Sioux Clobber RPI 6-0 in Midwest Region SemisUND gets first NCAA opening-round win since 2008 and advances to Sunday's region championship game against Denver or Western Michigan. Sunday's game will be televised on ESPNU.
By: Associated Press, Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — North Dakota lived up to its No. 1 ranking in its NCAA tournament opener.
Brad Malone scored a pair of goals and the Sioux moved one win away from the Frozen Four with a 6-0 rout of Rensselaer in a NCAA regional semifinal at the Resch Center in Green Bay on Saturday afternoon.
"We had a good focus tonight. We had everybody that contributed through this 60 minutes," said North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol. "It was a good, solid work day against a very good hockey team."
After a back-and-forth first period, North Dakota (31-8-3) broke it open in the second, scoring four goals in a span of about 13 minutes. RPI (20-13-5) was never able to recover.
"We didn't come here to just be happy that we made the tournament. Hopefully people saw in the first period and by the way we started," RPI coach Seth Appert said. "But you have to give North Dakota credit for the second period."
Special teams was the difference for North Dakota. The Sioux went 2 for 7 on the power play and added a short-handed goal, while the Engineers were 0 for 8 with the man advantage.
"Coming in we knew RPI had a very dangerous power play. They have some very skilled players up there," said center Corban Knight, who scored the Sioux's short-handed goal. "We didn't want to get in the box probably as much as we did but we were able to back it up and have a strong penalty kill."
Matt Frattin added his nation-leading 36th goal of the season just 42 seconds into the third period for North Dakota.
Sioux goaltender Aaron Dell stopped all 21 shots he faced to earn his sixth shutout of the season.
"Aaron played a key role for us. He allowed us to get out to the one-goal lead and allowed us to hold that for sure in the first 10 minutes of this hockey game," Hakstol said. "We gave up some pretty good opportunities and Aaron held true to form. That's what he's done for his teammates and for this hockey team throughout the year. That's his job and I thought he did his job well tonight."
It is the first time since 2008 that UND has won a first-round NCAA game. UND was eliminated in first-round games each of the last two seasons.
Sioux forward Evan Trupp had three assists, while defenseman Chay Genoway assisted on two goals.
UND will play in Sunday's Midwest Region championship game against the winner of Saturday's second semifinal between Denver and Western Michigan.
Sunday's game is set to start at 4:30 P.M. and will be televised by ESPNU.
WDAZ's Jody Norstedt is covering the Sioux in Green Bay and will have reports on Saturday's 10:00 sports on WDAZ.
More UND men's hockey coverage will be presented on "Sioux Sports Extra," Sunday at 10:35 P.M. on WDAZ.