No. 1 North Dakota tops BSU 5-2
Saturday, February 26, 2011
No. 1 North Dakota tops BSU 5-2
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Ralph Engelstad Arena) -- Top-ranked University of North Dakota potted three power-play goals en route to a 5-2 victory over Bemidji State University to open the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Ryan Cramer (Sr., F, International Falls, Minn.) and Matt Read (Sr., F, Ilderton, Ontario) scored for the Beavers, but it was not enough as Jason Gregoire and Matt Frattin each collected two goals in the Fighting Sioux victory.

The Fighting Sioux made good on their first power-play opportunity of the afternoon to break the scoreless tie 9:14 into the first period.  

With Dan MacIntyre (Sr., D, Fort Frances, Ontario) in the penalty box for boarding, Brett Hextall fired a pass deep into the zone that found Brock Nelson behind the net.  Nelson sent the puck to the top of the crease where Jason Gregoire tapped it past BSU goaltender Dan Bakala (Jr., Calgary, Alberta).

UND stretched its lead to 2-0 at the 17:10 mark. Mario Lamoureux took the puck off the right side boards and made a cross-ice pass to Derrick LaPoint.  LaPoint unleashed a slap shot from the top of the left face-off circle that Brent Davidson redirected in front of the net to send the Fighting Sioux to the locker room with a two-goal lead at the first intermission.

In a lopsided first period, the Sioux established the tempo out shooting BSU 10-2.

North Dakota would add to its lead in the opening moments of the second period.  Just 55 seconds into its third power-play chance of the afternoon, Matt Frattin fired a bullet from the point that found the back of the net.  Evan Trupp and Corban Knight were credited with assists on the play.

Ryan Cramer (Sr., F, International Falls, Minn.) got the Beavers back into the game at the 6:11 mark of the second.  The senior forward picked the pocket of a UND defenseman on the red line skated into the zone and let a wrister fly from the top of the left face-off dot for his second lamplighter of the season.  

The goal was just the Beavers’ fifth shot on net in the game.

As quickly as Bemidji State started to gain momentum, North Dakota caught a break and quickly stole it way.  

With 2:43 left in the second frame, BSU’s Jake Areshenko (So., D, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia) was whistled for a cross-checking penalty, setting the Fighting Sioux up with their fourth power-play opportunity and Frattin and a lethal UND power play unit responded with their third goal on the man advantage.  Hextall took a shot from the point and Frattin deflected it past Bakala and into the back of the net.

Trailing 4-1 with 20 minutes to play, the Beavers held the Sioux at bay for the first 10 minutes of the third period, but when the UND attack squeezed past the Bemidji State defense, Trupp would feed Gregoire on the door step for his second goal of the night to put UND up 5-1 with 10:43 left in regulation.

The Beavers responded with another goal late (19:40) to bring the score to its final resting place.  While attempting to kill UND’s sixth power-play opportunity of the game, Ian Lowe (Sr., F. Bradwardine, Manitoba) got a shot off from the point.  A Fighting Sioux defenseman blocked the attempt, but Read picked up the loose puck skated to the left post and beat the UND goaltender Aaron Dell high for his team-leading third short-handed tally of the season.

In a game where special teams made the difference, the BSU power-play was 0-for-3 on the man advantage, while UND finished the game 3-for-6.

Bakala was tagged with the loss after conceding all five of UND’s goals.  He made 28 saves in the game, including 11 in the third period alone.  He falls to 11-10-3 on the season.

UND’s Dell turned away 13 shots and allowed two goals in the win.  His record climbed to 22-6-2.

North Dakota retains its dominance in the series posting its 11th consecutive win versus the Beavers to improve its record to 20-1-1 in the rivalry.  

Bemidji State (11-14-4; 7-12-4 WCHA) and University of North Dakota wrap up the season series tomorrow at Ralph Engelstad Arena.  A victory by the Fighting Sioux would clinch at least a share of the WCHA regular-season championship.  The opening face-off is set for 3:37 p.m.