UND takes WCHA opener, 4-1 over UAA
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Alaska Anchorage netminder Chris Kamal made a career-high-tying 30 saves in net, but it wasn't enough as No. 4-ranked North Dakota opened up Western Collegiate Hockey Association play with a 4-1 win in front of 11, 446 fans at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Following a scoreless opening stanza, North Dakota (2-1-0, 1-0-0 WCHA) peppered the Seawolves (2-2-1, 0-1-0 WCHA) with three goals in the first half of the second, before senior forward Alex Gellert (Kelwona, B.C.) gave UAA its lone goal, just 22 seconds before UND netted its fourth.
After leading 14-2 for shots on goal in the first, North Dakota was able to capitalize in the first seven minutes of the second frame. Corbin Knight opened the scoring with his first of the season at 1:10 when he attempted to pass out from behind the net and hit freshman Blake Leask's skate for the 1-0 lead.
At 4:46, UND's Rocco Grimaldi set up a 2-on-1 and connected with Drake Caggiula, before Carter Rowney tipped Dillon Simpson's shot from the point at 6:58 on the man advantage.
The Seawolves, who led UND in face-offs 28-21, saw a Grade A scoring chance at 14:27 when Gellert stripped the puck from the defense and entered the North Dakota zone on a partial breakaway. Zane Gothberg, making his first collegiate start, made the stop but Gellert would get his retribution later following a 2-on-2 man rush.
Rookie Blake Tatchell (North Battleford, Saskatchewan) patiently skated through the UND zone and got a shot off on Gothberg, who the made the initial save. With UND scrambling in front of the net and Gothberg low and out of position, Gellert fired high to end the shutout at 15:39. Sophomore Kory Roy also assisted on Gellert's third of the season.
Just 22 seconds later, North Dakota responded at 16:01 with a sniper shot by Derek Forbort returning UND to its three-goal lead.
Kamal, from Alpharetta, Ga., tied his career-high from Jan. 29, 2011 against Minnesota with 30 stops, while Gothbert turned aside 17. UND outshot UAA, 34-18.
Both the Seawolves and North Dakota were whistled for five penalties, serving 10 minutes, with UND scoring the only power-play tally.
UAA and UND will rematch tomorrow at 4:07 p.m. ADT. The game can be viewed online at GCI Channel 1 or on Fox College Sports Central, or can be heard on KTZN 550 AM with play-by-play by Kurt Haider.
SEAWOLF NOTES: Alex Gellert, who has a team-high-tying three goals and a two-game goal streak, has already bypassed his goal total from the past two seasons combined and is currently tied with his rookie season in 2009-10.