UND tops St. Cloud State

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Mario Lamoureux sat in the press box Friday night and watched his team struggle to a shutout loss in the series opener. He got the call in the finale and made sure the result was different.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Mario Lamoureux sat in the press box Friday night and watched his team struggle to a shutout loss in the series opener. He got the call in the finale and made sure the result was different.

The fourth-line forward scored a goal and added an assist in University of North Dakota 4-2 win over St. Cloud State in a sold-out National Hockey Center on Saturday night.

Jason Gregoire and Andrew Kozek also had a goal and an assist for the Sioux, who finished the month of January with a 7-1-2 mark.

"It would have been an awful long two weeks if this one didn't turn out in our favor," said UND coach Dave Hakstol, whose team has next weekend off before hosting Minnesota State-Mankato. "We didn't feel good about our performance (Friday) night. It's not that it was a terrible performance; we just felt we left a little in the tank. The guys didn't want to do that tonight.

"From our captains on down, they did a good job getting ready to play tonight. They knew how important of a game it was for us."


It was important enough that UND broke out the black jerseys, which aren't often used but have been the source of much good fortune during the past three seasons.

Coincidence or not, the black-clad Sioux once again proved difficult to beat. They scored twice in the first period and led the rest of the way, improving to 16-11-3 overall and 11-6-3 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Coupled with Wisconsin's loss to Minnesota-Duluth, the Sioux regained second place in the league with 25 points -- one behind leading Denver. UND sits a point ahead of the third-place Badgers and four points ahead of the three-way tie between Minnesota, Colorado College and Duluth for fourth.

"It was huge for us," said Sioux captain Ryan Duncan, who scored his 12th goal in the second period. "It will help us on the national scene and in the WCHA, for sure. We can't give away too many games the rest of the season, regardless of who we are playing. So it was good to come back here and get a split in this building."

The Huskies (14-12-2, 0-10-1 WCHA) ended UND's eight-game unbeaten streak on Friday night, thanks to Jase Weslosky's 36-save shutout. But the Sioux solved Weslosky twice in the first 12 minutes of the finale.

They got a bit of good fortune on the first one, as Derrick LaPoint's shot from the top of the left circle deflected off of Gregoire's stick and skate before sneaking in the net at 7:47. About five minutes later, Lamoureux fed Kozek at the top of the slot and the senior ripped a wrist shot past Weslosky's stick.

"(His shot) is such a weapon," Hakstol said. "The one he did score in the first period, there's not many guys in the league who can consistently beat a goalie from that spot. You cannot consider that a bad goal. That's a good goal."

St. Cloud State and UND then traded a few goals. Ryan Lasch scored his 12th goal in 12 games at the 17:14 mark of the first, but Duncan restored the two-goal lead in the second.


The Huskies again made it a one-goal game in the third period when David Carlisle's passing attempt went off of Joe Finley's stick and behind Brad Eidsness (25 saves) at 4:32. But Lamoureux countered with his second goal of the season -- one that Hakstol called an "absolutely critical" play in the game.

"Mario is what Fighting Sioux hockey is all about," Duncan said. "He's a guy who comes to work every day, battles every day in the week trying to garner a spot in the lineup. If he's not in the lineup, he's not complaining. He just works hard to get back in there. He showed what he's capable of doing tonight and scored a huge goal for our team."

The Sioux will take their last break of the season, preparing for a home series with the Mavericks, who swept Minnesota this weekend.

"When you win, it's hard not to be happy," Lamoureux said. "We're putting wins together and playing consistent. That's a big thing. We had a good January. Hopefully we can carry it over and have a big February, too."

UND 2 1 1 - 4

ST. Cloud 1 0 1 - 2

FIRST PERIOD: 1, UND, Jason Gregoire (Derrick LaPoint, Evan Trupp) 7:47. 2, UND, Andrew Kozek (Mario Lamoureux, Chay Genoway) 11:26. 3, CS, Ryan Lasch (unassisted) 17:14.

SECOND PERIOD: 4, UND, Ryan Duncan (Genoway, Gregoire) 7:23.


THIRD PERIOD: 5, CS, Dabid Carlisle (Lasch, Jordy Christian) 4:32. 6, UND, Lamoureux (Kozek, Brad Malone) 9:31.

SAVES: UND, Brad Eidsness 7-10-8-25. CS, Jase Weslosky 7-10-10-27.

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