Joel Janatuinen scored twice and Peter Thome made 20 saves to lead 8th-ranked North Dakota to a 5-1 victory over Colorado College Saturday night in Grand Forks, N.D.
After a scoreless first period, the Fighting Hawks (13-9-8, 7-7-4-2 NCHC) scored a pair of power-play goals in the second. Janatuinen opened the scoring at the 9:23 mark of the middle frame. Just seconds after the Tigers killed a two-man advantage, Shane Gersich fired a shot that was wide but caromed off the back boards right to Janatuinen, who was all alone at the right side of the net.
Gersich made it 2-0 when he put home a rebound from the left circle after Tiger netminder Alex Leclerc saved a shot by Austin Poganski. UND had five consecutive power plays in the second period and converted on two of them.
“We can’t give anybody that many chances,” head coach Mike Haviland said. “The game was in our favor and still scoreless, then we take three penalties in a row and give the momentum back to them.”
The Tigers (12-12-4, 6-9-3-2 NCHC) could not convert on a power-play of their own during the first 50 seconds of the third period, then seven seconds later, Poganski put the Fighting Hawks ahead 3-0 with a wrist shot from the left circle that hit just under the crossbar.
Nick Halloran scored his team-high 17th goal of the season at the 6:36 mark of the third to cut the lead to 3-1. During a rush, Troy Conzo flipped the puck to Halloran, who beat Thome top shelf from the left circle. Conzo collected his third point of the weekend and Christiano Versich also collected an assist on the play.
The Tigers continued to buzz the net after Halloran’s goal, but could not convert to cut the lead to one. Later in the period, Janatuinen scored on a rebound during a delayed penalty call to make it 4-1, then Grant Mismash sent a wrister past Leclerc just after the Tigers killed off the penalty to close the scoring.
The Fighting Hawks outshot CC, 30-21, and finished 2-for-7 on the power play Saturday. Colorado College, meanwhile, was 0-for-5 on Saturday and 0-for-9 during the weekend. Leclerc finished with 25 saves.
With their series split this weekend, the Tigers are in sixth place in the NCHC, just one point behind fifth-place Minnesota Duluth and four points behind Western Michigan and North Dakota for third place.
“Anytime you can split on the road, it’s good to get those three points,” Haviland said.
CC heads back to Colorado to face in-state rival Denver in a home-and-home series next weekend. The game on Friday, Feb. 16 will be at The Broadmoor World Arena, while Saturday’s tilt will be played at Magness Arena.