OMAHA, Neb. -- After playing four games in four nights, you would think that Tyson Jost would be looking for the nearest bed to crawl in, however, maybe the freshman should be looking to join an intermural game on Sunday as the freshman tallied two goals and an assist to lead No. 7 North Dakota to a 7-3 win over No. 18 Omaha at Baxter Arena.
"I’m sleeping all day tomorrow and all day Monday," joked Jost. "I was a little bit more tired this game. It kind of caught up to me a little bit. Last night I was running a little bit more on adrenaline than today. In saying that, I felt okay and it was awesome to get those three points again."
One night after scoring nine goals, UND (12-6-3, 5-4-1-1 NCHC) hung a seven spot on the Mavericks (11-8-3, 4-6-0-0 NCHC) to complete the weekend sweep and move into sole possession on third place in the NCHC with 17 points.
"We talk about details," said Brad Berry on the recent consistency. "Playing north, getting pucks on net and short shifts…it’s all the little things in the game. Blocking shots. The details that you have to do and do them consistently over and over again. When you do those things part-time, you’re going to win part-time."
The Fighting Hawks scored their goals via the power play, shorthanded, even strength, and an empty-netter for a total of 16 tallies on the weekend, the most since UND struck for 17 in 2011 at Michigan Tech.
"Our boys came out hot," said goaltender Cam Johnson. "They got one in there right away but I like how we started. After beating them 9-1 it’s a little tougher to get up but I thought our guys did a great job in responding to that."
Omaha promised a much-better start on Saturday after allowing five goals in the opening 20 minutes on Friday, and the Mavericks delivered in the opening minutes. Following a defensive-zone faceoff, Tyler Vessel scored his tenth goal of the season on the power play to give UNO a 1-0 lead just 2:18 into the game.
UND wasted almost no time in waiting to respond. After Joel Janatuinen used his speed to draw a penalty, Christian Wolanin picked almost no-better time to score his first goal of the season when the sophomore blasted a shot through a pair of screens and past Evan Weninger to tie the game at 1-1.
"I thought our guys responded the right way," said Berry on how his team responded to the early UNO goal. "Through experience in the first half of the season we’ve been behind or we’ve had to chase games, and we’ve learned a little bit from the first half. Our group is maturing a little bit as far as how to handle games."
With the power play clicking for UND, the Fighting Hawks were given their second chance at the midway point of the opening frame. Junior defenseman Tucker Poolman made a great hold at the blue line on an attempted clear and placed the puck on a tee for his brother, Colton, who fired a shot labeled for the top corner to give UND a 2-1 lead.
The goal was the second of the season for the freshman, and his second in four games.
Just two minutes later, UND continued to keep its foot on the gas. Wolanin continued his hot night from the point when the sophomore snapped a wrister over the glove of Weninger to increase the lead to 3-1.
The goal marked the second-consecutive night that UND has struck for at least three goals in the opening 20 minutes for the first time since Oct. 2014 at Colorado College.
The Mavericks pulled within one late in the first period when Fredrik Olofsson fired a one-timer past Cam Johnson to send the game into the first intermission with UND leading 3-2.
With Austin Ortega in the penalty box to start the second period, the UND power play struck for the third time on the evening. Tyson Jost entered the zone on a one-on-one rush and snapped a shot past the glove side of Weninger just 41 seconds into the middle frame to restore the two-goal advantage for the visitors.
Jost’s ninth goal of the season and second of the weekend moved the power play to 6-for-9 on the weekend and 3-for-3 tonight.
However, the freshman wasn’t done.
With under three minutes to play in the second, Jost circled the net and sniped the short side corner of the net to give the Fighting Hawks a 5-2 lead heading into the second intermission. The first-round pick tallied his tenth goal of the season and third of the weekend on the highlight play.
"For what he did coming in here -- and being gone a month -- coming in on short rest, he was an impactful player," said Berry on Jost. "That tells you a lot about his character and the way he prepares and how team-first he is."
His goaltender echoed Berry.
"If there’s one guy on the team that can do it, it’s him," said Johnson. "We were joking that no one else would be able to do it. And at the level he played, too. Not only four games (in four days), but a semifinal and a final – those are wars, those are battles. And then coming into NCHC where every weekend is a war, kudos to him. That shows what kind of person he is and how much he loves this team."
In the third period it was UND who got into penalty trouble, giving the Mavericks four power play opportunities in the final 20 minutes of regulation. However, it did not seem to slow down the offensive attack by the green and white.
Gage Ausmus collected his first-career shorthanded goal at the 4:36 mark when the captain finished off a rush by blowing a slap shot into the back of the net for a 6-2 North Dakota advantage.
"It was huge," said Berry on the special teams play by UND. "Second half of the season, that’s going to be the difference for teams that move on. Our guys did a good job. The kill was good again today and the power play has taken a step. It was nice to see some of the guys from the back end get rewarded."
Ausmus, who had waited 90 days between goals, struck in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. The goal was also the fourth by a defenseman for UND on the night.
Just a minute later, Omaha cut the deficit back to three when David Pope finished off a passing play to give the Mavericks some life. However, UND held the home side down for the remaining 15 minutes and added an empty-net goal from Brock Boeser, his tenth, to seal the sweep.
The win was the first sweep for UND since Nov. 18-19 at St. Cloud State and sends the Fighting Hawks back to Grand Forks riding a three-game winning streak.
"It’s huge for us," said Jost on the weekend. "We’ve got to keep this balling in the right direction here. We’re just simplifying our game and playing that gritty style and we can add a lot of skill to that too. It’s huge for our confidence but we can’t get complacent. We’ve got to have a good week of practice and get ready for our next series."
UND returns to action on home ice on Friday when the Fighting Hawks host Miami in NCHC play. Faceoff is set for 7:37 on Friday.
NOTES: Tyson Jost (UND), Christian Wolanin (UND), and Austin Ortega (UNO) were named the game’s three stars … The 16 goals by UND this weekend were the most since the regular-season finale at Michigan Tech in 2011 (17 goals) … With the win, UND moves to 9-3 all-time in Omaha and 4-0 at Baxter Arena … UND has scored at least four goals in 9-of-12 wins this season … Goaltender Cam Johnson recorded his first-career assist on UND’s fourth goal to give 19-of-20 players a point on the weekend for the Fighting Hawks … UND’s power play finished 6-for-12 (50%) on the weekend while the penalty kill finished 8-for-9 (89%) … Defenseman Tucker Poolman played in his 100th game tonight and finished with an assist … Christian Wolanin recorded his first-career multi-goal game.