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UND captain Austin Poganski out-maneuvers St. Lawrence captain Joe Sullivan during Friday's home game.

Kyle Zimmerman

UND captain Austin Poganski out-maneuvers St. Lawrence captain Joe Sullivan during Friday's home game.

Kyle Kinnamon, Staff Writer

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The University of North Dakota came into the home opener weekend looking to earn its first sweep on home ice in nearly a year. The last home ice sweep was on October 21 and 22 of 2016 against Bemidji State. UND broke the streak and swept St. Lawrence University.

UND came into Friday’s contest looking to assert their presence on the ice, playing physically and defensively. Their physically established a gritty style of play throughout the night.

Special teams dominated the night for both teams. St. Lawrence ending the night going one for four on the power play, scoring their only goal of the night on the power play. While UND ended the night one for seven on the power play. The lone UND power play goal scored by Collin Adams came with just under five minutes remaining in the third period became the game winning goal – Adams’ first game winning goal in a UND sweater.

After a gritty 2-1 win over St. Lawrence in game one, UND looked to control Saturday night’s game with speed and skill.

UND opened up the scoring early with a goal by junior defensemen Christian Wolanin, his first of the season, assisted by sophomore defensemen Colton Poolman. Wolanin seemed to quarterback the team, and set plays up as a dynamic offensive defenseman.

“I’m pretty confident,” Wolanin said. “With Tucker leaving, and a bigger role being placed on me. It is expected of me to step up and lead the d-core. If I am able to do that every night, I am doing my job.”

UND continued to maintain the pressure throughout the first period, scoring two more goals late in the period.

Gersich scored on the powerplay, with assists from Poolman (his second of the night) and Joel Janatuinen. The final goal of the period came from freshman Grant Mismash, scoring his first career goal on a breakaway with one minute remaining in the first period.

The second period started off with a goalie change by St. Lawrence and UND chased goalie Arthur Brey from the crease, bringing Daniel Mannella into the game for St. Lawrence.

The second period was full of special team play. Penalties were being handed out left and right to both teams, whether the other 11,595 referees who attended the game agreed or not. UND’s penalty kill came up big with multiple kills, some being down two players. UND’s biggest penalty kill came after Mismash was given a five-minute major and ejected from the game for a contact to the head penalty.

While the second period was filled with penalties and special teams play, UND still added to the scoreboard. Freshman forward Jordan Kawaguchi scored his first career goal with under five minutes remaining in the second. Casey Johnson and Josh Rieger registered the assists on Kawaguchi’s goal.

The third period returned to the same style of play as the first period. Skill and speed. St. Lawrence capitalized on a chance midway through the third, closing the scoring gap to 4-1. UND was not phased, scoring soon after with a fantastic tic-tac-toe passing play from Janatuinen, Ludvig Hoff and the finish by Cole Smith.

UND did not let off the gas, scoring another goal in the third to top it off. Junior Rhett Gardner scored his first of the season on a top shelf backhanded goal, assisted by Gersich and Dixon Bowen.

Although UND maintained a large lead late into the third, the defensive and team play did not regress. Players such as Colton Poolman continued to sacrifice their body and block shots with only a few minutes remaining to keep the lead.

UND played solidly throughout the entire series, goaltender Cam Johnson playing spectacularly the entire time.

UND looks to continue their success into the next series against archrival, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Kyle Kinnamon is a sports writer for Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]

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