Grand Forks, ND – A UND student held up a sign that said, "If you don't squirt, you won't get hurt." That sign was in reference to a game that took place between these same two teams almost thirty years ago.
Over the years Wisconsin and North Dakota have played in some historic battles. The two teams have played against each other for League and an NCAA title.
The two teams have played in many games that were highly contested. Over the years there have been a few punches thrown, some good scrums after the whistle, and a few all out brawls.
Tonight’s game wasn’t quite as exciting as some of the epic battles of the past, but UND was able to grind out a 5-3 victory at the Ralph. It wasn’t really that exciting of a game to watch and was really a chess match. There weren’t a lot of opportunities for either team to score.
The head coach for UND, Dave Hakstol, kind of saw it the same way.
“Both teams played it real tight and close to the vest and looking for a power play opportunity or a power play goal, or one opportunity to win it", Coach Hakstol said. “Fortunately we came up with that opportunities, it was a good play by our captain Mario Lamoureux.”
At times the game was a bit boring as a good share of the play was spent in the neutral zone.
The game winning goal was scored by freshman forward Stephane Pattyn who was incidentally celebrating his 21st birthday. It was the first career goal for the freshman forward.
When Pattyn was asked about his game winning goal, this is what he had to say. “That was really nice. Mario [Lamoureux] made an unbelievable play. It all started with Joe [Gleason] using his speed. I guess Mario just saw me back door I was wide open and the goalie was nowhere to be seen, and all I had to do was tap it in. That just shows how hard of a worker Mario is, his leadership and his poise on that play. I will take credit for it, but that was all Mario for sure.”
Brock Nelson was able to cement the win by scoring an empty net goal for UND. Nelson, with that goal would finish the night with 2 goals.
As the WCHA, in its current form, winds down after the 2012-13 season, UND and UW will no longer play in league games anymore. North Dakota and Wisconsin will leave the WCHA and go to the NCHC and the B1G respectively. This means that once again, there will be no more historic WCHA battles between UND and UW after 2012-13 season.
Another weekend, another historic match up in the WCHA. This seems to be the story line this season.
Coming into the weekend, UND’s power play had been less than spectacular, having scored only two goals on 17 opportunities. UND was able to break out of that power play funk and score on its first two power plays of the game.
While the UND defense did give up three goals on the night, UND was able to keep Wisconsin's pre-season All-WCHA defenseman Justin Schultz off the score sheet. That is no small task, as Schultz has points in 19 of 25 games played this season.
With the loss, the Badgers dropped to 1-7-1 on the road this season. Wisconsin is 11-4-1 at home. Coming into the game, Wisconsin had lost only one time in the last seven games.
With the win, UND improved its record to 14-10-2, 10-9-0 in the WCHA. The two teams play again tomorrow night.