- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - North Dakota held a welcome back party Friday in Omaha.

The eighth-ranked Fighting Hawks scored five times in the first 15 minutes and coasted to a 9-1 win over Omaha in the first game of a two-game National Collegiate Hockey Conference series.

UND’s total included three goals by returning players Brock Boeser and Tyson Jost, who missed time in the last month to injury and international play.

Every UND player except Hayden Shaw and goalie Cam Johnson scored at least one point. Johnson made 25 saves.

“The point stuff, we don’t really monitor that,” North Dakota coach Brad Berry said. “The biggest thing is playing the right way. We had discipline. We didn’t take a penalty in the first period. You have to play the right way and play hard.”

Boeser returned to the UND lineup after missing the previous six games following wrist surgery to score the game’s first goal just 3:30 into the game and again at 14:22 to make it 5-0.

Jost dressed after playing five games in seven days for Team Canada at the World Junior Tournament. He scored UND’s only power-play goal of the first period and added an assist.

“It’s a big deal when you come out the right way because you get momentum,” Berry said. “Anytime you win and you change your lineup, you wonder. But when the players come in and give you the push they did, we’re glad to have them back.”

Shane Gersich has carried the scoring load since Boeser went out. He netted his team-leading 15th goal of the season at 13:57 and Gage Ausmus scored for the first time in more than two years. Ausmus’ last goal was also at Omaha on Nov. 28, 2014.

Joel Janatuinen and Dixon Bowen added second-period goals for eighth-ranked UND (11-6-3, 3-4-1-1 NCHC), giving the Fighting Hawks a 7-0 lead. Zach Yon and Johnny Simonson had power-play goals in the third.

“We were wondering what combinations would work,” Berry said. “It’s a big deal having four lines.”

North Dakota last scored nine goals in a game on Feb. 15, 2014 in a 9-2 win over Miami.

Austin Ortega scored the only goal for the Mavericks at 3:55 of the third.

Weninger was replaced in goal for Omaha (11-7-3, 4-5-0) after allowing four goals on 10 shots in the first period. Kris Oldham made 22 saves.

Eighteenth-ranked Omaha came into the game fresh off a sweep of Lake Superior State.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide