GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Trailing 3-2 heading into the third period, No. 10 University of New Hampshire menís ice hockey team tallied five third-period goals to capture a 7-4 come-from-behind win over seventh-ranked North Dakota on Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Senior netminder Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) recorded a season-high 40 saves becoming the program's all-time saves leader with 2,608 saves.
UNH improves to 10-5-1 overall, while the Sioux are now 9-7-1. The Wildcats (1-6) capture their first-ever win in North Dakota and their first over the Sioux since November 28, 1999.
Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta) tallied the first of the third period goals scoring a four-on-four goal. Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) and Jamie Fritsch (Odenton, Md.) each had assists on the equalizer at 13:44. Jerry Pollastrone (Revere, Mass.) put the Wildcats ahead, scoring off a take-away by Thomas Fortney (Webster Grove, Mo.), who was credited with an assist making it 4-3 at 17:01. Just 51 seconds later, Radja scored an insurance goal, which proved to be the game-winner. Danny Dries (Lake Orion, Mich.) and Craig Switzer (Peachland, B.C.) had helpers on the tally. Robbie Bina cut the deficit in half just 50 seconds later taking advantage of the extra skater. However, the Wildcats sealed the win with empty-net goals by Greg Collins (Fairport, N.Y.) at 18:50 and Radja just 10 seconds later.
In an even-played first period, it was once again the Fighting Sioux that broke the scoreless deadlock. Just after a UNH penalty had expired, UND continued on the offensive as Derrick LaPoint fire a shot from the right point that was tipped in by Evan Trupp at 14:53. Matt Watkins was also credited with an assist on the tally.
UND added to its lead potting a power-play goal just 2:27 into the second period. T.J. Oshie netted the goal with assists from Rylan Kaip and Robbie Bina. The Wildcats answers with a power-play goal of its own as Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.), who was positioned in the left slot, took a pass from Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) and deposited a shot in the top-left corner of the net at 4:12. Fritsch also had an assist on the score. The Sioux regained their two-goal advantage when Ryan Duncan break away shot trickled past Wildcat goalie Regan to make it 3-1 at 7:26. UNH answered scoring another power-play goal at 11:40. Fornataro bought the puck into the offensive zone and made a crossing pass to Radja, who fired a one-timer that was stopped by Jean-Philippe Lamoureux. A rushing Dries deposited the rebound in the back of the net for his first collegiate goal at 11:40. The Sioux held a 3-2 lead at the second intermission.
Radja led the offense for New Hampshire with two goals and three assists. Fornataro tallied a goal and two assists, while Dries added a goal and an assist.
Sixteen of Regan's 40 saves came in the final stanze as he improves to 8-4-0, while Lamoureux stopped 29 shots for the Sioux.
UNH return to Hockey East play when it travels to Merrimack College on Friday, Jan. 3. Puck drops at 7 p.m. at Lawler Arena. The Wildcats return home on Jan. 6 (2 p.m.) with a non-conference game against St. Lawrence.