For the third straight Saturday, North Dakota failed to pick up a victory, this time falling 4-2 to Hockey East's Boston University in front of a sellout crowd of 11,977 at Ralph Engelstad.
UND is now 0-2-1 on its three Saturday games and it's an issue that needs to be addressed, according to senior assistant captain Corban Knight (High River, Alberta).
The Terriers scored three goals in the final five minutes, 21 seconds of the game to erase a 2-1 UND lead and snap North Dakota's home unbeaten streak at 12 games (10-0-2).
"The last three weekends, we haven't been able to close out a game on Saturday,'' Knight said. "In this league, you need to be able to do that. It's something we need to figure out and figure out real fast or else it's going to be a long haul for this team for the rest of the year.''
Knight was one of the bright spots for North Dakota. He led the team in shots on goal with seven and picked up his 100th career point when he set up linemate Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) for his first goal of the season and a 2-1 UND lead midway through the game.
But Boston University tied it on Matt Nieto's snap shot from midway between the faceoff circles at 14:39 of the third period.
BU then rattled two more past UND freshman goalie Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.) just 11 seconds apart to salvage the series split after North Dakota won 4-2 Friday.
Matt Lane beat Gothberg (29 saves) short side from in tight at 18:10 and Danny O'Regan pounced on a North Dakota turnover to ice it at 18:21.
BU got a big boost as well from 6-foot-5 freshman goalie Matt O'Connor, who stopped 26 shots. His best stop might have been a breakaway by North Dakota sophomore Brendan O'Donnell (Winnipeg, Manitoba) late in the second period that would have extended the UND lead to 3-1.
"I thought they played better last night than we did and I thought we played better than them tonight,'' BU coach Jack Parker said. "Both games reflected it in the score.''
North Dakota (3-2-1 overall) struck first against BU (4-2) when sophomore wing Stephane Pattyn (Ste. Anne, Manitoba) benefited from a great bounce for his first goal of the year.
His shot off right wing bounced crazily off the glass on the end wall and into the goal crease, where it hit O'Connor's skate and rolled into the net for an unassisted goal.
At that point, it meant that four of UND's five goals on the weekend were scored by walk-ons after sophomore Connor Gaarder (Edina, Minn.) scored three goals Friday. Both came to UND without scholarship help.
BU tied it 42 seconds into the second period on a 4-on-4 goal by Terrier captain Wade Megan, his wrist shot banking off Gothberg's arm and flipping into the net.
Kristo put UND ahead again, going 5-hole on O'Connor when left alone in front of the goal at 9:29 of the second period on a setup by Knight. The 100th career point for Knight makes him the 84th UND player to join the Century Club for players with 100 or more career points.
But O'Donnell's missed breakaway and the late outburst by Boston University continued UND's stretch of troublesome Saturday nights.
"It was a close, tight hockey game,'' UND coach Dave Hakstol said. "Once they got second goal, it was a 5-6 minute hockey game. We didn't get the job done.''
North Dakota sniped 12 shots on net against O'Connor in the third period, but couldn't score. BU had seven shots in the final period on goal, converting on three of them.
"We had a good third period going,'' Hakstol said. "But it's not a 15-minute period, it's a 20-minute period. That's what I'll keep coming back to.''
UND notes: North Dakota mustered just two shots on goal on its three power plays and didn't score on any of them. For the weekend, UND was 1-10 on the power play, converting only a 5-on-3 on Friday night . . . Knight led all players in faceoffs by winning 14 of 22 draws . . . UND had a slight 29-27 edge in faceoff wins. . . North Dakota returns to Western Collegiate Hockey Association play next weekend with a two-game series at St. Cloud State, beginning on Friday.
Virg Foss covered UND hockey for 35 seasons for the Grand Forks Herald until his retirement in 2005. He now reports on UND home games exclusively for UNDsports.com.