DULUTH, Minn. (UND Athletics) -- A pair of players that weren't in Friday's lineup played key roles in North Dakota's 3-2 win at 11th-ranked Minnesota Duluth Saturday. UND scored a pair of third-period goals, including the game-winner by Jonny Tychonick while Peter Thome won his second start of the season in the Saturday evening victory at AmsOil Arena in National Collegiate Hockey Conference action. UND is now eight points in front of the Bulldogs in the league standings with five weeks to play.
"I thought our guys came out hard and got the lead," UND head coach Brad Berry said. "I love the way we responded when they took the lead. We did a good job of having some resiliency and some patience in our game where didn't have it last night. We chased the game last night and we were egregious in a lot of areas where we were high-risk. We weren't high-risk, we believed in our system, we found a way to tie it and eventually win it."
UND got on the board first in the middle frame. Shane Pinto won a draw in the offensive zone back to Matt Kiersted along the wall. He fed it to Westin Michaud down low along the goalline to Hunter Shepard's right. Michaud sent the puck in front and it caromed off of a Bulldog defender and past Shepard for a 1-0 UND lead. It was Michaud's second goal of the weekend, both to open the scoring.
UMD tied it 3:42 into the third and then took the lead four minutes later for a 2-1 score. But, North Dakota (19-3-3, 10-2-2-2 NCHC) responded with a Matt Kiersted goal at the 10:24 mark. He fired a shot that found its way past Shepard to tie the score. It was his fourth point of the weekend and gave him four consecutive multi-point games.
Just 84 seconds later, Jonny Tychonick scored his fourth goal of the season on an assist from Cole Smith and North Dakota was back in front. The UND defense and Peter Thome-- making his second start of the season--- took it from there. Thome stood tall on a few Grade A chances for the Bulldogs down the stretch but North Dakota prevailed for its 10th conference win of the season.
Thome made 22 saves for his 12th career win, second this season.
North Dakota returns home to face Colorado College next weekend at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Puck drop Friday is at 7:37 p.m. on MidcoSN, the Home of Economy Fighting Hawks Sports Radio Network and nchc.tv.
Notes: Saturday's game marked the 100th career game played for both Casey Johnson and Jordan Kawaguchi ... Kiersted notched his 20th assist of the season and now has nine points in his last four games (2G, 7A) ... Tychonick's game-winner was the first of his career ... UND improved to 11-1-0 in the second game of a two-game series this season, including 10 straight wins.