- Associated Press - Sunday, March 16, 2014

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota scored three times in the first period and held on to beat Colorado College 4-3 Sunday to advance in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference playoffs.

Brendan O’Donnell scored what proved to be the game-winning goal early in the third period as UND became the only home seed to advance through the first round.

“The players did a good job. That’s the bottom line,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “It was a great team effort, top to bottom.”

Stephane Pattyn had a goal and an assist and Derek Rodwell and Rocco Grimaldi had two assists for UND, which took a 3-2 lead into the third period and improved to 18-1-0 when leading after two periods.

“We’re the only home seed advancing on in the tournament but it took all 60 minutes,” Hakstol said.

For the first time in the series, North Dakota scored the game’s first goal. Nick Mattson pounced on a rebound and shot into an empty net for a 1-0 lead at 3:41 of the first period. Pattyn took the first shot from an angle and the rebound shot out to Mattson coming down the slot on the opposite side.

The lead lasted just three minutes before Alex Krushelnyski tied it. Krushelnyski wound up with a loose puck in front and scored on a quick shot.

Troy Stecher and Pattyn answered just 2:16 apart. Stecher’s goal was his first since Nov. 2. Pattyn’s wrister at 12:22 made it a 3-1 game.

Alex Roos’ goal at 18:31 of the third period closed UND’s lead to 4-3. But the Tigers never got a good scoring chance down the stretch.

UND goalie Zane Gothberg made nine of his 27 saves in the third period.

“They pushed hard in the third period,” Hakstol said. “Zane had to come up with some big saves.”

Mattson, Stecher and Pattyn scored in the first period for 10th-ranked UND (22-12-3).

Krushelnyski and Michael Morin scored for the Tigers (7-24-6), who forced a third game in the best-of-three series with a 3-2 overtime win Saturday.

Josh Thorimbert stopped 26 shots for the Tigers.

North Dakota meets preseason conference pick Miami on Friday at the NCHC Frozen Faceoff in Minneapolis. UND scored a conference-record nine goals the last time it faced Miami.

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