GRAND FORKS, N.D. - While the city of Grand Forks endured whiteout blizzard conditions outside of Ralph Engelstad Arena, visiting Michigan Tech was forced to endure a whitewashing inside the arena.
North Dakota forwards Matt Frattin (Sr., Edmonton, Alberta) and Jason Gregoire each scored hat tricks to carry the top-ranked Fighting Sioux to an 8-0 drubbing of the Huskies in game one of their best-of-three Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) playoff series.
The Sioux, who outscored MTU 17-2 in their regular season series last weekend in Houghton, picked up right where they left off by scoring three times in the opening 5:12, and building a 5-0 lead through the first 20 minutes.
Gregoire got things off and running with a deflection of a Chay Genoway (Sr., Morden, Manitoba) point shot just 3:11 into the game. Just 20 seconds later, Brett Hextall (Jr., Manhattan Beach, Calif.) knocked home a Corban Knight (So., High River, Alberta) rebound to make it 2-0.
Then Frattin, the WCHA Player of the Year and a Hobey Baker Award candidate, took over. Frattin scored his 30th goal of the season at 5:12, taking a Brad Malone (Sr., Miramichi, New Brunswick) centering pass and fending off a defender in front, and then potted a shorthanded tally seven minutes later, snapping a shot past MTU goalie Kevin Genoe from the left faceoff dot on a 2-on-1.
Gregoire closed the period with his second goal with 1:19 left in the frame, then completed the hat trick 5:22 into the second period. It was the second straight hat trick for Gregoire, who extended his career-long winning streak to 13 games. The third-team All-WCHA selection has 17 goals and 26 points during that stretch.
Frattin secured his hat trick with 5:43 left in the second period, one-timing a Genoway pass from the point for his NCAA-leading 32nd goal of the season.
Senior defenseman Jake Marto (Grand Forks, N.D.) rounded out the scoring with his seventh of the season late in the third period.
Sioux goalie Aaron Dell stopped all 16 shots he faced in recording his fifth shutout of the season. The Airdrie, Alberta, native turned aside 11 shots in a busy first period, but only had to contend with five shots over the final two periods. The Sioux outshot the Huskies 42-16 for the game, including a 28-5 edge in the final 40 minutes.
Genoway, in only his second game back after missing eight straight with an injury, matched his career high with four assists. The Sioux captain anchored another efficient night on the power-play, helping UND score twice in three chances.
UND killed all five Husky power-play chances.
Genoe stopped nine of 14 shots before being relieved by Josh Robinson to start the third period. Robinson stopped 25 of 28 shots.
Game two of the series is set for 7:07 p.m. Central on Saturday. UND, which is now unbeaten in 10 games (9-0-1), can earn its ninth straight berth in the Red Baron WCHA Final Five with a victory.
Notes: Frattin extended his career-long point streak to 10 games. He has 12 goals and 11 assists during that time ... Dell is only the fourth Sioux goalie to record five shutouts in a season, joining Karl Goehring (eight in 1999-00), Jean-Philippe Lamoureux (2007-08) and Jordan Parise (2005-06) ... Genoway moved into fifth on UND's defenseman scoring list with 120 career points ... Gregoire was credited with his 15th career game-winning goal, tying Brandon Bochenski (2001-04) for fourth all-time at UND. Mark Taylor (1976-80) holds the record with 18 ... UND's power-play is 16-for-33 (48.5 percent) over the last six games ... The Sioux are averaging seven goals per game over the last five ... The attendance was 11,604 despite the blizzard ... If UND wins the series on Saturday, the team will be presented with the MacNaughton Cup following the game.