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Fighting Hawks Complete Sweep of Rival Gophers Friday to Extend Unbeaten Streak to 11

By NCHC, 11/29/19, 11:45PM EST


UMD falls in top-10 series opener against Minnesota State; Miami edged in third period at UConn

Friday, November 29, 2019 Scores

  • No. 3/3 North Dakota 3, Minnesota 2
  • No. 1/1 Minnesota State 4, No. 8/9 Minnesota Duluth 1
  • Connecticut 6, Miami 4

While most people were recovering from a huge meal Thursday, three NCHC teams were hard at work Friday looking to pick up non-conference wins. However, only one NCHC team skated away victorious Friday night, as No. 3/3 North Dakota completed a holiday weekend sweep, while Miami and No. 8/9 Minnesota Duluth both came up short in their series openers.

After walloping Minnesota, 9-3, in Thursday’s series opener, No. 3/3 North Dakota received a much stiffer test from the Gophers in Friday’s finale, but still prevailed with a 3-2 win at 3M Arena at Mariucci to complete its first road sweep of its long-time rival since 2006-07. The win pushed the Fighting Hawks’ unbeaten streak to an NCAA-best 11 games (10-0-1). Both teams struck in the first frame, but UND (12-1-2) took the lead for good with two goals in the first half of the second period. Junior forward Jordan Kawaguchi scored the eventual game-winner midway through the middle stanza for his fourth point of the weekend. Minnesota (5-8-3) closed within one on a power play goal in the final frame, but sophomore goalie Adam Scheel totaled 23 saves to preserve the win for North Dakota.

In a top-10 in-state tilt, top-ranked Minnesota State got the better of No. 8/9 Minnesota Duluth in Friday’s series opener at AMSOIL Arena. After a scoreless first frame, the Mavericks (11-1-1) struck three times in the second stanza to grab a commanding 3-0 lead. MSU then added its second power play goal of the night early in the final frame, 5-on-3. Junior forward Kobe Roth got the Bulldogs (7-5-1) on the board midway through the third period with a power play of their own on tic-tac-toe passing, but it was too late for a comeback. The Mavericks outshot UMD, 30-28, in their win.

In the first game to get underway Friday, Miami led after 40 minutes, but Connecticut stormed back with three in the third to top the RedHawks in Hartford, 6-4, in a high-scoring series opener. After UConn (4-6-3) struck early on a 5-on-3 power play, the RedHawks (4-7-3) rattled off three straight goals to close the first frame, including two on the man advantage. The Huskies pulled even late in the second stanza, but sophomore defenseman Derek Daschke scored in the final two minutes of the period to restore a one-goal cushion at 4-3. UConn tied it early in the third period, then midway through potted their second power play goal of the night on Vladislav Firstov’s second goal of the night, which was the game-winner. Connecticut outshot Miami, 48-30, in its win, as senior Ryan Larkin made 42 stops in net for MU.

NCHC action on Thanksgiving weekend concludes Saturday night as Miami finishes its series at UConn, going for a split at 4:05 p.m. ET in Hartford. While in Duluth, the No. 8/9 Bulldogs look to bounce back against top-ranked Minnesota State at 7:07 p.m. CT. The UMD game can be seen on Saturday.