Jordan Kawaguchi joins Century Club, scores another overtime winner as UND topples St. Cloud State
UND captain leads Fighting Hawks to another victory, despite playing shorthanded.
OMAHA, Neb. -- Jordan Kawaguchi started the night by getting his 100th career point. He did it the way he tallied so many of them -- setting up a teammate.
Then, Kawaguchi finished the night in familiar style, too.
The UND senior captain scored his fifth-career overtime winner -- and second in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Pod -- to give the Fighting Hawks a 4-3 win over St. Cloud State on Wednesday night.
UND improved to 5-2-1 this season.
Mark Senden, Shane Pinto and Collin Adams also scored for the Fighting Hawks, who finished it just eight seconds into overtime.
On the winning play, Kawaguchi cut across the offensive zone from the top of the right circle to the top of the left circle before firing a shot high over the glove of St. Cloud State goalie David Hrenak.
UND players stormed the ice to celebrate with Kawaguchi, who became the first to reach 100 points since Drake Caggiula in 2015-16.
For the second-straight game, UND was unable to fill out a full lineup and was forced to play with 17 skaters. Defenseman Ethan Frisch and forwards Harrison Blaisdell and Judd Caulfield remained sidelined with injuries, while rookie defenders Jake Sanderson and Tyler Kleven are gone at the World Junior Championship.
UND coach Brad Berry didn't pin point any return dates for the players, but he said earlier in the week he was holding out hope to have Frisch back for the final two Pod games -- against Minnesota Duluth on Saturday and against Miami on Sunday.
UND jumped out to the early lead just 2:15 into the game when forward Jasper Weatherby made a poke check on St. Cloud State forward Jami Krannila in the neutral zone to spring a rush the other way. Gavin Hain picked up the loose puck after the poke check and sent Senden in on a breakaway. The junior went five-hole on Hrenak.
St. Cloud State evened it at 16:08 of the first. Thief River Falls product Brendan Bushy made a pass to the offensive blue line, where Chase Brand alertly noticed Easton Brodzinski was alone on the right side. Brand made a touch pass to Brodzinski in space and St. Cloud State's top goal-scorer buried it.
UND regained the lead on the power play in the second period. Kawaguchi, standing in the left circle, fed Pinto in the right circle. Pinto snapped it past Hrenak for his fourth goal of the season.
The Fighting Hawks extended their lead with 2:26 left in the second period on a terrific individual effort by Adams. The senior center grabbed the puck in the defensive zone, sped around a Husky player in the neutral zone, entered the offensive zone on the left side with speed, fought off a stick check by defenseman Spencer Meier and put it under the crossbar from in tight.
But the Huskies made it a one-goal game before the end of the period when a Cooper Moore clearing attempt didn't get out of the zone and Zach Okabe fed defenseman Nick Perbix in the slot area. Perbix sent a backhand top shelf with 58 seconds left in the period.
St. Cloud State tied it early in the third when UND rookie forward Griffin Ness missed on an zone-exit pass. Krannila held it in and got the puck to Veeti Miettinen who evened it at 4:43.
The Huskies had a prime chance to take the lead when UND defenseman Josh Rieger was called for a five-minute major for boarding with 14:32 to go in the third period, but UND killed it off.