GRAND FORKS, N.D. Despite a loss on Saturday night, St. Lawrence University coach Greg Carvel was still pleased with his teams showing this weekend on the Great Plains.
North Dakota struck for two goals in a span of 31 seconds late in the second period and held off the Saints, 3-2, in a nonconference mens hockey game at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Connor Gaarder tallied a goal and an assist and goalie Zane Gothberg made 25 saves as North Dakota (5-7-2) gained a split of the two-game set after St. Lawrence prevailed 5-2 on Friday night.
Greg Carey and Gunnar Hughes each scored a goal for the Saints (8-6-2), including Careys goal 5 minutes, 37 seconds into the third period to pull St. Lawrence within 3-2.
As a whole, we represented ourselves well, St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. We really competed and played hard. Greg Carey and Justin Baker just played like stars and North Dakota is a great stage to play on against one of the better western teams.
Stephane Pattyn and Rocco Grimaldi tallied a goal each for North Dakota, which led 3-1 through two periods.
Its a little frustrating because they scored their first goal on a very bad turnover on the blue line, Carvel said. ... Its tough to have that happen to you. We were able to tie the game on a real nice effort from Greg Carey and Gunnar Hughes. ... But then things fell apart in the last two minutes of the second period.
Matt Weninger stopped 21 of 24 shots for St. Lawrence.
North Dakota struck first when Grimaldi scored on a short-handed breakaway, tucking the puck around Weninger 12:10 into the game.
St. Lawrence tied it at 10:07 of the second period. Baker cruised in from the point, cut to the center and sent a perfect pass to Hughes at the side of the crease and he redirected the puck past Gothberg at 10:07 of the middle period. Sean McGovern assisted.
Gaarder put North Dakota in front for good at 2-1 after a lengthy video review on a power-play goal at 18:55 of the second. Originally waved off by the referee as having gone off the post, the replay showed that the puck hit the back of the net and came right back out.
Just 31 seconds later, North Dakota led 3-1 as Pattyn scored on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle.
Carey ran his scoring streak to 11 games after he tallied at 5:37 to draw the Saints within 3-2.
After giving up those two goals, we came out and played very well in the third period and outshot them, 13-2, Carvel said. We had good chances and got a nice goal from Greg Carey. Other then giving up that short-handed goal, I think it was a really good hockey game between two teams who really competed hard. It was a good battle and Im real proud of our guys.
The Saints will return to ECAC Hockey play next weekend, playing at Clarkson on Friday and hosting the Knights on Saturday, both 7 p.m. starts.