North Dakota Athletics

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Dave Hakstol doesn't like this new rule in college hockey. But at least for tonight, he surely liked the way his team benefited from it.

Senior Evan Trupp (Anchorage, Alaska) scored at 12:55 of third period to tie the Western Collegiate Hockey Association game against Nebraska Omaha 1-1 in a contest won by the Fighting Sioux 4-2.

Just seconds before Trupp went high on the glove side on UNO goalie John Faulkner, he was hooked from behind by UNO's Mike Young as he was crossing UNO's blue line.

Under the new rule in the NCAA this season, Young had to serve the minor penalty even though Trupp scored on the delayed penalty. With Young in the penalty box, UND's Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) scored on the power play at 14:26 to put the Sioux ahead to stay at 2-1.

"I'm the first to say I disagree with the rule,'' Hakstol said. "I don't like the rule for the exact reason of what we saw tonight. It's a close, tight hockey game. One play really turned the complexion of this game.''

That it did. After giving up five power-play goals and a shorthanded tally in losing to the Mavericks 8-4 Friday night, it took a game-changing play by Trupp to salvage the split for the Sioux.

Omaha had broken a scoreless tie on Terry Broadhurst's shorthanded breakaway at 4:10 of the third period.

It looked like the one goal would stand up until Trupp took charge.

He first blocked an Omaha shot, springing himself on a breakaway. He then buried his high shot under the crossbar for his 11th goal of the season.

It not only aroused a crowd of 11,916 -- sixth-largest ever at Ralph Engelstad Arena -- but awoke the Sioux.

The Sioux scored four goals in the next six minutes, 13 seconds to split the season four-game series with the Mavericks.

Sioux defenseman Ben Blood (Plymouth, Minn.) chipped the puck from his own zone to the UNO zone, allowing Jason Gregoire to come in alone on Faulkner to make it 3-1 at 18:05.

On that play, UNO defenseman Andrej Sustr was called for hooking Gregoire, sending the Sioux on the power play,

But Young came back with UNO's second shorthanded goal of the game and third of the weekend at 18:36 to make it 3-2.

For the second time in short order, the new rule Hakstol dislikes worked in favor of his team. With Sustr still in the box for the hook on Gregoire, the Winnipeg winger buried a backhander at 19:08 to close the scoring.

The goal was the 10th of the season for Gregoire. His first goal to give UND a 3-1 lead turned out to be the game-winning goal, the 13th of his career. That ties him for fifth most in school history with Sioux associate head coach Cary Eades, among others.

Hakstol said it is the first time the Sioux have capitalized on the new rule. Still, he doesn't like it. "One play really changed the complexion of a 60-minute battle,'' he said.

Gregoire was named the game's second star, with Trupp taking No. 1 star and Kristo third star.

So a clash between former Sioux coach Dean Blais and his UNO Mavericks and Hakstol, the man he recommended to replace him when he resigned, turned on a dime at closing time.

"Dean's done a great job (at UNO), but that's no surprise to anybody,'' Hakstol said. "He's one of the best in the business. His teams play the way you'd expect them to -- they play hard, they play fast, they make plays and compete right to the bitter end. That's how three of the four games (between the Sioux and Mavericks) have been.''

Gregorie pointed to a big blocker save by UND goalie Aaron Dell (Airdrie, Alberta) as crucial in the game. A minute after Broadhurst's shorthanded goal put the Mavs ahead 1-0, Dell stopped Ryan Walters with a great stop on a 2-on-1 rush.

"The biggest turning point there,'' Gregoire said. "They could have gone up 2-0. That would have been a little too much to overcome.''

Six minutes after that, Trupp made a great play going the other way to tie the game.

"Two big plays like that, that's just going to keep us winning, hopefully,'' Gregoire said.

But Gregoire's two goals were huge, too. "It certainly was a big one to score in front of our fans,'' Gregoire said. "The game was on (TV) in southern Manitoba, too, so it's something special.''

It was a stunning turnaround in play by the Sioux after Friday's blowout loss at home.

"It was a big testament to our character and maturity,'' Gregoire said. "Hopefully we can carry it forward to next weekend.''

Trupp said the Sioux never got down after allowing Omaha's go-ahead goal early in the third period. "We wanted to prove to ourselves that we were a better team than that (Friday's 8-4 loss),'' Trupp said. "A bunch of guys were stepping up and making big plays and eventually we knew we were going to get one. We didn't hit the panic button once we went down. We just kept going at it. Eventually it paid off.''

The Sioux got four to be exact in the six minutes of the game to pull out a big Western Collegiate Hockey Association split.

Dell finished with 19 saves, allowing only the two shorthanded goals. Faulkner had 23 stops for the Mavericks.

UND finished 2-for-8 on the power play, but gave up two shorthanded goals. Omaha was 0-4 on the power play with just one shot on goal total on the four power plays.

SIOUX NOTES: Chay Genoway has his 12-game point streak snapped, leaving him tied with Bill Himmelright (1977-78) for the longest by streak by a Sioux defenseman ... Gregoire led the Sioux with six shots on goal, followed by Trupp with four . . . In a rarity this season, the Sioux lost the faceoff battle 31-30 with Corban Knight (High River, Alberta) pacing the Sioux with his 12/7 edge . . . UND improved to 18-7-2 overall, 13-5 in the WCHA . . . UNO is 13-9-2/10-6-2, good for fourth place in the league for the first-year WCHA members.