Sioux Sweep Badgers in MadisonFirst UND Sweep in Wisconsin Since 2002-03 Season
By: Jayson Hajdu, UND
MADISON, Wis. - After thoroughly dominating 13th-ranked Wisconsin for the first two-and-a-half periods, the 10th-ranked Fighting Sioux had just a 2-1 lead to show for it midway through the third period.
Sophomore Corban Knight had put the Sioux on top 6:11 into the frame, a lead that was far from safe. Then, shortly after Knight's goal, the game turned completely in UND's favor on one of the most bizarre plays in recent memory.
With just under 12 minutes remaining, UND defenseman Ben Blood (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.) carried the puck behind his net. As he did, forechecking Wisconsin forward Craig Smith skated full speed into the Sioux net in a seemingly intentional effort to send it crashing into Blood. Smith was assessed a two-minute minor for delay of game. On the ensuing power-play, Knight scored his second straight goal to give the Sioux a two-goal lead.
Just 34 seconds later, Sioux senior Matt Frattin (Edmonton, Alberta) scored his second of the night to push the lead to 4-1. In the span of just over three minutes, UND turned a 1-1 game into a 4-1 lead and hung on for a 4-2 victory and a WCHA series sweep.
Although the Smith play was the game's pivotal moment, UND controlled from the opening faceoff, blitzing the Badgers with 35 shot attempts in the first period (Wisconsin had six) and outshooting UW 16-4. Only the brilliant play of Badger goalie Scott Gudmandson kept the game scoreless after one.
UND finally beat Gudmandson 8:44 into the second period when Frattin whistled a power-play point shot through traffic for his first of two goals.
The Sioux never stopped firing, finishing with a 43-16 edge in shots on goal and an 81-35 advantage in shot attempts. UND finished with 20 shots on the power-play alone, including 12 during three man advantages in the third period.
"I thought we played well from the drop of the puck," UND head coach Dave Hakstol said. "We had a real will to go out and do a job. It took 60 minutes to close it out."
Sophomore Aaron Dell (Airdrie, Alberta), making his fourth straight start, was again steady when called upon in turning aside 14 of 16 shots. After blanking the Badgers last night, Dell was again perfect through the first two periods on Saturday until John Ramage beat him with a power-play blast at 4:36 of the third period.
His counterpart, Gudmundson, finished with 39 saves.
One night after having to kill 18 minutes of UW power-play time, the Sioux stayed out of the penalty box and gave the Badgers only two opportunities with the man advantage. The Sioux, meanwhile, went 2-for-7 on the power-play.
"Throughout all 60 minutes, we kept our composure with all of the ups and downs in the game," Knight said.
"We were able to take advantage of maybe a little bit of youth in their lineup," Hakstol added. "We played well. I thought we deserved the four points."
UND, now 6-2-0 in the WCHA, prepares to travel to Nebraska Omaha next week. The Sioux are in second place in the WCHA, one point ahead of UNO and one behind league leader Minnesota Duluth.
Notes: Dell's personal shutout streak against UW was snapped at 145 minutes and 50 seconds after Ramage's third period goal ... Frattin now has a WCHA-leading 10 goals (5 PPG) through 12 games ... Senior captain Chay Genoway had three assists and now has 99 career points ... Genoway and Danny Kristo (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.) each had a game-high nine shots on goal.