Grand Forks, ND — The Fighting Sioux hockey players that played on last season’s squad, have been looking forward to a rematch with the Maine Black Bears for some time. Last Season the Fighting Sioux left Orono, Maine with a bad taste in their mouth. After they were swept handedly by the Black Bears on October 23, 2010, the Fighting Sioux hoped they would get one more crack at the Black Bears during the NCAA tourney. That didn’t happen. The Fighting Sioux went on to the Frozen Four and the Black Bears went home after they lost in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs. Fast forward to this season. This weekend’s theme has been about looking for a little revenge against the Black Bears.
The Black Bears took over where they left off from last night’s game and again proved to be a miserable team to play against. The first break went to the Black Bears, as they went on the power play at the 3:05 mark of the first period.
Brock Nelson took a minor penalty for interference and the Maine Black Bears scored less than a minute later at the 4:02 mark of the second period on a power play goal by Black Bears forward Bryan Flynn. Assisting on the goal was Will O’Neal and Spencer Abbott.
The Black Bears outshot the Fighting Sioux 7-9 and did a good job getting in the passing lanes and taking away the Fighting Sioux’s time and space.
The second period proved to be a wild one as the Maine Black Bears came out on fire and wasted little time as they scored 46 seconds into the period. The goal was a thing of beauty, as Maine Defenseman Will O’Neil took a nice pass from Kyle Beatie and shot the puck into the net, as Fighting Sioux goalie as Aaron Dell was trying to get over and cover the post.
The Fighting Sioux fortunes changed at 3:32 mark of the second period. The Fighting Sioux got a much needed break, as Black Bears forward Kyle Beattie was penalized (boarding), and defenseman Mark Nemec (high sticking) were sent to the penalty box, giving the Fighting Sioux a two-man advantage. Fighting Sioux defenseman Nick Mattson wasted little time making the Black Bears pay when he scored a power play goal from the left point just 43 seconds later.
The Maine Black Bears took another untimely penalty at the 5:17 mark of the second period, when Ryan Hegarty was penalized for hooking. The Sioux wasted little time again making the Black Bears pay, as Danny Kristo scored a power play goal just 10 seconds later at the 5:27 mark, with a howitzer from the left point to tie the game.
The Fighting Sioux got another goal on the power play at the 17:25 mark of the second period with a goal from Kristo, as he blasted another hard shot from the left point through traffic. That was the third point of the third period for Kristo and the third power play goal for the Fighting Sioux.
Things got more interesting for the Sioux during the third period. Fighting Sioux defenseman Andrew MacWilliam was called for interference. On the power play, the Black Bears tied the game with a goal at the 12:18 mark of the third period. Ryan Hegarty deflected a pass from Spencer Abbott past Aaron Dell through the five hole. The Fighting Sioux outshot the Black Bears during the third period 8-6.
The game was tied at the end of regulation and went to overtime. The Black Bears out shot the Fighting Sioux 2-1 in overtime. Fighting Sioux goalie Aaron Dell had to come up with a huge save at the end of the game on a partial breakaway by Spencer Abbott to preserve the tie for the Fighting Sioux.
There were a few bright spots for the Fighting Sioux on the weekend, junior forward Corbin Knight went an impressive 37-11 in face-offs for the weekend. While the Fighting Sioux were out-shot 31 to 21 on Friday night, the Sioux managed to close the game as they were only out-shot 28-27 by the Black Bears on Saturday. The Fighting power play went 0-6 on the power play on Friday night and had better luck on Saturday going an impressive 3-5. Fighting Sioux junior forward Danny Kristo has four points on the weekend (2g-2a-4pts).