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UND gets tie with Tigers

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - There was no winner Saturday afternoon at Ralph Engelstad Arena. That might have been the only way to tell that the UND-Colorado College tilt wasn't a playoff game. The 4-4 tie between the Western Collegiate Hockey Association...

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - There was no winner Saturday afternoon at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

That might have been the only way to tell that the UND-Colorado College tilt wasn't a playoff game.

The 4-4 tie between the Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams had all of the other elements: a lightning-fast pace, big hits, high intensity and highlight-reel saves.

UND was able to hang on for a tie because goalie Brad Eidsness stretched out his leg and robbed Scott McCulloch with 2 minutes, 45 seconds left in regulation.

Colorado College was able to hang on because Matt Watkins' attempt from the left wing in overtime hit the post and kicked out.

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"The pace, the intensity, the crowd," Colorado College coach Scott Owens said, "I thought it was real good for an afternoon game. I was proud of our guys. I thought we played well. We played better this game than we did in the two against Minnesota. I thought (UND) played well. It was a good WCHA game."

UND (20-11-4, 15-6-4 WCHA) dropped out of first place in the league, but the Sioux still control their own destiny in the race for the MacNaughton Cup. If they win their final three games, the trophy will be in Grand Forks for the first time since 2004.

That road continues at 3:37 this afternoon with the series finale against the Tigers, who moved to 16-9-9 overall and 12-8-6 in league play. The Sioux could clinch a finish no worse than second with a win or tie in their final three games.

Chad Rau was the star for Colorado College in the opener. The Tigers' leading scorer had a pair of goals, including the eventual game-tying goal on a wraparound at 7:59 of the third. Bill Sweatt and Mike Testwuide scored the other Colorado College goals, while defenseman Gabe Guentzel added three assists.

Brett Hextall led the Sioux offensively, scoring a pair of goals, including the go-ahead tally early in the third. Matt Watkins and Darcy Zajac also scored for UND, which improved its home unbeaten streak to 10 games.

"We expected it to be a fast hockey game and it was that," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "But it also was a physical game. I thought it was a pretty well played hockey game both ways. There were eight goals scored, but I thought both goaltenders made some great saves. You probably expect that out of these guys as well."

Both teams have been on a roll down the stretch. UND has lost just once in its last 15 games, while the Tigers have one loss in their last nine.

They played a back-and-forth game that saw UND lead in the first, Colorado College lead in the second and UND again in the third.

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"That was a playoff atmosphere with the intensity and back-and-forth play," Hextall said. "They are a really fast team. But if you're physical, they're not going to skate. That's what we need to do. I don't think our first half of the game today was very good. We didn't come out with the jump we usually come out with here. That's definitely something we need to do tomorrow."

FIRST PERIOD: 1, UND, Watkins (Kozek, Jones), 10:56. 2, CC, Testwuide (Overman, Guentzel), 14:04. 3, UND, Hextall (Duncan, Gregoire), 14:58.

SECOND PERIOD: 4, CC, Rau (Sweatt, Connelly), 3:06 (pp). 5, CC, Sweatt (Guentzel, Rau), 14:35. 6, UND, Zajac (Finley, Genoway), 19:54.

THIRD PERIOD: 7, UND, Hextall (Miller), 1:49. 8, CC, Rau (Walsky, Guentzel), 7:59.

OVERTIME: No scoring.

SAVES: CC, Bachman 4-10-13-5-32. UND, Eidsness 9-8-7-24.

Inforum searchword: Sioux

The Grand Forks Herald and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

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