GRAND FORKS, ND – Albin Karlsson scored the lone goal for the Niagara Purple Eagles as the team lost a 7-1 decision on Friday night to no. 2/3 North Dakota on at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Karlsson got the Purple Eagles (3-16-2) on the board with 5:50 left in the third. Karlsson picked the puck up outside the offensive blue line while his team made a line change. His first shot was blocked, but the freshman picked back up the puck and his follow-up chance beat the goalie far-side over the shoulder to bring the score to its 7-1 final.
“I liked our compete-level [in the third period],” head coach Dave Burkholder said. “We had guys still finishing checks, trying to get pucks deep, and working hard. That’s all we ask.”
North Dakota (15-5-2) built a 2-0 lead through the first period after a rush down the right wing led to a chance in front that found an open spot five hole. The second goal came four minutes later with 5:40 left in the frame after a giveaway on a breakout pass up the middle went the other way and into the back of the net.
A four-goal second period extended the lead to 6-0 after 40 minutes. The first tally came while Niagara was down a man, but the penalty kill would turn it around and kill a staggered 5-on-3 at the end of the period.
“It’s certainly not the effort or result we were looking for,” Burkholder said. “We didn’t get much help from our goalies early on. I’d say out of their first four [goals], two were bad, and you can’t give up bad goals and expect to stay in the game in this environment with a team that has that much talent.”
UND added another goal in the third to extend the lead to 7-0. Adrian Ignagni went in net in the second period and made 13 saves through the third to end the game with a total of 22.
The game was Burkholder’s 500th game behind the bench as the head coach for the Purple Eagles. This is the veteran’s 14th year at the helm and 19th overall with the program.
The weekend wraps up with game two of the series tomorrow at 8:07 p.m. eastern. The game will be broadcast nationally in Canada on TSN2.