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No. 4 Denver is defeated 4-2 by No. 5 North Dakota to complete the series sweep



Grand Forks, North Dakota – Against No. 5 Denver, No. 5 North Dakota rallied for a 4-2 victory on Saturday night at Grand Forks, North Dakota’s sold-out Ralph Engelstad Arena to complete a series sweep.

The Pioneers (17-7-2, 8-5-1 NCHC) were kept to fewer than three goals on Friday night for the first time this season by UND (18-6-2, 9-4-1 NCHC). The Fighting Hawks once again shut down the top scoring offense in the country to secure the weekend sweep and a commanding six points in the conference standings.

After a high hit on Ben Strinden by Denver’s Sean Behrens resulted in a major penalty and game misconduct, the score was tied at 2-2 in the third period. NoDak then capitalized on a power play goal by Owen McLaughlin and Riese Gaber, who scored just 45 seconds apart to give UND a 4-2 lead.

For the rest of the game, goalie Ludvig Persson stood in for the Pioneers, recording 22 saves on 24 shots to become the first goalie to defeat Denver more than once this season and hand the team their first Saturday night loss.

Jared Wright scored his rebound after a partial break to give Denver the lead just 1:46 into the game, giving the visitors an early 1-0 lead. After 20 minutes, Cameron Berg’s snipe from the top of the circle tied the score at 1-1, giving NoDak a chance to fight back on the power play. Berg’s goal made it five straight games that he has scored goals.

Midway through the second quarter, Jackson Kunz got free from the defenders and tallied his rebound on a breakaway to tie the score at 2-2 with his third goal of the year. This tie continued into the third quarter. Sam Harris had given DU the lead again on a skillful shot.

Within 45 seconds of each other, UND scored twice on a significant power play in the third. First, McLaughlin scored his ninth goal of the year with a snipe from the left circle, and then Gaber scored his 13th goal of the year from the right circle to give the Fighting Hawks a 4-2 lead.

Denver made a late surge to tie the score in the last four minutes, but Persson and the defense held firm to win 4-2 and complete the weekend sweep.

Next weekend, North Dakota will travel to Miami for a match that starts on Friday at 6:05 p.m. (CT) from Oxford, Ohio.