Dutchmen keep No. 3 North Dakota winless on weekend

Photo: Russ Hons/UNDsports.com
Photo: Russ Hons/UNDsports.com

GRAND FORKS, ND – Two third-period goals helped give the Union College men's hockey team a lead over No. 3 North Dakota, but the Fighting Hawks eventually forced the Dutchmen to settle for a 2-2 tie on Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
 
The tie is the first for Union on the season, as the Dutchmen are now 8-6-1 on the year after keeping the Fighting Hawks winless over the Thanksgiving weekend. UND is now 8-4-4 after the loss and tie with Union.
 
After the Dutchman victory on Friday night, North Dakota responded with a strong first period, in which the Fighting Hawks took their first lead of the weekend. Defenseman Colton Poolman capitalized on a long shift by the Dutchmen to score his fourth goal of the season with six minutes left in the opening frame.
 
Union's defense, backstopped by Jake Kupsky in net, then kept the Fighting Hawks scoreless over the next 42 minutes.
 
Both teams were held scoreless in the second period, but Union took advantage of a slow start by UND in the third period to gain a 2-1 advantage.
 
Brett Supinski got Union on the scoreboard at the 1:56 mark of the third, after deking past UND goalie Peter Thome to score his sixth goal of the season. The goal also marked the eighth-consecutive game that the junior from Collegeville, PA has recorded a point.
 
Then just 22 seconds later, Ryan Scarfo scored his seventh of the season to put Union up by one. Cole Maier had two shots blocked, but after the second, Scarfo picked up the rebound and backhanded it over the shoulder of an out-of-position Thome to give Union the lead.
 
Unfortunately, the No. 3 team wasn't ready to be swept in its home barn that easily. The Fighting Hawks responded with late pressure and eventually scored on a rebound opportunity with less than four minutes remaining in regulation to force overtime.
 
The tying tally by Shane Gerisch proved to be the final goal of the contest as neither team could find the back of the net in the five-minute overtime period.
 
Kupsky made a total of 27 saves in the contest and his defensemen blocked an additional 17 shots in front of him. Thome turned in 25 saves over the 65 minutes of work.
 
Despite the draw, Union is now undefeated in nine of its last 10 games after starting the season with a 0-5 record.
 
The Dutchmen return to Messa Rink next weekend, Dec. 1-2, to host Brown and Yale for an ECAC series.