Roundup: North Dakota Snaps 6-Game Winless Skid
St. Cloud Up to No. 1 in Pairwise and NCHC After Sweeping Miami
CHN Staff Report
North Dakota snapped a 6-game winless streak (0-3-3) with a bounce-back 5-1 victory over Colorado College to salvage a split with the Tigers at Raph Engelstad Arena. The Tigers won 4-2 Friday night.
Junior forward Joel Janatuinen, without a point in his previous eight games, scored twice and spearheaded a big breakout game for UND forwards. It had been 204 minutes, 5 seconds since a UND forward had last scored, but Janatuinen's power-play goal at 9:23 of the second period ended that drought.
Shane Gersich, Austin Poganski, Grant Mismash and Janatuinen rounded out the 5-goal night for the UND forwards and lifted the Fighting Hawks into a tie for third place in the NCHC with Western Michigan with six games to go.
"Tonight we just decided we were going to play a full 60 minutes," said Janatuinen, a native of Espoo, Finland. "The word we used in the lockerroom was 'grit,' and I think we really had that today."
The line of Rhett Gardner, Poganski and Gersich shut down CC's prolific line of Mason Bergh, Nick Halloran and Trey Bradley, limiting them to Halloran's 17th goal of the season, the only point for that line all weekend.
“We can’t give anybody that many chances,” Colorado College coach Mike Haviland said. “The game was in our favor and still scoreless, then we take three penalties in a row and give the momentum back to them.”
Freshman goalie Peter Thome, making his first start since blanking Nebraska-Omaha 7-0 on Jan. 6, was outstanding, stopping 20 of the 21 shots he faced.
"It's been a month," Thome said of his last start, "but hockey hasn't changed in a month. Same game. So just kind of realizing I had to play my game and not try to do too much."
Berry also saw something special in his team in this game, following some tough times in recent weeks. "Seasons have highs and lows," Berry said. "You can't get too high, you can't get too low. You've got to be a team. Everybody can handle the good times. You can be a winner. But when you don't have a lot of success with the result, you have to stay even stay tighter together. Our group is a tight group and they stayed together. I'm just proud of our guys.''
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St. Cloud State moved to the No. 1 spot in the Pairwise after a 4-0 win over Miami, completing a weekend sweep. It also put the Huskies alone in first place in the NCHC, ahead of idle Denver, and was their fifth win in a row.
Patrick Newell scored twice in the third period, the last one a shorthanded empty netter. In fact, the Huskies scored three shorthanded empty netters on the weekend, with Miami coach Enrico Blasi pulling his goalie on a power play with around five minutes remaining in regulation each night, down two goals. Both went to no avail.
Miami is in last place in the NCHC, and is the only team in the league below .500 overall.
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Michigan Tech defeated Bemidji State, 5-1, on Saturday to get a split of the weekend.
"I'm extremely proud of the guys," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "They competed hard tonight and played with a lot of pride and courage from the goaltender on out."
Devin Kero stopped 35 of 36 shots for the Huskies in net, and earned his third straight win as the starter.
"That was as good of a college game as you're going to see a goalie play," Shawhan added. "He was on every puck tonight. He shut the door for us."
Tech then capitalized on back-to-back power plays in the first half of the second period. Brent Baltus — playing for the first time since Jan. 6 — put in a rebound 7:17 into the second for a 2-1 lead. The initial shot by Joel L'Esperance was saved as he picked up the first of two assists on the evening.
"It was nice to be back out there with the guys," Baltus said.
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Elsewhere in the WCHA ... Northern Michigan and Minnesota State kept pace with each other atop the standings with sweeps. NMU is one point ahead of the Mavericks, though with two more games played. Both teams won overtime games Friday, against Alaska and Alabama-Huntsville, respectively, but won more handily Saturday night.