Grand Forks, ND – The start of the game was delayed by a broken glass pane behind the Fighting Sioux net. One of the Fighting Sioux players had broken the glass with a hard shot during the pregame warm-ups.
After the game, Fighting Sioux goalie Brad Eidsness said that ‘the pucks being made of a harder composite rubber has been the cause of many broken glass panes in arenas all over the WCHA.’
The Fighting Sioux have broken three panes themselves in the last week, however, the delay to the start of the game didn’t seem to faze senior Fighting Sioux goalie Brad Eidsness. He was stellar all night in stopping all 29 shots that he faced, leading the Sioux to a 3-0 shutout of the Minnesota State Mavericks on “Senior Night” in Grand Forks.
Many of Eidsness’ saves were of the grade “A” variety down low. Eidsness stopped six shots from the slot in the third period alone to ice the Mavericks.
Over the years, UND has had some amazing senior classes.
Last year’s senior class was highly heralded and included the likes of all-Americans like Chay Genoway and Matt Frattin. While there might not be any all-Americans, this year’s senior class is the epitome of the lunch pail group. They go to work and do whatever it takes to win the game.
Tonight, it was Eidsness that stood tall in his final regular season game.
While this season’s Fighting Sioux senior class might only have three members, the trio of Brad Eidsness (Chestermere, Alberta), Ben Blood (Plymouth, Minnesota) and Mario Lamoureux (Grand Forks, North Dakota) have been part of some amazing teams that have won two MacNaughton Cup championships (2010-11, 2008-09) and two Broadmoor Trophies (2010-11, 2009-10).
This year’s senior class, has also made the NCAA tourney every season that they have played at UND and last season they were part of a team that went to the Frozen Four.
Last night, junior goalie Aaron Dell was stellar in the win stopping 25 of 27 shots that he faced and you had to wonder, who coach Hakstol would start in net on Saturday’s night. It was the senior Eidsness that got the nod on Saturday.
It appears that the Fighting Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol made the right game time decision; in picking senior goalie Brad Eidsness as his starter.
After the game, Hakstol explained his decision on picking Eidsness as his starter.
“I wouldn’t say that we exactly split them, but each guy has gotten quite a bit of time in the net and each played well with that rotation,” Hakstol said. ”We have two goaltenders that are playing well. We have to win the best two out of three series next weekend. We need to have players in all positions playing well.”
With the shutout, Eidsness is now ranked fifth all time on UND’s shutout list tying him with former fighting Sioux goalie Aaron Schweitzer (1996-1998).
An emotional Brad Eidsness was pleased with the shutout after the game.
“It was pretty special,” said Eidsness.
“It’s a good way to cap off a pretty good weekend and a pretty good senior weekend. I don’t know. It’s kind of something you look at and I think I will cherish it for a very long time”
A choked up Eidsness continued, “senior night is kind of a celebration of your four years here. I certainly had a lot of great memories here.”
The night was also a milestone game for Fighting Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol whose teams have won 20 or more games in each of his first eight seasons.
Junior forward Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) paced the Fighting Sioux with two assists on the night.
Incidentally, sophomore forward Brock Nelson (Warroad, Minnesota) won the WCHA goal scoring title with an open net goal to ice the Mavericks. That open net goal, helped Nelson beat Denver Sophomore forward Jason Zucker 20-19 in the goal scoring department.
With the win tonight, the Fighting Sioux improve their record to 20-12-3 and 16-11-1 WCHA. Next weekend the Sioux will either play the Bemidji State Beaver to the Wisconsin Badgers.
With the loss tonight, the Minnesota State Mavericks drop to 12-22-2 and 8-18-2 WCHA. The Mavericks will play the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.