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Third ranked North Dakota needed a return to form after a loss on the road at Alaska-Anchorage and a week off. Fortunately, the Sioux notched a power-play goal a period against the Michigan Tech Huskies at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena and skated away with the 4-2 win.
â€œEvery two points [in the WCHA] is hard fought,â€ said Fighting Sioux head coach Dave Hakstol. â€œSome areas of our game were very good tonight, but some areas were very sloppy.â€
Freshman Danny Kristo notched what would stand as the game-winning goal 13:03 into the third period. The power-play marker was assisted by captain Chay Genoway and assistant captain Chris VandeVelde.
The Huskies (2-5-0 overall, 1-4-0 in the WCHA) jumped out to a quick start with assistant captain Brett Olson winning the opening draw. The Huskies took the puck into the offensive zone, getting a shot in at Sioux netminder Brad Eidsness, but the sophomore was equal to the task.
Feeding off of that jump, senior winger Drew Dobson fired a couple more shots at Eidsness while Hakstolâ€™s Sioux fought the ice in more ways than one.
The Sioux (5-1-1, 3-1-1) eventually got themselves going, with VandeVelde and Genoway leading the way with scoring chances in close to Huskiesâ€™ freshman goaltender, Kevin Genoe. Genoe, playing his third straight game, would make 10 more stops en route to 37 saves for the game.
â€œ[John Kivisto] along with Kevin Genoe were our two best players tonight,â€ said Huskiesâ€™ head coach Jamie Russell. â€œBottom line is we need to stay out of the penalty box.â€
On their second power-play chance of the period, the Sioux broke through as sophomore Jason Gregoire tipped a shot from Kristo past Genoe. The goal, which came at 19:37, was also assisted by senior Darcy Zajac and was Gregoireâ€™s fourth of the season.
The Sioux struck again early in the second period off a Huskiesâ€™ turnover. Junior Evan Trupp stole the puck and fed junior Brad Malone. Malone misplayed the puck, but Trupp was there to take the initial shot in close to Genoe but was stopped. He buried the rebound at 4:56 for his second goal of the season.
After the goal, the Huskies seemed to settle down and begin to get extended time in the Sioux zone, with junior forward Jordan Baker and junior center Bennett Royer each getting chances that Eidsness was forced to handle. Eidsness would finish the game with 21 stops.
The Huskies finally got on the board on their fourth power play of the game as, Kivisto, a senior defenseman, took a pass from freshman center Evan Witt and ripped a slap shot past Eidsness at 14:18. The goal was Kivistoâ€™s second of the year.
The one goal lead was short-lived however, as the Sioux padded their lead for the second time in the game as VandeVelde netted his second of the year at 18:11. The goal was assisted by Genoway
Senior defenseman Eli Vlaisavljevich cut the Sioux lead back to two goals at the 15:44 mark of the third period with a wicked wrist shot over Eidsnessâ€™ left shoulder. The goal, Vlaisavljevichâ€™s first of the season, was assisted by Dobson and freshman winger Aaron Pietila.
â€œThat was a great goal Eli scored,â€ said Russell. â€œWe had to bump him back to defense but heâ€™s pretty versatile like that.â€
The Sioux finished the game 3-for-8 on the man advantage while holding the Huskies to 1-for-6.
With the win, Eidsness moves to 4-1-1 on the season. Genoe drops to 1-3-0 with the loss.