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Danny Kristo scored UND's lone goal and Zane Gothberg stopped 29 of 30 shots.
North Dakota, Wisconsin slug their way to 1-1 draw
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Updated: Sunday 03/12/2013 13:18:30 (ET)
by Virg Foss, UNDsports.com
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Danny Kristo may hope he never hears the classic ballad "Danny Boy'' again.

As in the song, "the pipes, the pipes were calling'' for UND senior wing Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.), a major reason the Western Collegiate Hockey Association battle between UND and Wisconsin ended in a 1-1 overtime tie tonight.

Kristo hit the post in the first period and chimed a shot off the crossbar in overtime as the two teams, now both 8-5-6 in the WCHA, skated to the OT draw and put UND's OT record at 1-0-6 this season.

In a sense UND was fortunate to finish with a tie, too. UND had to kill a five-minute major penalty on freshman wing Drake Caggiula (Pickering, Ontario) for checking from behind late in the third period and a minor on sophomore wing Mark MacMilllan (Penticton, British Columbia) in overtime to hold on to the tie.

But UW finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play and is now on a 0-32 streak with the power play on the road.

UND (13-8-6, 8-5-6 WCHA) had bad luck in the opening period. Kristo and freshman Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) hit pipes.

"We missed some open nets, too,'' UND coach Dave Hakstol said. Senior center Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) missed a clear open net when he slid a backhand rebound toward the open net with Badger goalie Landon Peterson's back turned to him. But the puck hit the back of Peterson's legs in a fortunate break for the Badgers.

UND freshman Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls, Minn.) might have had his best game in a UND uniform. He finished with 29 saves, 14 of them coming in the third period when the Badgers outshot UND by a 14-4 margin.

"I thought both teams played a fast, quick game,'' Gothberg said. "Overall, it was pretty even.''

Gothberg was at his best when North Dakota ran into big penalty trouble late in the game.

"You signed up for being a goaltender for a reason,'' Gothberg said. "Your job is to stop the puck, and whatever you can do to help the team, is a big key.''

He made a great save five minutes into the period when he snaked out his right pad to rob Badger defenseman Kevin Schulze from the side of the net on a rebound off the back boards.

North Dakota took a 1-0 lead just 25 seconds into the second period, with two seconds left on a power play.

Kristo's wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle squeeked through Peterson's pads and barely trickled over the goal line for Kristo's team-leading 16th goal of the season.

The lead lasted just 13 seconds.

Wisconsin came back on Michael Mersch's 16th goal of the season 38 seconds into the period and that's where the scoring stopped.

Kristo lamented his missing scoring chance in overtime on a North Dakota power play to end the game.

"Corban (Knight) made a great pass and the goalie was kind of out of position,'' Kristo said. "I shot it a little too hard and I think it hit the crossbar. One I wish I had back, but I think we hit three pipes tonight. That's just the way it was.''

Kristo has hit the post in North Dakota's last two overtime games, both ending in ties. "That's the breaks we're getting right now,'' Kristo said. "I think we're playing good. I thought we deserved a better fate last two games.''

Wisconsin had a 30-22 shot advantage in a fiesty game in which 28 penalties -- 14 on each team -- were called for a total of 99 penalty minutes.

North Dakota had trouble generating much offense against the Badgers, who have allowed just 40 goals in 19 WCHA games, fewest in the league.

"They like to slow the game down,'' Kristo said. "They clog the neutral zone well, and they play really good structure in their game. I think they're probably one of the best structure teams we've played.''

UND NOTES: Kristo, who has 12 goals in 15 home games, was named No. 1 star by the media, with Gothberg No. 2 and Mersch third star . . . Nearly everyone on press row thought a shot by Grimaldi late in the first period went into the net and came back out quickly and should have been a goal. Replays showed, however, the puck the post flush. . . Kristo, Knight and Grimaldi all had three shots on goal to lead North Dakota . . . Tyler Barnes, Mersch and Schulze had four shots apiece for the Badgers, who extended their WCHA win streak to 11 games (7-0-4) and league unbeaten road streak to seven games (5-0-2). . . The game drew a sellout of 11,864 ... UND is in the midst of its first 5-game winless streak since 2002-03.

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.
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