GRAND FORKS, N.D. – With the game tied at 2-2, Danny Kristo scored the game-winner for UND with 5:23 left in the third period as the No. 20 Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to No. 7 North Dakota, 3-2, at the Ralph Engelstad Arena on Saturday evening in non-conference action. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 10-6-2 overall, while UND improves to 12-5-3 overall. UND swept the two-game series as North Dakota won the first game of the series by a 5-2 score on Jan. 4.
Holy Cross took a 1-0 lead at 3:23 of the first period when senior Brandon Nunn (Fairport, N.Y.) scored his eighth goal of the season. After receiving a pass from sophomore Nilan Nagy (Canonsburg, Pa.), senior Evan Zych (Kilbride, Ontario) sent the puck to a waiting Nunn at the right post as he then sent a shot to the upper left corner of the net for the power play goal. The Crusaders made it a 2-0 contest at 13:05, when senior assistant captain Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, Ill.) sent a backhander to the lower right side of the net from right in front of the goal off a rebound from a shot by senior Kyle Fletcher (Kanata, Ontario). Nunn also posted an assist on the goal. The goal was Linsmayer's fifth of the season. With just 1:00 minute remaining in the opening period, UND cut the HC lead to 2-1 when Connor Gaarder sent a shot to the left side of the net from in front of the goal. It was his fourth goal of the season. North Dakota outshot Holy Cross, 10-7, while the Crusaders went 1-1 on the power play and UND went 0-1.
The second period went scoreless as sophomore goalie Matt Ginn (Lindsay, Ontario) was outstanding in net as he made 13 saves to keep the game at 2-1. North Dakota outshot Holy Cross by a 13-2 margin.
At 4:15 of the third period, North Dakota tied the contest at 2-2 when Michael Parks scored off his own rebound for the power play goal. The goal was his second of the season. At 14:37, Kristo sent a wrist shot to the right side of the net for the power play goal to give UND a 3-2 lead. With 1:22 remaining, the Crusaders went with an empty but a penalty with 45 seconds left forced them to put Ginn back in the net. With 28 seconds left, the Crusaders pulled the goalie again with a face-off in the UND zone. But Holy Cross was unable to score the equalizer for the 3-2 final.
Ginn made 34 saves and is now 9-5-2 on the season, while Clarke Saunders posted 17 saves to improve to 10-3-3. North Dakota outshot Holy Cross, 37-19, while the Crusaders went 1-3 on the power play and UND went 2-5.
The Crusaders return to action when they travel to Erie, Pa., to take on Atlantic Hockey opponent Mercyhurst at the Mercyhurst Ice Center on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12, at 7:00 p.m.