GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The only sure thing about North Dakota’s hockey season has been its ability to hold on in the third period. Even that isn’t a sure thing now.
Miami (Ohio) scored five unanswered goals Friday to beat North Dakota 6-3 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, snapping the Fighting Hawks’ 82-game streak (77-0-5) without a loss when leading after two periods. Its last loss was to St. Cloud State on Nov. 1, 2013.
Trailing 3-1 after UND (12-7-3, 5-5-1-1) scored two goals in the second period, the RedHawks (8-8-5, 4-4-3-1) got four goals in 11:01 to steal away with their fifth straight win.
Anthony Louis, Carson Meyer, Karch Bachman, Ryan Siroky and Louie Belpedio scored in the third period. Gordie Green added a goal in the first.
The RedHawks, who got 30 saves from Ryan Larkin, have come from behind in the third period to win their last four games.
“Two-goal lead going into the third period and give up a goal on the very first shift is not what you want,” UND coach Brad Berry said. “It started the last five minutes of the second period. That’s what happens when you give a team momentum at the end of a period.”
Christian Wolanin, Brock Boeser and Shane Gersich scored for UND, which is 1-4-2 at home since starting the year 5-0-0.
Cam Johnson had 21 saves before he was replaced by Matej Tomek, who had three stops against five shots in his first action at UND.
Miami (Ohio) jumped on top early in the first period when a shot from the point deflected off Green’s skate and into the net at 3:30 of the first period.
The lead proved short-lived as Wolanin answered in similar fashion at 6:00. Wolanin set up near the blue line and sent the puck toward the goal, where it bounced off a Miami player and past Larkin.
“I was lucky enough to get a bounce my way,” Wolanin said.
UND took advantage of two simultaneous penalties in the second period, although just one resulted in a goal.
At 2:15, Belpedio and Jared Brandt went to the box for penalties. Just 23 seconds later, Boeser scored on a blistering one-timer over Larkin’s right shoulder. At 4:20, Gersich scored his NCHC-leading 16th goal just as the last penalty ended for a 3-1 lead.
But Miami (Ohio) needed less than eight minutes of the third period to take the lead and chase Johnson from the net.
Just 32 seconds into the third period, Louis scored his 10th goal. The game was stopped for several minutes while the goal was reviewed and upheld, but the delay didn’t bother Miami (Ohio).
At 4:03, Meyer took a bank pass from Josh Melnick, beat Wolanin and scored on a backhand to tie the game 3-3. Melnick has scored points in five straight games.
Then at 7:49, Bachman skated through the Fighting Hawks defense and scored the go-ahead goal. Johnson was replaced by sophomore Tomek, who gave up goals to Siroky and Belpedio.
Belpedio had two assists.
Any chance UND had vanished when Austin Pogansky took a five-minute penalty and game misconduct for a blow to the head with 5:04, meaning UND played short-handed down the stretch.
“It’s a team loss. We win together and we lose together and that was a team loss,” Berry said.