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North Dakota holds off Broncos, win 3-2

by Colin Windecker

Kalamazoo, MI (WKZO) – North Dakota’s Luke Johnson scored two power play goals including the game winner as the Sioux took the first game of a two game weekend series with the Broncos 3-2.  

In a game filled with penalties, 19 combined between the two NCHC members, the Sioux (6-7-2, 4-5-0 NCHC) were able to take advantage of their time with an extra skater scoring two power play goals, both from Johnson while the Broncos went 0 for 7 with the man advantage.

“From our prospective we liked our 5-on-5 a great deal,” Head coach Andy Murray said. “We came out on the short end of the special teams and we need to be better.”

The Broncos (6-6-3, 2-3-0) came out of the gate looking like a team on a mission, scoring just 2:04 into the game on a goal from Nolan LaPorte, his fifth of the season. Chase Bailsey recorded the only assist on the goal.

However, the Broncos lead was short lived, thanks to some untimely penalties. While North Dakota was on a 5-on-3 Johnson was able to sneak his first of two goals passed WMU net-minder Frank Slubowski with less than eight minutes left in the opening period. Johnson then put North Dakota in the lead on his second power goal with 12:20 left in the second period.

Derek Rodwell extended the lead to 3-1 halfway through the third before Josh Pitt added on the final goal for the Broncos with less than a second left in the game.

Slubowski stopped 20 shots while Sioux goalie Zane Gothberg made 36 saves on 38 shots from WMU.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday night at Lawson arena. Puck drops at 7:05pm.