Duncan hat tricks lifts UND over Michigan TechNorth Dakota senior captain Ryan Duncan went out in style, scoring two goals and adding an assist in his last home game Saturday.
North Dakota senior captain Ryan Duncan went out in style, scoring two goals and adding an assist in his last home game Saturday.
His play lifted the Sioux over Michigan Tech 4-3 for a sweep in the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.
"It was a storybook ending for all of us (eight) seniors," Duncan said. "It was just a bunch of guys working hard and getting it done."
UND (24-12-4) will play Friday in St. Paul in the semifinals of the WCHA Final Five. Tech finished 6-25-7 after losing both games of the best-of-three series.
Duncan earned all three points in the second period. He scored his first goal on a power-play wrist shot. Then a wrist shot from the same area was deflected into the net by Chris VandeVelde to give the Sioux a permanent lead. Later in the third period, Duncan banged in a rebound for a 3-1 advantage.
"Dunc was the guy in the clutch who got it done," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "He did the job the captain is expected to do. He really showed his poise, his presence and his will to win."
The eventual winning goal by Matt Frattin came early in the third period for a 4-2 Sioux advantage. Tech drew within one goal on Drew Dobson's goal with 3:25 remaining, but couldn't get the equalizer.
Alex MacLeod and Jordan Baker had the other goals for the Huskies, who competed hard after finishing last in the league. UND goalie Brad Eidsness made 24 saves while Tech's Josh Robinson and Rob Nolan combined for 15 stops.
After the game on the ice, the Sioux were presented the MacNaughton Cup, which is awarded to the league regular season winner.
"To make it a sweet moment, we had to get the series win," Hakstol said. "It was a heck of a lot of fun."
Duncan said the lasting memory of his last home game won't be leading the Sioux to victory with his three points.
"The most important thing to me was lifting the cup and sharing it with my teammates," he said. "It won't be the(two) goals I'll remember. It will be picking up the cup."