Brock Nelson scored an empty-net goal in the last series of the regular season, but the North Dakota sophomore wing had gone four games without putting a puck past a goaltender entering the WCHA Final Five.

Thursday night in the quarterfinals against St. Cloud State, Nelson came up with an important goal that put the past few weeks behind him.

With 4:09 left in the second period, Nelson gathered speed through the neutral zone and took a pass from Ben Blood off the boards as Nelson cruised past the red line. He sidestepped Ben Hanowski going into the Huskies’ zone and made a cut across the right circle in front of SCSU defenseman Kevin Gravel.

“Blood made a great play at the red line; Danny [Kristo] drove wide and that forced the defense back,” Nelson said. “I was just fortunate to get a shot on net and luckily it went in.”

Nelson let loose on a quick wrist shot that Huskies goalie Mike Lee couldn’t react in time to stop as it passed his right arm.

“He’s very much a complete two-way hockey player,” North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said of Nelson. “He’s deceiving and that’s the best way to put it. He gets the puck off his stick quickly and he can do it in traffic. He’s found a lot of different ways to score goals and help our team win.”

With under a minute to go, Nelson’s goal still the difference and Lee pulled from the SCSU goal, UND won the defensive-zone faceoff. Kristo got the puck at the blue line and fed Nelson, who walked in for an easy goal to seal the victory.

Nelson has been UND’s top goal scorer all season and entered the Final Five with 23 goals, which was also tied for fifth in Division I going. He’s now third in the nation in goals with 25.

Nelson tripled his goal output from last season (eight), and plenty of it has to do with him stepping up on UND’s top line, which has carried the load for the Sioux all season. UND’s No. 1 line has scored 41 of the team’s 83 even-strength goals.

“It’s definitely been a pretty big year for me,” Nelson said. “I have a couple of really good linemates with Corban [Knight] and Danny. They make a lot of plays and it’s fun to be a part of that line.”

  • Suture

    I’m just amazed by this team….just amazed.  I have had 4 or 5 helpings of crow this year.  But, hey, I’ll keep on eating as much crow as I have to….keep it up boys!

    • Guest

      Stay Classy North Dakota Fans…  Nothing like being drunk and going to a Final Five game and getting drunk and into a fight in the stands the first game of the tournament…

      Great job

      • Fan Man

        Hahaha. I was cheering for tech and now u come along As far as I’m concerned, it wasn’t Sioux fans talking craP last nite. It was Drinkin gopher fans that coudnt keep their mouths shut lol

        • HotLunch

          “As far as I’m concerned, it wasn’t Sioux fans talking craP last nite” – hah, yeah like that EVER been the case!

          • Fan Man

            I know it’s not like Sioux fans don’t talk cArp (fishing) but maybe I just got rubbed the wrong way by a couple drunk fools… It’s hockey, the xcel and the final five so I’m not worried about it! Just dang excited for the 7 o’clocker tonight.

          • Mn Voter

            It’s hockey. People act stupid. It’s all part of the fun. Go Gophs!

      • nogofer

        I heard it was drunk rodents talking trash in the bleachers…

        Your momma must be proud…

  • HotLunch


    • nogofer

      bye bye

  • Scpa0305

    They didn’t play all that well last night but a wins a win.  Hopefully they play better….I’m afraid they’ll need to tonight.

    Go Sioux!