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Injury-ridden Sioux top Minnesota-Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. - The University of North Dakota men's hockey team may be down to 18 skaters, the minimum to fill out a full lineup card. It may be playing a couple of players out of position. And it may be unexpectedly giving freshman walk-ons lar...

Carter Rowney
North Dakota's Carter Rowney (27) celebrates a goal against Minnesota-Duluth on Friday. Clint Austin / Forum Communications Co.

DULUTH, Minn. - The University of North Dakota men's hockey team may be down to 18 skaters, the minimum to fill out a full lineup card. It may be playing a couple of players out of position. And it may be unexpectedly giving freshman walk-ons large roles.

But the Sioux don't seem to care.

Wearing their black jerseys, which have become known as their business suits, the Sioux won their fourth straight game and improved to 12-3-1 since mid-November with a 3-1 road victory over No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth.

Carter Rowney scored two goals and added an assist and Aaron Dell stopped 26 of 27 shots for UND.

"There's been some adversity," Rowney said. "But the team in the locker room, we mesh well. We get along well. We're going hard throughout the whole game. I think that's all it is. We have a family in there. We're pushing each other in practice."

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UND played for the first time in 13 days, but didn't look like it lost any momentum from its home sweep over Wisconsin. The Sioux scored one goal in each period and managed to control a game despite not getting a goal from its potent top line.

Defensively, Andrew MacWilliam and Ben Blood took center stage, slowing down the WCHA's top offense by providing big hits throughout.

"I thought it was a continuation of where we left off before our week break," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "Sometimes, there's a bit of concern that you will lose a bit of that edge. I thought we picked up and played with good focus, a real good mentality and we were rewarded for it."

UND crashed the opening of AmsOil Arena last December with a 5-0 victory in a game where goaltender Aaron Dell made 35 saves. In this one, the Bulldogs didn't get on the board until they scored an extra-attacker, power-play goal with just 1 minute, 6 seconds left on the clock.

J.T. Brown, who has scored six of the last seven Bulldog goals, ended the team's home scoreless streak of 163:41. It also ended Dell's streak of 61 straight saves in AmsOil Arena.

"He was spectacular tonight," Rowney said. "He made huge saves for us. Both goalies are challenging each other in practice and in games. We're comfortable with either one. Dell made magnificent today and we need that again tomorrow."

The Bulldogs, who dropped to 18-7-4 overall and 12-6-3 in league play, will try to halt their current skid in tonight's series finale (7:07 p.m.). After going on a school-record 17-game unbeaten streak, Duluth is 3-4-1.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, UND, Rowney (MacMillan, Parks), 17:15.

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SECOND PERIOD: 2, UND, Rowney, 18:07.

THIRD PERIOD: 3, UND, Parks (Rowney), 2:04. 4, MD, Brown (Connolly, Oleksuk), 18:54.

SAVES: UND, Dell 7-7-12 26. MND, Reiter 9-7-8 24.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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