North Dakota Notebook
by Scott Stone/CHN Reporter
MADISON, Wis. At this time of the season, it's not how you get it done, it's whether or not you do it.
It wasn't pretty, but the North Dakota Fighting Sioux got the job done. Final score: 5-1 North Dakota. Story over, right?
A glance at the scoreboard didn't begin to tell the story for the Kohl Center crowd at the Midwest Regional in Madison. The wide margin hides the fact that, for many parts of the 60 minute game, the No. 1 seed was outskated by the No. 4. Another glance at the scoreboard and down to the shot totals may give some clues.
Princeton outshot North Dakota 39-18 in the game and it took an outstanding effort by senior goaltender and Hobey Baker finalist Jean-Philippe Lamoureux to keep the score as it was. Last year's Hobey Baker winner, Ryan Duncan, turned in his first career hat-trick, lighting the lamp three straight times for a natural to pace the Fighting Sioux offense.
As it seems to do in many postseason games, special teams came up big once again. North Dakota converted on two of four power play opportunities and had just six minutes of penalty time after averaging 18.8 minutes per game during the season.
LAMOUREUX PLAYS TO HOBEY FORM
Another banner night in a banner season for Lamoureux. Carrying a nation best 1.74 goals against average into the game, the senior stopped 38 of 39 Princeton shots, including four shots from point-blank, that the Tigers brought in shorthanded in the second period with the score at 1-0.
Despite losing two of his last three starts, Lamoureux made the plays he needed to make when he needed to make them.
"I know my role on the team is to make timely saves and come up big when the time is right," said Lamoureux. "I just wanted to go out and play my game and play solid and protect the middle of the net. Regardless if I am getting 15 or 50 shots I got to make saves and keep my team in the game."
'HOBEY' DUNCAN BREAKS OUT
Needless to say, scoring just one goal in his last 10 games, 2007 Hobey Baker winner Ryan Duncan was in a slump. Duncan broke out of it in a big way against the Tigers, notching his first career hat-trick.
"I've been trying to contribute as much as I can," said Duncan. "Throughout the year I just think that my offensive stats haven't been there compared to last year. I'm just doing everything I can."
Lamoureux also appreciated Duncan's break out game.
"He scores timely goals for us. This time of year shows why he was a Hobey Baker winner. He played unbelievable tonight and scored some big goals for our team."
SKATING FOR 4TH STRAIGHT FROZEN FOUR
Sunday night, the Fighting Sioux will take on Wisconsin for the right to advance to the Frozen Four championship in Denver on April 10-12. This is a familiar position for North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol and his team. The Fighting Sioux have advanced to the Frozen Four in all three of Hakstol's years as coach.
"Again, sitting here, I'm very excited to move on and we've got a chance to prepare for whoever wins the game tonight and work to win a big game tomorrow." said Hakstol.