Grand Forks, ND – With the 4-0 loss the night before, the Fighting Sioux are off to their worst start since the 1989-90 season. The Fighting Sioux came into the game looking to right the ship, and get their first conference win of the season in the WCHA. No Fighting Sioux hockey team has ever started out the season 0-4 in WCHA play, and that statistic was not broken tonight as the they ended a three-game losing streak by beating the Saint Cloud State University Huskies.
After last night’s game, it would be an understatement to say that the Sioux was an unhappy group. Fighting Sioux forward Danny Kristo said, “I think everyone’s frustrated starting from the goalies on out, all the way to the coaching staff.” Tonight the Fighting Sioux took out some of those frustrations on the Saint Cloud State Huskies. The Fighting Sioux “finally” buried their offensive chances and got back on the winning track by beating the Huskies in a gutsy 3-1 win, to earn a split on the weekend with the Huskies.
With the win tonight, the Fighting Sioux improved their overall season record to 3-4-1, and a league record of 1-3-0. Fighting Sioux forward Corbin Knight lead the Sioux with a two-point night (1-1-2). After the game Corbin Knight had this to say about the win; “We knew were playing good hockey and we knew if we stuck with it, it would come sooner or later, we were lucky it came tonight.”
The game wasn’t much different from last night. Tonight’s contest started out as a tight checking affair. There weren’t a lot of offensive chances for either team, as the Sioux and the Huskies played to a 0-0 tie in the first period. The Fighting Sioux outshot the Huskies 10-3 in this period.
The Sioux finally broke through in the second period, with Husky forward Nic Dowd in the box for slashing. Mark MacMillan put the Fighting Sioux on the board at the 1:13 mark of the second period. Blood took a shot on net from the top of the faceoff circle that MacMillan re-directed past Husky goalie Ryan Faragher, breaking an 114:24 minute goalless streak by the Fighting Sioux.
The Sioux took a 2-0 lead with a nice goal from Corbin Knight at the 11:12 mark of the second period. Knight took a feed from Kristo and ripped a hard low shot off the right inside post.
The Huskies continued their undisciplined play, as defenseman Nick Jenson was sent off for tripping Ben Blood. The Fighting Sioux didn’t waste time, making the Huskies pay when Brock Nelson scored a power play goal at the 12:40 mark of the second period. Assisting on Nelson’s power play goal was Rocco Grimaldi and Corbin Knight. This was the first career point for the highly touted freshman Grimaldi.
The Huskies didn’t go away quietly into the night, as they cut the lead to two goals at the 19:24 mark of the Second period with a goal from Husky forward Ben Hanowski, his third of the season. Picking up assists on Hanowski’s goal were Nic Dowd and Kevin Gravel. That was all the scoring for the game, as Aaron Dell shut the door on the Huskies in the third period. The Sioux outshot the Huskies 26-21 for the game.
After the game, Fighting Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol was asked if this was on his team’s better defensive efforts of the year. To this he replied, “I think it was our most consistent sixty minute defensive effort. Part of what we did pretty well was remain…continue possession in the offensive zone.”