Senior forward Jordan Baker scores game-tying goal for Huskies

Jordan Baker scored the game-tying goal for the Huskies

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- There's thrilling victories and heartbreaking losses, all a part of the great tradition of college hockey.

Then there's overtime ties that send most everyone home feeling like they've got a case of the blahs.

That's what happened tonight when the UND Fighting Sioux battled Michigan Tech to a 1-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association tie in front a sold out crowd of 12,065 at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

"It was a tough one, obviously,'' said UND junior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta), who was credited with the lone Sioux goal, his third of the weekend. "You don't want to come into a Saturday night with a chance to sweep and tie the game and give up that point.''

It was a strange game indeed, lacking dramatics and freewheeling offense, but high on great goaltending and the sound of clanking pipes.

Michigan Tech hit one crossbar and two pipes alone in the first period and UND's Carter Rowney (Sexsmith, Alberta) hit a post in the third period that could have won the game.

Senior Brad Eidsness (Chestermere, Alberta) finished with 23 saves in another strong outing while Tech senior Josh Robinson had 31 saves.

Neither goalie caught a break on the goals they gave up. Knight was attempting to center a pass off the left wing wall on a power play, but his pass hit the skate of Tech defenseman Carl Nielsen and deflected past Robinson. That goal, at 6:04 of the third period, was Knight's 11th of the season.

Eidsness, the beneficiary of clanking metal in the first period, caught a bad break on Tech's tying goal at 9:32 of the third period.

With UND on a power play, a Tech rush and a high shot by Brett Olson caught Eidsness on his shoulder, kicked into the chest of Jordan Baker and rolled into the net. It was the fourth shorthanded goal allowed by UND this season.

So both the goal by Knight and by Baker went in without being shot in by a stick belonging to the attacking team.

"At first I thought I had held on to it,'' Eidsness said of the Baker goal. "It popped loose there, and bounced off Baker's chest and in.''

It was reviewed by officials to see if the puck had been kicked in, but the goal stood as good.

The goalies were two of the players on the ice who enjoyed the low-scoring battle.

"Sometimes goalie duels are fun,'' Eidsness said. "We're both seniors and we've played each other a lot in our career. A tie isn't always what you want, but it's fun to go against a guy who's playing well.''

Ironically, both Eidsness and Baker, Tech's goal scorer, are from the same home town, Chestermere, Alberta.

"We played 9 or 10 years of minor hockey together,'' Eidsness said. "I know him very, very well. He seems to score every time we play each other. He's one of their better players.''

And what about the three pipes Tech hit? "I like to think I didn't give them anything else to shoot at,'' Eidsness said, smiling.

UND coach Dave Hakstol wasn't displeased with the tie as UND is now 0-1-3 in overtime games this season.

"It's a good point for us at the end of the day,'' he said. "Both teams worked real hard. We obviously were not at our best. But we emptied the tank tonight.''

Hakstol praised both goaltenders. "Both were tremendous all weekend,'' Hakstol said. "Brad Eidsness did a great job for us on back-to-back nights.''

Eidsness stepped in for the injured Aaron Dell (Airdrie, Alberta) and was strong in allowing just three total goals in the two games. "I thought he played great all weekend,'' Hakstol said.

UND moved to 13-10-2 in the WCHA and 17-11-3 overall. The Huskies are 10-10-5 in the WCHA and 13-15-5 overall. The tie moved UND into a three-way tie for fourth place in the WCHA with Colorado College and Nebraska-Omaha., all with 27 points and all with four games remaining

UND travels to Denver next weekend for a two-game series with the Pioneers before returning home to finish the WCHA regular season against Minnesota State, Mankato.

SIOUX NOTES: Eidsness became just the fifth goalie in UND history to appear in 100 career games ... The announced attendance of 12,064 was the fourth-largest in team history ... The Sioux allowed Tech just one shot on net on its three power plays. The Huskies were 0-for-3 on the power play, UND 1-for-3 with four shots on goal . . . Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) led UND with 5 shots on goal, followed by Mario Lamoureux (Grand Forks), Michael Parks (St. Louis, Mo.) and Rowney with 4 each . . . UND had a 40-28 edge in faceoff wins, paced by Knight (18 of 29) and Lamoureux (12 of 18) . . . The shorthanded goal was the fourth given up by UND this season. The Sioux have scored three shorthanded.

Virg Foss covered UND hockey for 35 seasons for the Grand Forks Herald until his retirement. He now reports on UND home games exclusively for fightingsiouxsports.com.