Courtesy: Eric Classen,
Danny Kristo scored the game-winner tonight, lifting UND past Holy Cross.
UND sweeps Holy Cross with 3-2 win
Release: 01/05/2013
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Last night, following his first full game of the season, sophomore forward Michael Parks suggested it may take some time to get used to play his off wing on the left side. That adjustment period apparently lasted less than 24 hours.

Parks scored the game-tying goal in the third period, fired a career-high nine shots on goal and was named the game's No. 1 star as North Dakota rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Holy Cross 3-2 in the Subway Holiday Classic finale.

The victory improved No. 7 UND's winning streak to five games and its unbeaten streak to seven (6-0-1). More importantly, the sweep of the 20th-ranked Crusaders gave UND a 5-3-0 record in non-conference play with only Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) games remaining.

Parks, a St. Louis, Mo., native, tied the game on the power play 4:15 into the second period when he fought off a defender in front of the Holy Cross net and knocked home his own rebound for his second goal in as many nights. Ten minutes later, a Parks screen enabled linemate Danny Kristo (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) to score the game-winner, also on the power play, and complete the comeback.

"It was definitely tighter checking tonight. We came out a little light," said Parks. "Coach just told (after the first period) us we need to do a lot better job taking care of pucks and we did that and it ended up turning into a win."

Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) assisted on both third period power-play goals, extending his point streak to 15 games.

The Crusaders stunned the crowd of 11,587 when it raced out to a 2-0 lead just 13 minutes into the game. Brandon Nunn scored a power-play goal at 3:23, then helped set up a Rob Linsmayer goal 10 minutes later to extend the lead.

UND got on the board late in the third period when sophomore Connor Gaarder (Edina, Minn.) beat Ginn from the slot for his first goal in 15 games. The goal, which came with 60 seconds left in the period, appeared to lift UND's energy level. UND came out firing in the second period and held a 13-2 edge in shots on goal and, although it didn't score in the middle frame, got better as the period went on.

After Parks and Kristo scored with the man advantage to give UND the lead in the third period, UND junior Clarke Saunders (Brockville, Ontario) provided the save of the game that sealed the win. A turnover at the UND blue line resulted in a Nunn breakaway, but his wrist shot was snatched by the glove hand of Saunders, preserving the lead, the win, and the sweep.

"You have to give credit to Holy Cross. They played a lot harder tonight and kind of boxed us up out there," said Kristo. "Their goalie played extremely well and it was just one of those nights we didn't know if we were going to get the bounces, but we just kept on pushing and finally got a couple of bounces and got the win."

UND finished with a 37-19 edge in faceoffs and went 2-for-5 on the power play.

Head coach Dave Hakstol conceded that his team's performance wasn't a thing of beauty, but it was enough to secure the all-important non-conference win.

"The power play made the difference tonight," said Hakstol. "We dug ourselves a hole against a good team early on. We weren't moving our feet, we weren't completing plays, and that continued through the first 20 minutes. But we dug ourselves out in the final 40 and made a couple of plays late in the third period to come out with two points.

"There's some things we'd like to do differently tonight, mostly importantly our start. But we had a goal coming into this week to finish off our non-conference season with two wins, and we did that. That's a great positive."

UND (12-5-3 overall, 7-2-3 WCHA) returns to league play next weekend when it hosts Colorado College on Friday and Saturday.

Notes: Knight, who had his goal-scoring streak end at a career-long six games, won 21 of 24 faceoffs and went 31 for 40 in the series. His season mark of 60.2 percent is on pace to break his school-record 59.9 percent set as a sophomore in 2009-10 ... Kristo extended his point streak to five games and has five goals and six assists during that stretch ... Parks, Knight and Kristo were named the game's three stars.

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