North Dakota rebounds with 6-3 win over Western Michigan
OMAHA, Neb.– North Dakota won its sixth straight game over Western Michigan with a 6-3 victory Sunday afternoon at Baxter Arena to halt a three-game winless streak. UND is now 4-2-1 in the NCHC pod with three games to play.
Freshman sensation Riese Gaber scored a pair of goals in the win, giving him a team-best five in the opening seven games of the season. He got things going in the first, redirecting a Matt Kiersted blast and North Dakota earned the early edge with its ninth power play goal of the year.
Just under four minutes later, junior Gavin Hain got his second of the season to build the UND lead. Mark Senden made a nice play to keep the puck in the offensive zone, poking it to Griffin Ness at the lower right circle. Ness then fed a pass to Hain in the slot, who rifled it past Austin Cain stickside for a 2-0 advantage.
Jacob Bernard-Docker got his first goal of the year in the middle stages of the second on nice plays by Grant Mismash and Brendan Budy to set him up. Mismash gained the zone along the far wall and left a pass for Budy, who threaded the seam on the back door for Bernard-Docker to knock home.
WMU (2-4-1) spoiled the shutout late in the second on an Ethen Frank goal at 18:01 to make it 3-1. The Broncos inched within one at 5:02 of the third with a Brett Van Os goal, but Gaber quickly had an answer.
Just 27 seconds after the Bronco goal, Gaber scored on a tough-angle to reclaim a two-goal cushion. Jordan Kawaguchi walked the puck behind the WMU net and fed Gaber just ahead of the red line at the lower right circle, where he flicked it behind Cain for a 4-2 game.
UND put it away late with a Brendan Budy goal and later an empty netter from Jasper Weatherby. Budy’s tally with just over seven minutes left saw Collin Adams work it through the defense and center to Mismash in the slot, who slipped it to Budy on the doorstep for his second goal of the season.
WMU did score with 2:02 left, but Weatherby sealed it with an empty netter, the 12th different UND player to notch a point in the win. Adam Scheel notched the win in net for the Fighting Hawks, kicking aside 20 shots to improve to 2-1-1 on the year.
North Dakota has three games remaining in the pod, with a Wednesday evening tilt against St. Cloud State before weekend meetings with Minnesota Duluth Saturday and Miami Sunday.