Freshmen Carry BU Past North Dakota
Terriers Earn Weekend Split in Grand Forks
by Virg Foss/Staff Writer
There's something about Saturday nights that is proving quite disagreeable to North Dakota.
For the third straight Saturday, North Dakota failed to pick up a victory, this time falling 4-2 to Boston University in front of a sellout crowd of 11,977 at Ralph Engelstad.
The Terriers scored three goals in the final five minutes, 21 seconds of the game to erase a 2-1 UND lead and snap North Dakota's home unbeaten streak at 12 games (10-0-2).
"The last three weekends, we haven't been able to close out a game on Saturday," North Dakota forward Corban Knight said. "In this league, you need to be able to do that. It's something we need to figure out and figure out real fast or else it's going to be a long haul for this team for the rest of the year."
Knight was one of the bright spots for North Dakota. He led the team in shots on goal with seven and picked up his 100th career point when he set up linemate Danny Kristo for his first goal of the season and a 2-1 UND lead midway through the game.
But Boston University tied it on Matt Nieto's snap shot from midway between the faceoff circles at 14:39 of the third period.
BU then rattled two more past UND freshman goalie Zane Gothberg just 11 seconds apart to salvage the series split after North Dakota won 4-2 Friday. And the Terriers did it with their own freshmen, Matt Lane, who beat Gothberg (29 saves) short side from in tight at 18:10, and Danny O'Regan, who pounced on a North Dakota turnover to ice it at 18:21.
BU got a big boost as well from another freshman, 6-foot-5 goalie Matt O'Connor, who stopped 26 shots. His best stop might have been a breakaway by North Dakota sophomore Brendan O'Donnell late in the second period that would have extended the UND lead to 3-1.
"I thought they played better last night than we did and I thought we played better than them tonight," BU coach Jack Parker said. "Both games reflected it in the score."
North Dakota (3-2-1 overall) struck first against BU (4-2) when sophomore wing Stephane Pattyn benefited from a great bounce for his first goal of the year. His shot off right wing bounced crazily off the glass on the end wall and into the goal crease, where it hit O'Connor's skate and rolled into the net for an unassisted goal.
At that point, it meant that four of UND's five goals on the weekend were scored by walk-ons after sophomore Connor Gaarder scored three goals Friday. Both came to UND without scholarship help.
"It was a close, tight hockey game," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "Once they got second goal, it was a 5-6 minute hockey game. We didn't get the job done."
North Dakota sniped 12 shots on net against O'Connor in the third period, but couldn't score. BU had seven shots in the final period on goal, converting on three of them.
"We had a good third period going," Hakstol said. "But it's not a 15-minute period, it's a 20-minute period. That's what I'll keep coming back to."