Friday, January 21, 2011

UNO Stuns #2 North Dakota 8-4 with Second Period Barrage

UNO hockey's first trip to Ralph Englestad Arena proved to be a huge success, as the Mavs broke out early to a 2-0 first period lead over the second-ranked North Dakota Fighting Sioux. But UNO erupted for five straight goals in the second period to take a commanding 7-1 lead into the second intermission.  A third period fury got the Sioux within three goals until Joey Martin scored on a breakaway for a hat trick that iced the game.  So now in two of the most feared arenas in the WCHA, the Mavs are 3-0 after a sweep in October at Minnesota's Mariucci Arena.

Not only is UNO's 8 goals the most the Sioux have given up at Englestad since it opened 10 years ago, it's the most goals the Sioux allowed at home in nearly 19 years, dating back to 1992 when Minnesota scored 10.

Last week after only earning a single point against Bemidji State, it was easy to wonder if the Mavs had another run in them like last season. Tonight's game was an emphatic statement that the Mavs might just be ready for a run...and this season, that run could very well land them in serious contention in the postseason.

One thing is for sure, tonight won't sit well with the Sioux, who have to be stunned to get beaten this badly at home.  UNO is now 2-1 against North Dakota this season, so I expect the Sioux to give everything and anything in the series finale.  But if UNO can manage to pull of the sweep, they'll pull into a tie with the Sioux in the standings.

And with home games coming up the next three weekends at UNO, going on a hot streak is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered.

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