GRAND FORKS, N.D. – North Dakota scored the game’s first four goals and never looked back as Miami dropped a 9-2 decision at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Saturday night.
UND’s (16-9-3, 11-7 National Collegiate Hockey) Mark MacMillan appeared to get UND on the board 47 seconds in when he crashed the net and beat Ryan McKay, but the forward made contact with the MU (10-15-3, 4-13-1-1 NCHC) goalie and was instead called for a penalty. The RedHawks put together a strong look early on when Austin Czarnik fed Sean Kuraly for a one-timer on the right side, but Zane Gothberg made the save.
The Red and White power play came up empty and North Dakota got on the board at the 3:35 mark when Jordan Schmaltz fired a centering pass from MacMillan past McKay with a delayed penalty in progress. UND went ahead 2-0 at the 6:34 mark when miscommunication near the crease allowed Colten St. Clair to fire a clearing attempt into a partially open MU net.
Rocco Grimaldi made it 3-0 UND right as a MU penalty expired with 11:04 remaining in the opening frame when he finished a breakaway that was set up by Stephane Pattyn and Paul LaDue. A goal by Keaton Thompson brought the score to 4-0 at the 12:58 mark, that tally brought Jay Williams into the goal crease.
The RedHawks got on the board with their power play as Austin Czarnik swung the puck ahead to Sean Kuraly, who got behind the UND defense and scored his eighth goal of the year with 4:43 remaining in the first. Max Cook also picked up an assist on the play.
Anthony Louis had a nice opportunity on the rush in the final minutes, firing one shot while driving down the left side that was stopped by Gothberg. Louis gathered his own rebound for a more dangerous attempt in the slot, but Gothberg steered his diving attempt aside as well to keep MU down 4-1 after the first period.
UND caught fire in the second period as Drake Caggiula scored when he shot a loose puck in from atop the crease 54 seconds into the second period and a power play goal by Dillon Simpson at 2:28 made it 6-1 in favor of North Dakota. Nick Mattson scored UND’s next two goals with 11:34 and seven minutes left, respectively, in the period to put North Dakota ahead 8-1 after two periods of play.
Both teams scored once in the third period with Riley Barber scoring his 18th of the year off a Czarnik faceoff win with 2:41 left. Brendan O’Donnell finished the scoring with a power play goal in the final minute of play.
North Dakota outshot Miami 31-29 overall and went 2-for-5 on the power play. The Red and White finished the evening 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
McKay and Williams split time in goal with McKay making 13 saves and Williams stopping nine shots. UND’s Zane Gothberg made 27 saves.
The RedHawks open a four-game home stand on Friday when they host St. Cloud State to open a weekend series at Steve Cady Arena. That game is televised nationally on CBS Sports Network and coverage begins at 7 p.m.