North Dakota rallies for 5-3 win at Miami to stretch NCHC lead

OXFORD, Ohio (UND Athletics) -- For the second straight North Dakota was forced to chase the home team early after a two-goal deficit and again UND caught Miami, but his time finished it in regulation, 5-3, to earn five points on the weekend. It stretched North Dakota's road unbeaten streak to eight and also lengthened its lead in the NCHC standings to eight at the midway point of the league schedule.

UND (18-2-3, 9-1-2-2 NCHC) trailed 2-0 before the midway point of the first period on a pair of power play goals by Miami. Freshman Judd Caulfield buried a goal just 43 seconds later, though, to get UND on the board.

Twenty seconds into the second frame, UND would strike on the man advantage. Returning after serving an NCHC-mandated one-game suspension, freshman sensation Shane Pinto scored his 11th goal of the season to tie the score early in the period.

It held up until the closing seconds of that period when Miami got its third power-play goal of the game to reclaim the lead.

Trailing 3-2, junior Jordan Kawaguchi was able to steer the puck from the wall, gain entry and work his way to the slot and snipe a shot past Ben Kraws for his team-leading 12th of the season and more importantly, a tie score.

With just 1:04 remaining in regulation, senior Cole Smith deflected a puck in front to put North Dakota ahead for good. Matt Kiersted sent the puck in front and it caromed off Smith for his ninth goal of the season to extend his career best.

Westin Michaud finished the job with his 10th goal of the season, potting one into the empty net with 27 seconds to go.

Junior Peter Thome made the start in net for North Dakota, stopping 19 of 22 shots, including all 17 when his team wasn't short-handed. It marked his first win of the season.

North Dakota heads to two-time defending national champion Minnesota Duluth this coming weekend. Friday's game will air nationally on CBS Sports Network

Notes: Kawaguchi now has 12 multi-point games and has a point streak of seven straight games ... UND had just one double-digit goal scorer last season (Kawaguchi - 10), but already has three (Kawaguchi - 12, Pinto - 11, Michaud - 10) ... North Dakota surpassed its goal total from last season (97) and tied its win total (18).