GRAND FORKS, North Dakota — Jordan Schmaltz's power-play goal midway through the third period was the game-winner as North Dakota beat Minnesota-Duluth 4-2 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference on Friday.
Schmaltz, who also had an assist, scored after the Bulldogs (4-4-1, 1-2-0-0) had tallied two goals in 20 seconds to tie the game at two.
"It was kind of weird," Schmaltz said. "Even though it was sort of a wild (third) period, it was pretty fun."
Stephane Pattyn netted an empty-net goal with 56 seconds to play.
Schmaltz also had an assist and Dillon Simpson assisted on two goals for UND (4-4-1, 3-4-0-0).
The game was between two of the top three teams in the nation in penalty killing. North Dakota came into the game No. 3, while Minnesota-Duluth came in No. 1.
North Dakota took a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a power-play goal by Rocco Grimaldi.
UMD goalie Aaron Crandall stopped Dillon Simpson's wrist shot, but the puck trickled behind him and Crandall tried to fall back on the puck. Grimaldi raced it and plucked it from under the goalie at 17:59.
"We came out with a lot of energy at the start and got some momentum," Grimaldi said of UND's 1-0 lead after one period.
UND goalie Clarke Saunders carried that momentum through the second period. He made several clutch saves to help UND head into the final period with a one-goal lead.
Michael Parks added to the North Dakota lead with a wrap-around goal that got behind Crandall and bounced off a defenseman inside the net. The referees looked long at the replay before ruling it a goal at 19:23 of the third period.
UND needed it as Minnesota-Duluth scored twice in 20 seconds in the third period to tie the game.
Alex Iafallo and Adam Krause scored at 6:37 and 6:57 of the third. Krause's goal came on the power play.
Schmaltz saved the night for UND with the team's second power-play goal.
"After we gave up the two quick ones, the next shift that we had set the tone and put us on an even keel," UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "We got on power play and a few seconds later . (we) came through with a huge goal."
Saunders made 34 saves for UND, while Crandall finished with 19 saves.