UND rallies, dominates Beavers in BREC opener
A historic night for the Bemidji State University men's hockey team was spoiled Friday as visiting North Dakota proved why it is ranked among the elite teams in the nation.
UND broke open a close game with three unanswered second period goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Beavers at the newly christened Bemidji Regional Event Center.
North Dakota (2-0-1, 1-0-0 WCHA) entered the game as the second ranked team in the nation, having played three games. For the Beavers it was the first game of the season.
It showed. UND looked much more polished and in synch for the majority of the game.
Once the pregame hoopla was over, BSU fans had reason to cheer shortly after the game began.
BSU junior forward Jamie MacQueen put his name in the history books, scoring the first goal ever at the BREC. Ryan Cramer gained control of the puck at the blue line, then threaded a pass to MacQueen between the circles.
MacQueen connected on a hard wrist shot at 1:52 of the first period past UND goalie Brad Eidsness.
The BREC erupted in a deafening roar. But that was the last big cheering moment until the third period for the BSU fans UND came back to tie the game on a back breaker goal, scoring with just 39 seconds remaining in the opening period. It is always a point of emphasis not to allow a goal in the final minute of a period.
While on the power play, UND defender Matt Frattin connected on a hard wrist shot from high between the circles, beating Bakala top shelf at 19:21.
UND held a big 16-5 shot advantage in the opening period.
North Dakota blew the game open in the second period, scoring three unanswered goals to take a big 4-1 lead. Once again UND held a major 13-5 shot advantage in the period.
Jason Gregoire opened the scoring for North Dakota in the second, making it 2-1 at 5:06 as he scored from the slot, following a UND face off win.
North Dakota then added a power play goal about five minutes later as Frattin got his second of night off a feed from freshman defender Derek Forbort.
The UND advantage was extended to three goals as Gregoire got his second of the period, this one coming at 14:37 off a rebound.
BSU goalie Dan Bakala was solid in net and kept the UND advantage from being even bigger with a number of fine stops in the key second period. He stopped both Brett Hextall and Malone from point blank range in a one minute span near the eight minute mark.
The Beavers got back on the board at 9:40 of the third. Sophomore Jordan George took a pass at the blue line between a pair of defenders and connected on a backhand to make it 4-2.
UND concluded the scoring as Frattin completed the hat trick with an empty net goal at 18:13.
North Dakota ended with a 38-14 shots on goal advantage. Bakala was very solid in net, making 33 saves. Eidsness got the win with 12 saves on 14 BSU shots.
The two teams conclude the series tonight in a 7:07 p.m. start at the BREC.