- Associated Press - Saturday, January 30, 2016

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Brock Boeser’s power-play goal in the second period lifted North Dakota to a 2-1 National Collegiate Hockey Conference win over Western Michigan on Saturday.

Boeser’s third goal of the weekend gave second-ranked UND (22-3-3, 13-2-1-1) a sweep of the weekend series. The freshman scored two goals in Friday’s 2-0 win.

“It was great to come out of here with six points,” UND coach Brad Berry, whose team passed St. Cloud State for the NCHC lead by virtue of the sweep. “Back in first place. We’ve got to keep pressing the pedal to the metal.”

UND has 41 points, three more that St. Cloud State in the race for the Penrose Cup. The Fighting Hawks had led at some point in every game this season with the exception of a 6-1 loss at St. Cloud State.

“There’s been a number of games where you call them defining moments,” Berry said. “Tonight, in one of the toughest places to play in college hockey, our guys stepped up.”

They did so without regulars Drake Caggiula, Nich Schmaltz and Chris Wilkie.

Boeser assisted on Shane Gersich’s goal that opened the scoring at 9:04 of the second period.

Gersich came down the slot all alone and took a feed from Johnny Simonson in the corner to beat Lukas Hafner at 9:04.

Western Michigan missed early opportunities, failing to score on three first-period power plays. The Broncos (7-16-3, 4-11-1-1) were 0-for-8 on the weekend.

The Hawks led until Michael Rebry picked up a loose puck at the right circle and made a quick shot past UND goalie Cam Johnson to tie it.

Barely a minute later, UND went back on top. Boeser got the puck at the left faceoff circle, sized up his shot and scored his 18th goal of the season.

North Dakota outshot the Broncos 37-28.

Johnson made 28 saves and WMU goalie Lukas Hafner made 35 stops.

Hafner made 63 saves in two games but got very little help from the Broncos offense.

“He manages the puck very well.,” WMU coach Andy Murray said. “We just need to play with a little more patience with the puck.”

UND is 18-0-2 when leading after two periods. It has gone 66 straight games without a loss when taking a lead into the third period. (62-0-4).

The Fighting Hawks have a week off before traveling to Denver.

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