the scoreless tie with under nine minutes to go. MacGregor Sharp ended Duluth’s 232 minute scoreless streak (yes, that’s almost four full games without a goal) and the ‘dogs led, 1-0. But UND junior winger Andrew Kozek, who has elevated his play since his ascent to the top line with Oshie and Ryan Duncan, capitalized on a defensive turnover, burying his wrist shot just 100 seconds later and knotting the game at 1-1.
The Sioux carried the play in the overtime, needing less than a minute to deliver the game-winner. Chris VandeVelde knocked a loose puck home before Alex Stalock could cover up with his glove, and UND had completed the road sweep. North Dakota now holds a stellar 10-4-2 road record this season to complement a home mark of 13-4-0.
North Dakota (23-8-2, 18-7-1 WCHA) is now unbeaten in its last 15 games (14-0-1) since a January 4th setback at St. Cloud State. Remarkably, UND has allowed 1 or zero goals 12 times in that stretch, giving up only 19 goals total in the fifteen games. The Sioux host St. Cloud State (17-14-3, 12-12-2 WCHA) next weekend in the final conference series for both teams.
UND finished 0 for 6 on the power play in Sunday’s finale; the Bulldogs were 0 for 4.
For the second consecutive night, North Dakota lost a player to injury. This time it was sophomore defenseman Chay Genoway, who went into the boards hard after being checked from behind by Duluth’s Michael Gergen just 71 seconds into the hockey game. Genoway, one of the team’s most important players, has season totals of 6 goals and 16 assists. Both he and Evan Trupp will be evaluated more fully this week and will be unavailable for this weekend’s series with the Huskies.
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