(Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee for Violent Turtle Photography)
On Saturday night in front of 11,289 fans at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, the University of North Dakota looked for a bounce back effort from its defeat on Friday night.
Shane Gersich fired home a Rhett Gardner rebound off of a nice Colton Poolman feed to tie the game up 16:42 into the third period. That would provide the final margin for the night as neither team could score in overtime.
UND had more jump in its game throughout the evening and seemed to match Union’s physical style. The team noted that Union’s physical play helped prepare them for next weekend’s series against Western Michigan.
In the first period the pace of the game was much more even than Friday’s opening frame. Both teams alternated chances and played things fairly evenly for the majority of the opening stanza.
Later on in the first, defenseman Colton Poolman took a pass from Ludvig Hoff and walked in to the slot, performing some fancy stick work in the process. At the 14:01 mark of the first frame, he fired a nice wrist shot past Union netminder Jake Kupsky going top shelf to stake UND to its first lead of the weekend series.
In the second period, both teams could not find the back of the net in the second. Union had ten shots on goal in the second period and largely controlled the pace of play during the second frame. The Fighting Hawks mustered five shots on net during the second frame. Both goalies had to make some key saves during the second frame, and UND goalie Peter Thome passed all ten of his tests, while Jake Kupsky passed all five of his during the second. UND looked to finish the game out with a win.
However, in the third period, Brett Supinski took advantage of a neutral zone turnover and fired one past Thome to tie the game at one 1:56 into the third frame. A mere 22 seconds later Ryan Scarfo put another puck past Thome to give Union their first lead of the night.
The Fighting Hawks would utilize their timeout and generated more chances after it. The pace of the game was more to UND’s liking after the timeout.
Those chances lead to the Gersich goal which pushed the game into the scoreless overtime.
UND takes on a similarly physical Western Michigan in NCHC play at the Ralph next weekend.