GRAND FORKS, N.D. For the second straight night, Colorado College rallied from a 2-0 deficit and went to overtime against North Dakota, and for the second straight night, the Fighting Hawks scored in the extra period to defeat the Tigers.
Jordan Kawaguchi notched the game-winning goal 50 seconds into overtime Saturday to give North Dakota a 3-2 victory and a sweep of the weekend series. Following a wraparound attempt by Nick Jones that was saved by CC goalie Alex Leclerc, Kawaguchi collected the puck at the bottom of the left circle and placed it into an open net as Leclerc was sprawled out after the save.
North Dakota (11-9-1, 5-5-0 NCHC) struck early as Hayden Shaw took a centering pass from Kawaguchi and scored from the slot just 1:18 into the game. Later in the period, with Colorado College on the power play, Andrew Peski flipped the puck out of his zone to Dixon Bowen, who went in all alone against Leclerc and made it 2-0 with 5:35 left in the first period.
The Tigers (8-12-2, 2-7-1 NCHC) picked up the pace in the second period and Westin Michaud scored a shorthanded goal of his own at the 5:58 mark to cut UND’s lead in half. Grant Cruikshank started the play with a forecheck that created a turnover deep in the UND end and he attempted a shot from the end line. North Dakota goalie Adam Scheel got a piece of it but it went right to Michaud, who roofed a shot from the left circle for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
Leclerc kept it a one-goal game with a beautiful save while moving to his right against Matt Kierstad midway through the period.
Later in the frame, it appeared Michaud tied the game with a power-play goal at the 13:27 mark, but after further review, the officials determined that Troy Conzo interfered with Scheel and the goal was disallowed and the Fighting Hawks held a one-goal lead after 40 minutes.
Scheel did his part early in the third period to help North Dakota hold on to the lead by denying CC’s Christiano Versich on a breakaway attempt.
Colorado College kept up the pressure, however, and finally broke through at the 7:21 mark when Trey Bradley evened things up at 2-2. He took a long outlet pass from Cole McCaskill at the UND blue line, moved in on Scheel and beat him with a rocket from the left circle.
Both goaltenders were solid the rest of regulation to send the game to overtime. Leclerc finished with 33 saves, including 14 in the third period, while Scheel had 22. CC was 0-for-5 on the power play and North Dakota did not capitalize on its three opportunities.
“I thought we were the better team in the second and third periods,” head coach Mike Haviland said. “I liked our confidence as the game went on. We had better chances, but we still need to find a way to win these games.”
The Tigers resume the battle for the Gold Pan next weekend with a series against the University of Denver. Friday’s game is at the Broadmoor World Arena, while Saturday’s contest is at Magness Arena in Denver.