March 26, 2006
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The No. 4 seed Holy Cross men's hockey team fell to the No. 2 seed North Dakota, 5-2, in the NCAA West Regional Finals this evening at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in front of a crowd of 11,492. The Crusaders conclude the most successful season in school history with a 27-10-2 record, while the Fighting Sioux advance onto the Frozen Four in Milwaukee, Wis., and improve to 29-15-1.
North Dakota took an early 1-0 lead when Jonathan Toews buried a puck into the lower corner of the net at 1:18 into the first period. The Fighting Sioux increased their lead to 2-0 at the 15:16 mark when Ryan Duncan scored a power play goal. Duncan received a crossing pass from Toews and then fired it into the right side of the net.
The Fighting Sioux had 13 shots, while the Crusaders took 6. North Dakota went 0-2 on the power play.
The Crusaders cut the deficit in half when sophomore Matt Werry (Regina, Saskatchewan) scored his first goal of the season at 3:03 into the second period. Sophomore Jim Tselikis (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) took possession of the puck between the face-off circles after a North Dakota turnover and dropped the puck to Werry in the middle of the left face-off circle, who then fired in a slap shot past Jordan Parise.
North Dakota regained its two-goal lead at the 17:23 mark when Matt Smaby scored a power play goal. Smaby pounced on a loose puck in front of the net and was able to knock it into the goal. The Crusaders had seven shots and went 0-2 on the power play, while the Fighting Sioux had 12 shots and went 1-2.
Holy Cross made it a 3-2 game when senior Blair Bartlett (Dryden, Ontario) scored his 13th goal of the season at the 5:21 mark of the third period while on the power play. Senior Tyler McGregor (Ajax, Ontario) shot the puck wide reflecting back into the crease where Bartlett was to knock it in. North Dakota increased its lead to 4-2 with a power play goal by Travis Zajac at 6:48. North Dakota took a three-goal lead at the 9:03 mark when Matt Watkins added a goal.
Holy Cross senior goaltender Tony Quesada (South Freeport, Maine) made 27 saves and finish the season with a school record 22-6-2 record. Parise stopped 17 shots and improves to 24-8-1. Holy Cross had 19 shots and went 1-5 on the power play, while North Dakota had 32 shots and went 3-5.
McGregor and junior Jon Landry (Lexington, Mass.) earned spots on the West Regional all-tournament team.