DURHAM, N.H. - Jonathan Toews broke a 2-2 tie at 8:57 of the third period and it proved to be the game-winning goal as sixth-ranked University of North Dakota defeated 12th-ranked University of New Hampshire, 3-2, in non-conference hockey action Friday night at the Whittemore Center.
UNH is now 1-2-0 overall and UND is 4-1-0.
With the score tied 1-1 through two periods, Drew Stafford, with the assistance of Travis Zajac, scored a shorthanded goal at 5:20 of the final frame when he forced UNH goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass.) to commit and beat him at the right post.
The Wildcats evened the score, 2-2, on that same power play at 6:59. Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ontario) centered the puck to Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.), whose shot from the high slot was stopped by UND goalie Jordan Parise. Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) collected the rebound in front and scored.
Toews gave the Fighting Sioux their third lead of the game, 3-2, when he scored off a rebound of a shot by Brian Lee at the left post at 8:57.
UNH pulled Pietrasiak with 33 seconds remaining, but was unable to generate pressure in the offensive zone and UND cycled the puck in the Wildcats? defensive zone for the last 13 seconds to secure the victory.
Pietrasiak finished with 22 saves, including 12 in the third period. Parise stopped 21 shots.
The Fighting Sioux led 1-0 through one period of play on a goal just 63 seconds after the opening faceoff. Chris Porter?s initial shot from the right point was stopped by Pietrasiak, but T.J. Oshie controlled the rebound in front and fired the puck into the net.
UNH generated a couple of dangerous scoring bids from the top of the crease late in the period, but Parise denied the ?Cats both times. With four minutes remaining in the opening stanza, Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba) gathered a loose puck and fired a shot towards the left post that was kicked aside by Parise?s right leg pad. With UNH on a power play, Micflikier?s centering pass found a cutting Hemingway in front but Parise slid across the crease to absorb the shot in the chest.
New Hampshire had a 5-on-3 power-play for 1:20 spanning the first and second stanzas. The ?Cats didn?t capitalize in the last 51 seconds of the first frame, but Michael Hutchins (Wolfeboro, N.H.) scored 18 seconds into the middle stanza to tie the score, 1-1. Positioned in the high slot, Hutchins slid the puck to the left circle for Hemingway, who sent a return pass to Hutchins and his screened shot sailed into the net.
With one minute remaining in the second period, UND?s Mike Prpich collected a long outlet pass along the left dashers and broke behind the Wildcats? defense, but Pietraskiak stood his ground and stoned Prpich at the left post.
New Hampshire and North Dakota conclude the two-game series at the Whittemore Center Oct. 22. Game time is 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live by New Hampshire Public Television.