North Dakota leads early and scores often in 5-1 win at Western Michigan

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (UND Athletics) -- Visiting North Dakota took a very early lead and poured it on at ninth-ranked Western Michigan, winning 5-1 Friday evening in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play. Mark Senden scored just 18 seconds into the game and UND scored twice more in the first period to dominate the game.

Senden's line got the start for North Dakota, and got the Fighting Hawks on the board in the first shift, scoring just 18 seconds into the game for a quick 1-0 lead. Senden's tally was the quickest goal of the season for UND. Cole Smith rescued a would-be turnover behind the WMU goal and fed Senden at the side of the net where the freshman buried it for his fifth goal of the season.

Just over seven minutes later, North Dakota scored on the power play as Jasper Weatherby tallied his third goal of the season. Ludvig Hoffblasted a shot from the far wall outside the circle and the rebound came to Weatherby, who fought off net-front traffic and beat Trevor Gorsuch stick side for a quick 2-0 advantage.

UND piled on less than three minutes later when Jackson Keane's nice feed found an awaiting Jordan Kawaguchi to make it 3-0 just after midway through the first frame. Keane had his initial shot blocked but re-gathered it and drove to the net on Gorsuch's left and slid a pass through the crease to Kawaguchi on the other side of the net for his seventh goal of the season and UND's most goals in the first period in a game this year.

North Dakota chased Gorsuch in the second when Senden gained the zone then left a back pass for Jacob Bernard-Docker, who sniped one high blocker side for a 4-0 advantage. Ben Blacker took over for WMU in the pipes following that tally.

The Broncos got the good fortune of a bounce off a UND player for their goal in the second period and it was 4-1 heading to the third. In the final stanza, WMU decided to pull its goalie during a power play opportunity for a 6-on-4 chance. UND killed it off then just as Matt Kiersted was coming out of the box, Hayden Shaw found him and he raced up the wall and shot one from the blue line into the empty net for a 5-1 win.

Adam Scheel sparkled in the net for North Dakota, making many highlight reel saves as Western out-shot UND, 33-20. Scheel stopped 32 of those shots for his ninth win against a ranked team this season. He's now allowed two goals or fewer in five straight games and lowered his season goals against average to 1.98.

The teams conclude their season series Saturday evening with a 6:00 p.m. Central puck drop.

*Senden's goal at 18 seconds was the quickest UND tally to start a game this season. (Previous- Hayden Shaw at 1:18 vs CC Jan. 12).
*UND's three first-period goal were the most in the opening period of a game this year.
*Nine of UND's 14 wins this season are against teams that were nationally ranked, including six in the top 10.
*North Dakota is now 9-2 all-time in Kalamazoo.
*UND is 11-4-1 when scoring first this season.
*Adam Scheel is 9-5-1 against ranked teams with a 1.53 goals against average and a .937 save percentage.