UND sneaks out a tie against Alaska AnchorageGRAND FORKS — Fifteen minutes after the game, Derek Forbort wasn’t sure how the game-tying goal went in.
By: Brad Schlossman , Forum Communications
GRAND FORKS — Fifteen minutes after the game, Derek Forbort wasn’t sure how the game-tying goal went in.
“I don’t think I even scored that,” the junior defenseman said.
It took a lengthy review by the officials to figure it out, too, but Forbort’s point shot with 1 minute, 8 seconds left hit the glove of an Alaska Anchorage forward and went in the net to allow the University of North Dakota to grab a 3-3 tie against the Seawolves in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Forbort’s goal came 10 seconds after UND pulled goalie Clarke Saunders for an extra attacker and allowed UND to grab three points in its first Western Collegiate Hockey Association series of the year.
“Yeah, it’s good to get a point. Points are huge in the WCHA,” Forbort said. “It was nice to get that one point, but we want two.”
UND coach Dave Hakstol said: “I thought it took us 20 to 30 minutes to work our way in. It wasn’t pretty, but we did work our way in. They were tenacious, I thought, through the 60 minutes. We gave away the lead in the third period, which put us in a pretty tough spot, but we found a way to salvage a point. That’s the positive.”
A game that had a bland start turned thrilling at the end as UND tied the game late, then nearly won the game in overtime on a couple of occasions.
Rocco Grimaldi, who extended his point streak to six games with a second-period goal, brought all 11,581 fans out of their seats in overtime with a coast-to-coast rush. He picked up the puck in his own end, made a quick stick-handle to avoid an Anchorage player and saw daylight ahead.
As the crowd buzzed, Grimaldi turned on the jets, blew past an Anchorage defenseman and brought the puck to the net. Anchorage goalie Rob Gunderson came up big and made the save, though.
“I probably could have pulled it a bit wider and try to get it up, but I tried to jam it,” Grimaldi said. “He was there. He played really well tonight. You’ve got to give their goalie credit.”
About a minute later, Danny Kristo flew up the left wing and ripped a snap shot off the crossbar.
“It was a little more hectic than you’d like to see played in the overtime,” Hakstol said. “There were some great opportunities at both ends. Nothing went in the net.”
UND (2-1-1) outscored the 2-2-2 Seawolves 9-1 in the previous two games, but faced a much stiffer test Saturday night.
Anchorage, which managed just 39 shots in the first two games combined, put up 30 against UND and had a couple of leads.
“It was probably our best 65 minutes of the year,” Anchorage coach Dave Shyiak said. “It was a hard-earned tie. It was a great hockey game. What we learned as a hockey team tonight is how we have to play. I thought we pressured the puck. I thought we got good goaltending. And I thought we got contributions from everybody.
“I’m proud of the way we played for 65 minutes against one of the best teams in the country. The lesson is that we have to continue to do that no matter who we’re playing. If we even that out the rest of the year, we’re going to win more games than we lose.”
The Seawolves took a 1-0 lead at 4:05 of the first period when Scott Allen tipped home a point shot. UND tied it on a beautiful passing play, which started with a spin-o-rama pass by Brendan O’Donnell to Kristo. Kristo found classmate Corban Knight, who backhanded in a goal from a severe angle for the 99th point of his career.
Grimaldi pounded home a rebound of a Nick Mattson post shot at 12:55 of the middle frame, but the Seawolves battled back to take the lead. Tyler Currier evened it with a shorthanded goal at 3:19 of the third and Jordan Kwas blasted one from the point through traffic at 10:25.
“Things weren’t going smooth throughout the hockey game,” said Hakstol, explaining some line changes at the end of the game. “It was really just to try to allow our guys to work through it. All of the sudden, you find yourself down late in the hockey game. It was time to try to spark some things and give yourself a chance to score the tying goal. As luck would have it, we made some good plays and we got a good bounce.”
Notes: UND used the same lineup as Friday night. . . Knight went 20-8 on faceoffs. . . UND hosts Boston University in a nonconference series next weekend.