Oshie Leads in Return
by Virg Foss/Staff Writer
GRAND FORKS, N.D. Michigan Tech hockey coach looked up at the scoreboard over Ralph Engelstad Arena after one period tonight and didn't like what he saw, for several reasons.
Not only did his Huskies trail 1-0 in the opening game of the Best-of-3 WCHA playoffs, but the scoreboard showed his Huskies being outshot 14-0.
"To be honest with you, I thought the person doing the shot chart was on crack tonight," Tech coach Jamie Russell said. "It was definitely out to lunch. You can print that, too."
It really didn't matter much as a strong performance by the Sioux led to a 4-0 victory and stretched their school-record and nation-best unbeaten streak to 18 games (15-0-3).
A power-play goal by last year's Hobey Baker Award winner Ryan Duncan at 5:25 of the first period was all the offense the Sioux would need. Senior goalie Jean-Philippe Lamoureux posted a 14-save shutout for his sixth blanking of the season.
All three players on UND's top line of Duncan, junior center T.J. Oshie and junior left wing Andrew Kozek scored a goal. Oshie, a game-time decision whether he would play after he was hurt in last Saturday in a 2-2 tie with St. Cloud State, scored his 15th of the season at 8:21 of the second period to make it 2-0.
The Huskies, the second-lowest scoring team in the country, didn't get their first official shot on net until 3:53 into the second period, a shot credited to Jimmy Kerr. Midway through the game, the Sioux owned a 20-1 shot advantage on their way to a final edge of 31-14. Tech's 14 shots is just one more than the lowest allowed by the Sioux this season when they held Bemidji State to 13 shots in a 1-0 win on Feb. 24 in Grand Forks.
The Sioux welcomed the return of Oshie and defenseman Chay Genoway back in the lineup. Genoway, who had missed the last two games with a wrist injury, contributed two assists. Oshie, who played just two shifts last Saturday against St. Cloud State, had a goal and an assist.
"I thought he (Oshie) looked fine," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "Neither (Genoway and Oshie) had to be spectacular, but both I thought were very solid."
Duncan's early power-play goal set the tone. "It was a real important goal, to get one early on the power play," Hakstol said.
The Sioux dressed an extra player for warmups until the status of Oshie to play could be determined.
"It was tough not know if I was going to play or not," Oshie said. "I knew I couldn't be too selfish, but I felt real good out there. Coach Hakstol left it up to me. I felt great, maybe 95 to 100 percent. Obviously I wasn't hitting as much."
But he was hitting the scoreboard (twice) with his goal and assist, and that mattered more.
He showed great patience after taking Duncan's pass on the far side of the net to find an opening on Teslak. "I was actually going to go all the way the crease, but I saw a little hole on the 5-hole there. I decided to make the easy play," Oshie said.