Five highlights from around the country:
1. Boston College’s slide continued with a 5-2 loss to UMass with coach Jerry York sitting the game out due to an eye operation. After starting the season 10-1, the Eagles have three wins in the last nine games.
2. Speaking of top teams on a slide, Notre Dame gave up a goal with three seconds left and lost to Fairbanks 5-4. The Irish never allowed more than three goals during the first 18 games of the season. However, they’ve allowed four-plus in four of the last five games (1-4 in that stretch).
3. Defenseman Nick Jensen scored back-to-back goals in the third period to break a 2-2 and lead St. Cloud State to a 5-2 win over Denver in the National Hockey Center. Roseau’s Nick Oliver added the empty-netter for his first goal of the season.
4. Caleb Herbert scored with 1:43 left to give Minnesota-Duluth a 3-2 win over Colorado College in World Arena. It had to be a tough loss for the Tigers, who scored the game-tying goal just 62 seconds earlier.
5. Former BU Terrier forward Vinny Sapoarni scored the game-winning goal with 2:03 left to give Northeastern a 6-5 win over his former team, the Terriers, on Friday.
Top WCHA performers
3 points — Blake Pietila, Tech, 2 goals, 1 assist
3 points — Nate Condon, Minn, 1 goal, 2 assists
2 points — Nick Jensen, 2 goals
2 points — J.P. Lafontaine, MSU, 2 goals
Shutout — Joel Rumpel, Wisc, 26 saves
Minnesota 5, UND 1
UND played a great road game for about 25 minutes, taking an early lead and really limiting the chances for the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense. But Minnesota took advantage of a couple UND mistakes and the Gophers capitalized en route to the Game 1 victory. Game stories:
- The game was a lot more even than the score indicated. Shots were 27-25 and I’m guessing Grade A scoring chances were about 50-50. The big difference was Minnesota capitalized on their chances and Adam Wilcox shut the door on UND.
- Since UND has not played here in two of the last four years, it has been a while since the team has won in Mariucci. The last time was the Evan Trupp overtime goal in February 2008. Since then, UND is 0-4-2 here.
- I’m guessing Corban Knight and Danny Kristo will have a new linemate on the top line int he series finale. Mitch MacMillan, who looked so good on that top line a week ago, didn’t seem to fit in on Friday night.
- Knight’s point streak is now at 18 games. It is the longest point streak since Steve Johnson’s school-record streak of 27 during 1987-88.
- I’m thinking the Mark MacMillan, Carter Rowney and Michael Parks line stays together. They looked solid. Rowney had a strong game.
- Derek Rodwell returned from his injury but didn’t register any shots.
- Erik Haula returned to the lineup for Minnesota, but wasn’t quite himself. He played winger instead of center, likely because he cannot take faceoffs with his hand injury. He didn’t take any draws Friday.
- While the horde of media was interviewing UND coach Dave Hakstol, Minnesota coach Don Lucia stopped for interviews. Nobody saw him come out except for a couple of people. They asked a few questions and then he left. None of the daily newspaper writers got quotes from Lucia. Luckily, the media relations staff e-mailed us three. The Twin Cities writers were not happy.
- Nate Condon, who scored four shorthanded goals a year ago, got his first of this season. He’s an explosive skater, probably Minnesota’s fastest guy.
- UND’s options for the series finale include Zane Gothberg, Colten St. Clair and Andrew Panzarella among the guys who didn’t play Friday night. I think St. Clair is the most likely to get in the lineup.
- Lastly, remember it’s an early 5:07 p.m. start for the series finale because of Hockey Day in Minnesota.