Bemidji, Minn. — Coming into tonight’s game, the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux had won one game in six and were coming off a bye week. They were looking to get back on track after being swept at the hands of the high-flying Minnesota Gophers.
The Sioux have never lost to the Bemidji State University Beavers in the modern era, sporting a 14-0-1 mark in the last 15 games. The Sioux extended that streak to 15-0-1 tonight with a goal from captain Mario Lamoureux.
The Fighting Sioux have also never lost a hockey game when Mario Lamoureux scores a goal. The streak was extended to 13-0-0 when Lamoureux scored the game winning goal for the Fighting Sioux tonight.
When Lamoureux was asked about his ability to score timely goals he said, “When I score I hope that they’re big goals, and I just try to go out to play the same way and bury some goals and help the team win, it’s more coincidence.”
So far this season, it would be safe to say that the Fighting Sioux have suffered their share of setbacks and on Friday the Sioux learned that their highly touted freshman forward Roco Grimaldi had another setback in his recovery and would not play this weekend, and would be out an addtional six to eight weeks.
The Bemidji State Beavers broke through first at the 2:11 mark of the first period. Beaver forward Brance Orban took a feed from Mitch Cain and shot the puck past an un-expecting Aaron Dell. That was the eighth time in 11 games that the Fighting Sioux had given up the first goal of the game.
The Sioux would go on the power play at the 6:43 mark of the first period, when Beavers forward Shea Walters was assessed a two-minute penalty for hooking. The Sioux would waste little time on the ensuing power play, scoring six seconds later with a goal from Corbin Knight. Knight took a loose puck from behind the Beaver net, cut in front of the Beaver net, and shot the puck past Beaver goalie Dan Bakala. The Beavers outshot the Fighting Sioux 11-7 in the first period.
The Sioux took the lead at the 4:30 mark of the second period when freshman forward Brendan O’Donnell took a loose puck that was lying in the crease and shot the puck past Bakala to give the Sioux a 2-1 lead. That was the first career goal for O’Donnell, who had just returned after missing that last six games with a lower body injury.
The Fighting Sioux seemed to pick up their play during the second period and outshot the Beavers 14-8. Both teams exchanged grade “A” scoring chances in the second period but both goalies stood tall and didn’t let anything else by them.
The Sioux came out flat in the third period and the Beavers capitalized on the Fighting Sioux’s sloppy play in the defensive zone. This allowed the Beavers to tie the game at the 01:12 mark of the third period with a nifty goal from Shea Walter, who took a cross-ice feed from Brady Wacker and shot the puck past the Sioux goalie, Dell, who was trying to get over to cover the post.
The two teams would exchange scoring opportunities until the Fighting Sioux broke the tie with a goal at the 15:22 mark of the third period, when Fighting Sioux Captain Mario Lamoureux snaped a shot from the faceoff circle to give the Sioux a 3-2 lead. Picking up the assist on Lamoureux’s game winning goal were Ben Blood and Joe Gleason.
The Fighting Sioux extended their lead to two with another snap shot from the same faceoff circle, this time it was Brock Nelson at the 18:30 mark of the third period. Nelson would score again, this time an empty net goal a minute and one second later. The Sioux outshot the Beavers 15-6 in the third period.