GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- It didn't take long for UND to erase the memory of a 6-3 home loss to Nebraska Omaha last Saturday, a game UND once lead 3-1.
Mark MacMillan set up one goal and scored another 91 seconds apart in the first period to spark UND's 3-2 National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) victory over preseason favorite Miami.
MacMillan jumped on a turnover by Miami goalie Jay Williams behind his own net at 12:38 of the opening period, taking the puck away from Williams and feeding a wide-open Michael Parks in front for his ninth of the season.
"Sometimes in hockey you've got to be a little lucky and I think I got a little lucky they left it (puck) there and Parksie was in front. It was pretty easy to get that one,'' MacMillan said.
On the play, Williams was called for tripping MacMillan behind the net. On the power play, MacMillian beat Williams with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle to make it 2-0 and end the night for Williams (6 saves) in goal.
That proved to be cushion enough as UND (10-7 NCHA, 15-9-3 overall) moved into a tie for second place in the NCHC with Nebraska Omaha, three points behind leader St. Cloud State with seven games remaining for all teams.
MacMillan's wrister from the faceoff dot was his seven goal of the season and snapped a 0-16 drought on the power play for UND. It was UND's lone power-play goal in six tries.
MacMillan pounced on a rebound for his second of the game at 6:04 of the second period to make it 3-0. Goalie Ryan McKay, who replaced Williams, stopped a backhand attempt by Drake Caggiula, but left a rebound at the side of the net for MacMillan to jam home.
Miami (4-11-1 NCHA, 12-14-3 overall) picked up a power-play goal from Cody Murphy on a perfect backdoor setup midway through the second period and a closing goal with 30 seconds left in the game from Sean Kuraly with McKay lifted for a sixth attacker.
"They kind of came with a little punch right off the bat,'' MacMillan said of Miami, "pretty excited to play in this building for the first time. But I think we handled it well and hit back really well, which I thought was big for our success, especially after our game (the loss to Omaha) last week.''
It marked the 250th coaching win at UND for Dave Hakstol.
"No comment,'' he said with a laugh. "It was a good team win for us.''
Hakstol changed three of his four lines around from last Saturday, keeping only the line of MacMillan, Parks and Caggiula intact. That line scored all three UND goals and collected six scoring points. MacMillan had two goals and one assist, Park one of each and Caggiula a single assist.
"I thought we had some good play out of all of our lines,'' Hakstol said. "It's a good win tonight. We've got to get ready for a battle tomorrow. While all that's going on, we have to continue to try to improve our team. That's why you saw some of the lineup changes.''
Senior goalie Clarke Saunders, who gave up the six goals to Omaha and took the loss last Saturday, rebounded with a strong effort with 31 saves.
"He had a good game tonight,'' Hakstol said. "When the game was 3-1, I thought he made two or three key saves that kept it at 3-1.''
While MacMillan's first goal was technically on the power play, it didn't come from a setup in the zone by UND's revamped power play. He simply blew his wrister by Williams on the short side.
"It wasn't pretty, but it counts,'' MacMillan said.
MacMillan got knocked hard into the boards six minutes into the opening period, and went downstairs to be checked by trainer Mark Poolman before returning to the game shortly. He then gave UND the instant offense with the strip of Williams and the wrister of his own to build a cushion UND would never relinquish.
UND notes: UND improved to 11-2-1 in its last 14 games since Nov. 30 ... Rocco Grimaldi led UND in shots on goal with five, followed by Caggiula, MacMillan and Brendan O'Donnell with three each ... Riley Barber, Austin Czarnik and Anthony Louis had four shots each for the Redhawks ... UND had a 38-28 edge in faceoffs, led by Connor Gaarder (12-2) ... UND blocked 17 Miami shots as Miami finished with a 33-30 shot advantage.
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.