BEMIDJI, Minn. - With the score tied 2-2 and less than five minutes remaining, the University of North Dakota needed a goal - and a win - in the worst way.
Enter senior captain Mario Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.).
After entering the right circle with the puck, Lamoureux used Bemidji State defenseman - and fellow Grand Forks native Matt Carlson - as a screen and beat goalie Dan Bakala with a wrist shot to the glove side, putting UND ahead 3-2 with 4:38 left in the third period.
The goal was Lamoureux's first of the season, snapped an 11-game drought, and vaulted the Sioux to a critical Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) victory. UND now enters tomorrow night's series finale trailing the ninth-place Beavers by just one point in the league standings.
Just as notably, it also marked the 10,000th goal in the history of UND men's hockey, dating back to 1946-47.
After Lamoureux's goal, sophomore forward Brock Nelson (Warroad, Minn.) scored twice in the final 90 seconds to seal the win, first with a power-play tally with 1:30 remaining, then with an empty-netter with 29.5 seconds showing on the clock.
The three-goal outburst in the final 4:38 helped UND avoid a third-straight WCHA loss and improve to 2-5-0 in league play and 4-6-1 overall.
The Sioux had taken a lead into the third period for just the fourth time all season, thanks to Brendan O'Donnell's (Fr., Winnipeg, Manitoba) first collegiate goal. Making his first appearance after a six-game injury absence, O'Donnell knocked home his own rebound 4:30 into the second period to give UND a 2-1 lead.
But BSU knotted the game just 1:12 into the second period, when Brady Wacker set up Shea Walters for a back-door goal. However, UND dominated for the duration, outshooting the Beavers 15-6 in the period and 36-25 for the game.
BSU's Brance Orban and UND's Corban Knight (Jr., High River, Alberta) traded first-period goals in the game's opening 6:49. Knight's came on the power play, enabling the Sioux to go 2-for-4 with the man advantage.
UND junior Aaron Dell (Airdrie, Alberta) was solid throughout the night, stopping 23 of 25 shots, with 10 of those saves coming in the first period.
The Sioux killed both BSU power play opportunities.
The two teams will conclude their series Sunday night at 5:07 p.m. Central.
Notes: UND is 13-0-0 all-time when Lamoureux scores a goal ... The Sioux have now killed 23 of the last 25 opponent power plays ... UND's five goals represented a season high ... Knight won 18 of 27 faceoffs, a 66.7 percent success rate ... Lamoureux, who was named the game's first star, won all five of the faceoffs he took ... Rodwell drew an assist on O'Donnell's goal, snapping a 14-game drought without a point dating back to last season ... Nelson led the Sioux with seven shots on goal and defenseman Joe Gleason (Jr., Edina, Minn.) led with four blocked shots.
~Go Sioux ~